Louis Vuitton Heralds A New Era With Stainless Steel Tambour
Just over two decades after its debut, the drum-shaped watch gets a sleek redesign that caters to the horological zeitgeist.
Over two decades after Louis Vuitton made its first foray into ‘serious’ horology with the debut of the Tambour, the maison has pressed reset. Under the guidance of Louis Vuitton watch director Jean Arnault—who, at 25 years old, is the youngest LVMH heir—the Tambour has undergone a redesign that speaks to the horological future of the storied house.
Adroitly catering to the horological zeitgeist, the new Louis Vuitton Tambour speaks to the undeniable demand for stainless steel sports watches. Previously defined by its deep, drum-shaped case, the newcomer takes on a streamlined approach.
“With this launch, we seek to open a new chapter in the history of the Maison’s watchmaking by creating a watch with strong horological credentials while identifiably Louis Vuitton in style,” said the youngest Arnault of the release.
Gone is the rotund styling of the past two decades and in its place is a slim, 40mm case crafted from stainless steel and presented on an integrated bracelet of the same material. With ergonomic proportions, the case is a mere 8.3mm thick (or more rather, thin) and has a subtly arched back that follows the line of the wearer’s wrist and seamlessly flows into the slim curved links of the bracelet to provide a close, comfortable fit.
Not all key hallmarks of the Tambour have been forsaken, however, with the 12 letters of ‘Louis Vuitton’ still spelled out in capital letters around the periphery of the case. Here, each letter is polished, raised, and meticulously aligned with an hour marker.
The dial design references its predecessor while looking forward — albeit with a somewhat retro aesthetic. Available in tone-on-tone silver grey or contrasting deep blue, the dial features white-gold hands, applied Arabic numerals, and a small-seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. The dial markers are placed with spatial balance front of mind; the five-minute markers are recessed while hours are indicated with applied stick indexes. The numerals and hands are treated to a luminescent coating, while slimmer tapered hands lighten the overall feel of the dial.
It’s not just different on the surface — under the skin, the Louis Vuitton Tambour is powered by a new movement, the automatic calibre LFT023. Visible through the exhibition caseback, it features openworking reminiscent of an LV monogram flower, micro-sandblasted bridges, and the LV motif on the rose gold micro-rotor. With a power reserve of 50 hours, the timepiece is water-resistant to 50 metres. Sporty.
$31,000, from September; louisvuitton.com
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