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20th Anniversary
Louis Vuitton - Catherine Lacaze

Louis Vuitton Catherine Lacaze

Global Director Watches and Jewelry**

Considering the breadth of Louis Vuitton's history since it was founded in Paris in 1854, its watchmaking tradition is relatively recent. The luggage manufacturer presented its first watch in 2002: a men’s model called Tambour, celebrating the union of travel and time. It met with immediate success. At the time, Catherine Lacaze, Global Director Watches and Jewelry at Louis Vuitton, was learning the ropes at Van Cleef & Arpels, working as Retail Director of its UK subsidiary in London. After graduating from HEC Paris, this naturally elegant young woman launched straight into the luxury industry from the outset of her career. She had just the right feel for it, knew the form, and lost no time in proving herself to be extremely agile. Moving on from Van Cleef & Arpels, she was appointed head of marketing at diamond firm De Beers, before joining Cartier as the jeweller’s vice-president of marketing in New York. She then headed for Harry Winston, still in the Big Apple, where she became vice president of global marketing and communication before taking on the mantle of vice-president of marketing at Tiffany & Co. During her time in New York, Catherine Lacaze maintained her sense of American-style efficiency, a taste for international business – and an address book as thick as a Who’s Who.

Catherine Lacaze

Catherine Lacaze © Louis Vuitton

She now heads up Louis Vuitton’s Watches and Jewelry division. Eighteen years on from the launch of the Tambour, watchmaking has come of age at the French luxury giant. Having bought out La Fabrique du Temps (2011) and dialmakers Léman Cadrans (2012), Louis Vuitton now develops all its models in its own 4800m² workshops located in Meyrin, in the Canton of Geneva. The catalogue has expanded, with the Tambour Moon, Tambour Damier, Voyager, Escale, Tambour Horizon, and other pieces; the exceptional fine watches that bear the prestigious Poinçon de Genève hallmark are in great demand. The maison has applied the same method it developed in fine jewellery to watchmaking, inviting handpicked customers to prestigious events at Gstaad, Capri, and Courchevel – something that works all the better in that Lacaze is an expert in the field of events, too.

*Written by Paul Miquel

*On the occasion of GMT Magazine and WorldTempus' 20th anniversary, we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with a 10% discount if you use the following code: WT2021.

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True to its founding spirit, Louis Vuitton makes watches that combine excellence, innovation and originality for the benefit of people who love travel and adventure. The watchmakers of La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton in Geneva use their mastery of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology to reinvent the watchmaking of tomorrow.

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