Crafting a New Era of the Louis Vuitton Tambour Watch

July 16, 2023

Louis Vuitton introduced the Tambour watch in 2002, a distinctive drum-shaped timepiece that redefined the interpretation of time. Now, after 21 years, the Tambour has evolved into a slimmer and more refined form, defined by exceptional craftsmanship, casual elegance, and fluid lines. This article explores the new era of the Tambour, highlighting its design, form and function, lightness, and the advanced movement that powers it.

Louis Vuitton Tambour watch
Louis Vuitton Tambour watch

Form and Function

The Tambour watch is defined by its round case with curved sides, featuring LOUIS VUITTON lettering. The watch's design encompasses both aesthetics and purpose, with a modern morphology that offers a unisex 40mm diameter and a slim 8.3mm case, providing a comfortable fit on any wrist.

The integrated bracelet, a first for Louis Vuitton, ensures a seamless and comfortable wearing experience. Every surface of the watch is shaped to accommodate the body, from the caseback that follows the natural curve of the forearm to the convex bracelet links that provide continuous contact with the wrist.

Louis Vuitton Tambour movement detail
Louis Vuitton Tambour movement detail

Craftsmanship and Tactility

Craftsmanship shines through every aspect of the new Tambour, both in its visual appeal and tactile experience. Brushed finishes prevail throughout the watch, complemented by polished chamfers and central links that add a touch of refinement. The drum-shaped crown, fluted with soft grooves, enhances the sensory indulgence of winding and setting the watch. The sandblasted bezel features raised and polished letters spelling out "LOUIS VUITTON," each minutely sculpted letter aligned with an hour marker. The watch's overall balance and cohesion contribute to its clarity and precision.

Light and Lightness

Contrasting with its taut curves and smoothness, the new Tambour exhibits a sense of lightness. The dial, just over a millimeter thick, creates surprising depth and three-dimensionality. The split-level chapter ring, divided by a polished step, features micro-sandblasted surfaces for the outer ring (minuterie) and the inner ring (hours).

The recessed 5-minute markers and appliqued hour markers ensure quick readability, with varying light interactions between them. Gold indexes and hands filled with Super-LumiNova enhance legibility, while the slimmer, openworked hands provide a greater sense of space and lightness. The central brushed dial section proudly displays "LOUIS VUITTON PARIS," signifying the Maison's origins, and "FAB. EN SUISSE," a nod to La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton and the watch's elevated craftsmanship.

Louis Vuitton Tambour watch
Louis Vuitton Tambour watch

Movement and Motion

The new Tambour owes its creation to the expertise of Louis Vuitton's watchmaking atelier, La Fabrique du Temps, led by master watchmakers Enrico Barbasini and Michel Navas. The proprietary automatic three-hand movement, caliber LFT023, was designed in collaboration with movement specialists Le Cercle des Horlogers to embody the Maison's visual codes. The movement showcases contemporary aesthetics with micro-sandblasted bridges, polished edges, and chamfers.

The barrel cover features openworking reminiscent of a Monogram Flower, while the micro-rotor showcases a stylized LV motif. With 31 jewels and a 50-hour power reserve, the movement's efficiency is enhanced by a peripheral gearing system and a 4Hz escapement. Certified as a chronometer by the Geneva Chronometric Observatory, the cal. LFT023 attains exceptional timekeeping accuracy.

The new era of the Tambour watch represents a milestone in Louis Vuitton's watchmaking journey. With its refined form, exceptional craftsmanship, and advanced movement, the Tambour continues to elevate the Maison's watchmaking offer.