In response to the Vogue Enterprise Index (summer time 2022) and Forbes, French trend home Louis Vuitton is the world’s most beneficial luxurious model. Because the undisputed king of luxurious, Louis Vuitton is related in each nook of the globe with high-quality leather-based items and equipment emblazoned with the long-lasting LV monogram. Considerably surprisingly, given its presence available on the market since 1854, Louis Vuitton solely began making ‘severe’ watches twenty years in the past. In a departure from some luxurious emporiums that prize design over substance, Louis Vuitton took the bull by the horns and determined that its watches needed to be pretty much as good on the within as out. Louis Vuitton’s first watch, the Tambour, and its incursion into big-league watchmaking consolidated with the acquisition of La Fabrique du Temps have resulted in a singular, potent design that’s unattainable to confuse with the rest available on the market. The Tambour, which suggests drum in French, marched out with its distinctive drum-shaped case and a GMT complication in 2002. Developing for its 20th anniversary this yr, the Tambour returns with iconic LV livery and a high-frequency chronograph motion primarily based on Zenith’s El Primero calibre: meet the brand new 200-piece Tambour Twenty Restricted Version.
An Empire Constructed on a Trunk
For a model that’s on the apex of the luxurious ladder, the origins of Louis Vuitton would possibly come as a shock. You might say that Louis Vuitton (1821-1892), who ran away from residence at 13, constructed his luxurious empire on the again of a trunk. As an apprentice to among the finest box-makers within the metropolis, Louis Vuitton hobnobbed with the Parisian elite and ultimately grew to become Empress Eugénie de Montijo’s official box-maker and packer. In 1854, the gifted field and ultimately trunk-maker opened Louis Vuitton Malletier on Rue des Capucines.
Buoyed by the appearance of delivery and prepare journey, his vertical steamer trunk was a lot in demand by the primary globetrotters and adventurous scientists. To overcom the issue of stacking domed-shaped trunks in the steamer cabin of ships, Louis Vuitton got here up with flat-topped trunks that might simply be stacked. One other drawback was figuring out trunks, and Louis Vuitton supplied his purchasers bespoke tags in eye-catching colors, usually with monograms, crests or geometric motifs in vivid colors. Louis Vuitton additionally designed and patented a canvas of alternating brown and beige squares – the Damier (chequerboard) canvas –, which earned him a gold medal on the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris. Regardless of the patent, copycats proliferated, and his solely son and inheritor, Georges Vuitton, got here up with a brand new design composed of four-petal flowers (quatrefoils) and the interlocking initials of Louis Vuitton. Often called the Monogram canvas, this 1896 design continues to be the cornerstone of the model’s identification.
The genesis of the Tambour
Given the model’s historic ties to journey (see above), it is smart that the primary Tambour watch launched in 2002 was a GMT. Fitted with a lustrous brown dial (fairly daring on the time) and a mustard yellow GMT hand and matching 24-hour scale, the color scheme of the 39.5mm Tambour GMT (ref. Q11310) was a nod to the long-lasting Monogram canvas developed by Louis Vuitton’s son in 1896. Because the blueprint for the Tambour household, it’s value trying on the design options which have made it such a singular, considerably quirky design that appears as recent immediately because it did 20 years in the past.
Some sources attribute the inspiration for the deep, spherical, drum-shaped metal case of the Tambour to the silhouette of Japanese taiko drums. As Jean Arnault identified to MONOCHROME, the design of the Tambour was entrusted to a Parisian design studio (BBDC – Berra Blanquer Design). The consequence was a singular, unprecedented case form that did, successfully, appear like a drum. Its uncommon flared profile, which was wider on the base than on the high, included a large caseband, the right canvas to engrave the 12 letters within the identify ‘Louis Vuitton’, aligned with the hour markers on the dial. Crafted from a single block of metallic, the tall sloping flanks of the deep case additionally proved a really perfect container for all kinds of problems (some Tambour fashions, just like the Carpe Diem, have a peak of 15mm). Virtually each floor of the Tambour case was adorned with some type of branding, together with the LV monogram on the crown, motifs from the Monogram canvas on the caseback, the model identify on the buckle and clearly, the dial.
A yr after its debut, the Tambour returned with a high-frequency COSC chronometer-certified chronograph complication, a mannequin that has a direct bearing on the most recent Tambour Twenty anniversary piece we’re overlaying immediately. Often called the Tambour LV 277 chronograph, the mannequin took benefit of the synergies within the LVMH group and powered its chronograph with Zenith’s well-known El Primero high-frequency calibre.
