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The New Louis Vuitton Escale Time-Only Collection (Incl. Video)

The Louis Vuitton Escale collection is back, but not exactly as you’ve known it in the past.

| By Brice Goulard | 7 min read |

With the launch of the Tambour integrated luxury sports watch last year, Louis Vuitton introduced a whole new strategy for its watch division. No more linked to fashion, the brand wants to be part of the higher-end watchmaking league, thanks to its manufacture, La Fabrique du Temps. Now, it’s time for the second step, with the re-launch of the other signature watch of the brand, the Louis Vuitton Escale. Previously mostly known as a world-timer or a dual-time model with complex flag-inspired dials, it has changed. The Escale is now the brand’s vision of a classic, round dressy time-only watch, with a twist.


The Louis Vuitton Escale is back, but it’s not the watch you’ve come to know during the past 10 years. To re-introduce this collection, LV has given it a dressy edge, a classic vibe and a strong trunk inspiration. Still named after the brand’s motto of travel, and celebrating the 10th anniversary of the collection, the new Escale marks an evolution compared to the collection first designed in 2014, with the launch of a rather distinctive watch, the Escale Worldtime.

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The name, synonymous with travel (escale could be translated as stopover in English), already gave an idea of what to expect. The display and dial design were a strong design statement too, with multiple hand-painted geometric pictograms both defining the world time function and the reference to the brand’s iconic trunks. One of the main design cues of the Escale has long been its lugs, shaped like the corner pieces of Vuitton trunks. Over its 10 years of existence, the Escale has been made in numerous versions, including a slightly simpler Time Zone model, a highly complex world time minute repeater and several iterations with the Spin Time complication. 

Earlier this year, Vuitton unveiled the Escale Cabinet of Wonders, a trilogy of métiers d’art timepieces inspired by the collections of Gaston-Louis Vuitton. It was a teaser for the new Louis Vuitton Escale collection, which is now presented as the classic, time-only and elegant watch of the brand.

The new Louis Vuitton Escale

For its return, the Louis Vuitton Escale has changed. It’s not the traveller’s watch we’ve come to know in the past, with its signature flag design. It’s now a classic round watch with a time-only display, however, there are still multiple references to the brand’s historic trunks. And this is what Vuitton has worked on to give the new Escale its personality.

Let’s start with the case and the overall design of this new collection, as this is where the connection between the past and the new editions is the strongest. The Escale time-only watch comes with the relatively restrained proportions you expect from an elegant watch, with its 39mm diameter and a thickness of 10mm. It’s not pure dress watch territory but compact and thin enough to bring an elegant, sophisticated feel. Framed by sapphire crystals on both sides, with a polished and domed bezel, it’s mostly the side of the case that brings the twist.

The central part of the case is satin-brushed and classically round. But the important element of all Louis Vuitton Escale watches, the lugs, has been kept. Resembling the angled form and riveted exterior of the brass brackets and corners found on iconic LV trunks, the lugs are finished manually with contrasting surfaces relative to their adjacent element – polished and brushed surfaces, with appealing polished bevels. These also include decorative rivets, another reference to the trunks. The back of the Escale also features a typical LV touch, with a plaque engraved with the watch’s serial number, yet another element found in custom-made trunks.

For the launch of the collection, the Vuitton Escale is presented in 4 editions. The most classic has a rose gold case with a silver-toned dial. The same case can also be fitted with a grained blue dial. There are also two high-end platinum editions, one of which you can see here, with a meteorite dial, and another with baguette-cut diamonds on the bezel and a black onyx dial. All are worn on leather straps, closed by a pin buckle matching the case’s material. And while the straps of the blue and meteorite editions are classic calf leather, the strap of the silver dial version is worth mentioning, as it’s again strongly influenced by the world of LV. It’s done in the classic camel-toned « nomade » leather with yellow stitchings and a natural beige calf-leather lining. And it features curved ends for a nice fit with the case.

The idea with the dial design of the Escale was to implement discreet references to LV without compromising the elegance. If we take the example of the silver-toned dial – which is probably going to become the cornerstone of the collection – there’s quite a lot of things going on. The two-tone dial comprises a grained central part – obtained by a stamped process – which is again a reference to the texture of the brand’s Monogram canvas. It is framed by a gold-toned groove and a satin-finished minute chapter ring.

A distinctive element, the main markers (at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock) are applied gold elements once again inspired by the trunk corners. Then, the minute track is composed of small gold studs, which are reminiscent of the studs framing trunks. Time is indicated by solid gold facetted dauphine hands and a titanium seconds hand with PVD treatment. The latter has a bent tip to follow the curve of the dial. The meteorite platinum version is far more monochromatic in its look, with white gold markers and hands. A nice touch that was also found on the Tambour is the « Fab. En Suisse » mention instead of the classic Swiss-made.

Looking through the caseback, you’ll see the calibre LFT023, the same micro-rotor automatic movement as found in the new Tambour. Designed, conceived and encased by La Fabrique du Temps and manufactured by Le Cercle des Horlogers, it has been slightly modified to accommodate the central seconds. Interestingly, it comes with a chronometer certification by the Geneva Observatory and thus an accuracy between -4 and +6 seconds per day.

The movement is wound by a 22-carat gold and engraved micro-rotor, runs at a modern frequency of 4Hz and stores a comfortable power reserve of 50 hours. It’s nicely finished too, with sand-blasted bridges, large diamond-polished bevels, a barrel shaped like a monogram flower and a circular-grained main plate.

And like the Tambour of last year, the new Louis Vuitton Escale is delivered in a trunk that has all the attributes of the classic “malles” of the brand.

Thoughts, Availability & Price

With the 2024 Louis Vuitton Escale time-only collection, the French powerhouse once again expresses its desire to move into another category of the industry, looking at classic luxury players. The Escale is a more traditional, elegant take on the time-only watch, yet with many discreet references to classic LV design codes. And considering this new positioning, it also has the price to match… The rose gold models are indeed priced at EUR 29,000 and the platinum and meteorite version comes at EUR 39,000. These 3 editions form the permanent collection, with other higher-end (diamond-set, guilloche) or limited editions to be expected.

As a side note, I’d like to say that even though this new Escale is a pleasantly elegant and refined model, I somehow miss the old traveller’s style of the past collection, with its highly distinctive design. It was certainly less traditional, maybe more polarizing but felt original and different, with the hand-painted dials creating a unique object. Who knows, if we ask loud enough, we will see the Escale Worldtime come back…

For more details, make sure to check the video on top of this article and visit

1 response

  1. THOUGHTS, AVAILABILITY & PRICE: Summary: waaaaay oooooover priced.

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