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Louis Vuitton Escale Metiers d’Art: Artistic Tributes to Japan

Louis Vuitton Escale Metiers d’Art: Artistic Tributes to Japan


Louis Vuitton’s very own Metiers d’Art is introducing three new ‘Cabinet of Wonders’ pieces, all of which are Escale models. The very special watches are limited editions of a mere twenty pieces each. The romantic trio of Escale watches, which appear to take inspiration from Japan, are titled Koï’s Garden, Snake’s Jungle, and Dragon’s Cloud. Without further ado, let’s get to know these exceptional artisanal works of art.

The Escale case

All three of the watches have dimensions of 40 mm x 12.04 mm, and each Escale case’s side showcases a Japanese wave motif. However, while the Koï’s Garden and Snake’s Jungle have 18-carat white-gold cases, the Dragon’s Cloud glows in 18-carat pink gold. All three cases are water-resistant to 50 m.

The crowns on each model also vary. The Koï’s Garden sports an onyx crown, the Snake’s Jungle an nephrite jade crown, and the Dragon’s Cloud a cornelian (red gemstone) crown. In addition, the Snake’s Jungle sports a hand-engraved bezel. Each of the three watches has an open caseback, displaying a view of the movement as well as an engraving indicating the limitation: ‘1 of 20’.

The artistic dials of the three limited Escale watches

The three dials are vastly different, despite sharing a Japanese theme. The dial of the Koï’s Garden edition consists of a white-gold base, hand-engraved by La Fabrique des Arts. The manufacture’s artisans evoke pebbles using precious and ornamental stones, including mother-of-pearl and rock crystal, smoky quartz, and diamonds. The koï was created through engraving as well as miniature painting. Last but not least, the dial integrates the Gaston-Louis Vuitton monogram in gold and onyx.

By contrast, the Snake’s Jungle is the work of several artisans. The handiwork of Rose Saneuil is one particular highlight, with the marquetry base using several materials, from wood to straw to parchment. The snakes and leaves in white-gold are the work of Eddy Jarquet, while the champlevé enamel details are owed to Vanessa Lecci. Once again, the Gaston-Louis Vuitton monogram makes an appearance, this time in gold and nephrite jade.

Finally, the dial of the Dragon’s Cloud is the work of Fanny Queloz, who is responsible for the hand-hammered metal base as well as the yellow- and rose-gold wires damascening. Meanwhile, the dragon and cloud were hand-engraved and enamelled using the traditional champlevé and paillonné techniques. The dragon’s eye gleams thanks to the integration of a single ruby – and of course, this dial likewise showcases the Gaston-Louis Vuitton monogram in gold and cornelian.

The movement: Calibre LFT023

Despite their varying dials, the same movement powers all three Escale watches: the trusty calibre LFT023. The self-winding mechanical movement offers only hours and minutes, leaving space for the dial’s art to take central stage. Nevertheless, it’s a highly attractive movement, and the 22-carat micro-rotor is adorned with a Japanese wave motif. The LFT023 consists of 120 components, has a 50-hour power reserve, and beats at solid frequency of 4 Hz.

The strap and availability

Each watch comes with its own corresponding strap. Accompanying the Koï’s Garden is a hand-braided blue calf leather strap, which takes inspiration from katanas handles, aka a traditional Japanese sword. The strap’s white-gold buckle also has a Japanese wave motif. Secondly, the strap of the Snake’s Jungle is a hand-braided green calf leather strap, and operates using the same buckle as the watch’s counterpart. Meanwhile, the Dragon’s Cloud watch comes with a hand-braided brown calf leather strap – and this time, the buckle with Japanese wave motif is in rose-gold to match the case. As mentioned, only 20 pieces of each special Escale model is available. Price: 288,000 Euro.


BRAND Louis Vuitton
MODEL Escale Koï’s Garden
Escale Snake’s Jungle
Escale Dragon’s Cloud
CASE MATERIAL 18-carat white gold (W3WG11 and W3WG21)
18-carat pink gold (W3PG41)
DIMENSIONS Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 12.04 mm
WATER RESISTANCE 50 m (~5 bar)
DIAL N/A – varies according to model
STRAP/BRACELET Hand-braided leather calf strap in blue, green, or brown
FREQUENCY 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
FUNCTIONS Hours, minutes
PRICE 288,000 EUR