Lionel Ladoire launched his eponymous company in 2007 and his first timepiece is an audacious effort. He refers to it as the UFO of watchmaking, and the company’s press materials acknowledge that this piece leaves no one indifferent. It may not come as a surprise that Ladoire is a surfer and a rock drummer as well as a talented young watchmaker. If you saw him on the street, you would not think “I bet he’s a horologist.” Others claim to be nonconformists; Ladoire walks the walk.
Ladoire’s creation is called the Roller Guardian Time, or RGT, and at 56 x 45 x 16.3mm, this uniquely-shaped timepiece makes a striking statement on the wrist. The shape has been likened to that of a pebble, and the analogy is apt. The asymmetric shape is soft, organic, and surprisingly balanced. The automatic movement with micro-rotors is an in-house design realized with the help of skilled outside partners. Though it may not be obvious at first glance, the watch has only one traditional moving hand (the big one) for the GMT display, which features a quick corrector at 2 o’clock. The other “hands” are fixed in place, and the hours, minutes and seconds are indicated via disks that rotate on ceramic ball bearings that require no lubrication. Placing the crown at 8 o’clock is another poke in the eye of conformity.
Ladoire produces only about 50 watches per year. The watch shown below retails for $99,600 in titanium and $120,700 in white gold and titanium. You can learn more at www.ladoire.ch, and you may click the images below to view larger versions.