2009: Ludovic Ballouard set up as an independent watchmaker with his own brand An all-round talent, independent watchmaker Ludovic Ballouard favours complex mechanisms to drive quirky jumping displays. After studying at the École d'Horlogerie in Rennes, France, a lack of local opportunities meant he spent the next six years as a technician for airplane control panels. Eventually he left France for Switzerland, spending three years with the Franck Müller Group before joining François-Paul Journe. Over seven years he honed his skills, eventually becoming one of the few watchmakers in the atelier to work on the Sonnerie Souveraine, a grande sonnerie minute repeater. In 2009 Ludovic Ballouard took the leap and set up his own company. That same year he unveiled his very first watch, which he named the Upside Down. For it, he developed a movement with the 12 hour numerals printed on small rotating discs. Only the disc that shows the current hour is the right way round. When the hour changes, it pivots 180° to turn itself upside down. Meanwhile, the disc showing the new hour flips to be the right way round. His second invention, the Half Time watch, also has a jumping display. The current hour is given in an aperture at 12 o'clock while retrograde minutes are displayed at the bottom of the dial. The top and bottom half of the hour numerals are shown on two concentric discs. At each hour change, both these discs rotate, one clockwise and one anti-clockwise. Only the current hour numeral is correctly displayed; all the others are deliberately misaligned. Ludovic Ballouard has also worked on timepieces for other brands. He is, for example, behind the Opus XIII for Harry Winston which displays time on 59 minute hands and 11 rotating triangles for the hours.