Maybe one of the crucial pleasant Tambour watches and the one that might decide the brand new route for the gathering was the 2009 Spin Time. With 12 miniature rotating cubes revealing the hours, the Spin Time reinvented the idea of leaping hours in a recent, new language. Developed and patented by La Fabrique du Temps, a specialist complication workshop primarily based in Geneva arrange by grasp watchmakers Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini, the 44mm Spin Time put a playful spin on time, but it surely additionally signalled a extra inventive method to problems within the fingers of Navas and Barabasini.
Simply two years later, in 2011, Louis Vuitton upped its watchmaking antes by buying La Fabrique du Temps. To mark its dedication to inventive high-end watchmaking, the model unveiled the complicated Tambour Minute Repeater, a captivating GMT complication that chimed the wearer’s reference (residence) time as a substitute of native time on demand.
Decided to amass much more independence, in 2012, Louis Vuitton purchased Léman Cadran, a famend dial maker, and in 2014, inaugurated the La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton workshop in Meyrin, Geneva. Different standout Tambour fashions over time embody the Tambour Twin Chrono, a monopusher split-seconds chronograph, a skeletonised Flying Tourbillon with a cage formed just like the Monogram flower, the 2020 Tambour Curve Flying Tourbillon with Poinçon de Genève certification, and the sportier GPHG award-winning Tambour Road Diver of 2021.
The Louis Vuitton Tambour Twenty
Having established Louis Vuitton’s severe dedication to high-end watchmaking, it would come as a shock that the Tambour Twenty Restricted Version just isn’t powered by an in-house motion however by a high-frequency chronograph calibre primarily based on the Zenith El Primero… Identical to the 2003 Tambour. A retrospective mannequin, in the event you like, the brand new Tambour Twenty upgrades among the design options discovered on the dial of the unique Tambour chronograph however flaunts the hallmark drum-shaped case. The gleaming polished stainless-steel case measures 41.5mm throughout with a peak of 13.2mm and options the 12 letters of the Louis Vuitton identify engraved within the caseband, matching the place of the hour markers on the dial. Like the primary Tambour chronograph, two rounded rectangular chronograph pushers flank the octagonal crown, and the case is waterproof to 100 metres.
In a departure from the 2003 chronograph, the three sub-dials should not organized inside a circle, and the sloping flange is brown to match the dial. The sun-brushed dial is a basic Louis Vuitton brown with contrasting yellow chronograph fingers, a nod to the yellow thread traditionally used within the model’s finely crafted leather-based items. Massive utilized silver-coloured Arabic hour numerals as 12, 2, 4, 6 and eight o’clock and baton markers, shortened at 3 and 9 o’clock to accommodate the sub-dials, stand out effectively towards the nice and cozy brown background.
The 2 sub-dials for the operating seconds at 9 and 30-minute elapsed instances at 3 o’clock have black snailed interiors and clear white markings to match the peripheral seconds observe calibrated to 1/10th of a second. The 12-hour chronograph counter is highlighted in yellow simply above 6 o’clock, and its decrease half is shaped by the curving inscription ‘Twenty’. The baton-style hour and minute fingers have blunt ideas and a streak of Tremendous-LumiNova down their spines, whereas the lengthy central chronograph seconds hand with its lozenge-shaped counterweight and the chronograph fingers are vivid yellow. Angled between 4 and 5 o’clock, the date window has a black background and white numerals.
LV 277 primarily based on Zenith El Primero
Turning the watch over, you possibly can see the doughnut-shaped metallic a part of the screwed caseback with the ‘Restricted Version 200 Items’ inscription and the sapphire crystal over the motion. Nonetheless powered by calibre LV 227, primarily based on Zenith’s well-known El Primero high-frequency motion (the world’s first automated chronograph motion unveiled in 1969), the rotor of this anniversary Tambour Twenty is crafted in 22k rose gold. Beating at 5Hz/36,000vph, this distinctive column-wheel chronograph calibre delivers a beefy energy reserve of fifty hours and offers extremely correct readings all the way in which all the way down to 1/10th of a second.
Availability & Worth
Delivered with a darkish brown alligator strap (outfitted with a quick-exchange system) inside a miniature Louis Vuitton trunk with a Monogram canvas, the 200 items of the Tambour Twenty will retail for USD 17,800.
For extra data, please go to louisvuitton.com.
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