Perhaps you’re already dismissing this as a publicity stunt: a luxurious 108,00 CHF (approximately $123,000) heirloom-grade timepiece that’ll be eagerly snatched up by elite buyers…and it’s been doodled on by a small child? But there’s a deeply moving backstory to this unusual watch that should stir collectors.
When Ballouard struck out on his own, he dreamt of a watch inspired by a Zen Buddhist belief that human lives are out of balance, or “upside down,” as we’re so often obsessing over the past or consumed with thoughts of the future. To that end, he designed the Upside Down watch with a brilliant complication: Each individual hour index would remain upside down until its appointed time had come, at which point it would revolve 180 degrees and face upward, joined by a small, colored dot as a further visual indicator. Flip the watch over, and you’re greeted by an incredible visual feast of a movement the likes of which hasn’t been seen before in the world of haute horlogerie.