The Louis Vuitton Tambour Collection Has Just Changed The Smartwatch Game

By Bill Prince and Adam Baidawi
12 June 2019
Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton is pushing a new era of stylish timekeeping

Tambour Spin Time Air
Louis Vuitton
Reading the time from two or more hands tracking a series of numerals, battens or dots arranged around the perimeter of a dial is one way of doing it. But, thank the horological heavens, it’s not the only approach watchmakers have taken.

Historically, “jumping hour” timepieces did away with the need for the “small” hand by adding a numerical disc viewable through an aperture in the dial that “jumped” forward every 60 minutes. For its Tambour Spin Time model, however, Louis Vuitton took an entirely different route: using a series of 12 cubes that rotate to display the change of hour (minutes are read in the conventional manner via a central dial). Now 10 years old, the technology – developed in-house at Louis Vuitton’s own Geneva atelier, La Fabrique Du Temps – has been given a fresh, ahem, spin, with the Tambour Spin Time Air, named for the way in which the hub and spoke appearance of the movement appears to “float” above the clear case back. All three models in the men’s collection feature 42.5mm white-gold cases and are fitted with blue or black alligator straps.

Prices starting from $54,000

Louis Vuitton

Tambour Horizon
Louis Vuitton
If, however, you’re in the market for something more dynamic and connected, the LV Tambour Horizon Smartwatch is more than competent at scratching the itch. Inside its lean, mean 42mm case, the second-generation of the Tambour Horizon is as smart as it is pretty. It packs a Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip – a remarkable feat of tech that Google created in collaboration with chip manufacturer Qualcomm. All that R&D means that this is a smartwatch whose battery life can extend to five days, and beyond, if you’re only using it to display time.

Paying homage to the maison’s travel heritage – all handsome trunks and luggage – the Tambour Horizon is littered with clever features to make travelling a joy, including an exclusive app to update travellers on gate numbers, flight times, and so on. No, this isn’t a modestly-priced smartwatch – it’s just about the dearest you can buy. Yes, there are perfectly wonderful analogue timepieces in this price bracket. But, sometimes, staying connected is worth it.

Prices starting from $2550