The Tambour Watch, a Louis Vuitton Icon

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2002: Louis Vuitton enters into the watchmaking universe and, for the first time, the trunk maker releases its very own watch. The Tambour was born, destined to become an icon. The Tambour is first and foremost a novel and poetic design that is exceptional by definition. Inspired by the drums of Kodo, the timepiece traces back the history of these ancestral Japanese percussion instruments. The name Tambour is also an homage to the very first miniature watch created in the Western world in 1540, the perfect occasion for Louis Vuitton to leave its mark on the watchmaking sector. The watch indeed would integrate all of the labels values into its design the 12 letters that compose the brand’s names are engraved onto the casing opposite each hour. In addition, the brown of the dial and the yellow of the second hands are a clear echo to the brand’s bags… Beyond these references, from the simple 3-hand quartz style to more complex variations, the Tambour has established itself as the principal of an identity, a signature uniting timeless allure and up-to-date technical performance. “Our ambition was to develop original functions, in line with Louis Vuitton’s values. The development of movements conceived by Louis Vuitton’s “Fabrique du Temps” workshop is the very essence of our future in watchmaking,” declared Hamdi Chatti, Vice-President of Watchmaking and Jewelry.

This worked essence is developed by the master watchmakers of this very same Louis Vuitton “Fabrique du Temps” manufacturer. Within a unique place, the brand assembles every craft and talent associated with the great tradition of watchmaking. This is how the Tambour is created, in a creative melting pot. With noble fantasy, the timepiece can be imagined without any hands. At Louis Vuitton, the passing of time is read on an indicator disk. In its rotating course, time has no limits or end point – the disk allows for an immediate reading of the hour in the desired timezone, since two graduations are juxtaposed one on top of the other. One lone hand, ending in a red arrow, instantly indicates the time. This is an apt summary of the Tambour revolution, a revolution that lives on at Baselworld 2015.

Three new styles completed the Tambour collection this year three avant-garde pieces crafted in a profound and captivating black. The Tambour Evolution GMT in Black sports a 43 mm steel casing, waterproof up to 100 meters deep, that also integrates an automatic LV71 mechanism for a reserve battery life of 42 hours, a two time slot memory with a day/night indicator, and a date display… More classic and nonetheless sophisticated, the version with brown and grey reflections establishes itself as an ultra-feminine style, in total harmony with the jewelry arts developed and perpetuated within the Louis Vuitton “Fabrique du Temps”. Never a faux pas.  Among the iconic models in this collection, the Tambour LV277 automatic chronograph is the most technical and refined piece of the first collection with its sun effect and 18-carat rose gold hands.

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