Twenty years of Louis Vuitton: Tambour at the top

Twenty years of inventive horological design have gone into the making of the La Tambour watch by Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton

A reissue of Louis Vuitton’s very first timepiece, the Tambour Twenty, is being produced as part of a celebration of the brand’s 20th anniversary in the watchmaking industry.

What will the process of creating watches be like in the third millennium? This has been the question that the watchmaking department of the well-known monogrammed brand has been mulling over for the past twenty years. Why get into the watch business when you are already a well-known brand in the fashion and travel industries? If you are going to do anything, you might as well do it properly even if it means starting a new career. As a result, the brand was honored with two trophies at the most recent Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de la city de Genève, which took place barely twenty years after it had produced its first watch (GPHG). An open acknowledgment of the passage of time. It is necessary to point out that the Tambour, which is the flagship model of Louis Vuitton’s watch collections, is not afraid of anything. A few years after its first iteration in 2002 (which has been revisited today in an elegant anniversary version christened Tambour Twenty), it was the brilliance of the Spin Time in 2009: a total reinvention of the concept of jumping hours, with rotating cubes rotating on themselves instead of a central needle. The stage was set, and the Tambour had no intention of stopping rattling the established norms.

The subsequent takeover of the appropriately titled Fabrique du Temps, which occurred not long afterward, will contribute significantly to this outcome. The Geneva company is gradually merging all watchmaking know-how under the direction of Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini, a dynamic duo of watchmakers who are known for their ingenuity. Enough to be able to imagine and assemble in situ parts that will develop the watchmaking credibility of the house by leaps and bounds, throughout the several iterations of the Tambour. Watch with a mysterious chronograph and minute repeater…

Twenty years of inventive horological design have gone into the making of the La Tambour watch by Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton

Two trophies were given out.

The most difficult complexities are therefore reinterpreted one at a time, all the way up to the Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon, which was shown in 2017 and won the extremely difficult Poincon de Genève competition. A label that denotes the highest level of excellence in fine watchmaking, which will also be bestowed in 2020 on the cutting-edge Tambour Curve, which quite literally pushes the limits of time, between a titanium case and Carbostratum, an astonishing stretched convex camber and its flying tourbillon caliber. However, achieving greatness in the field of watchmaking is not enough; one must also get their accomplishments recognized. It was the seraglio of the profession that paid tribute last year to two decades of creativity carried out at full speed, by awarding not one but two trophies at home during the GPHG, for its revisited diver’s watch, the Street Diver, and its very astonishing Carpe Diem, a superb memento mori automaton to wear on the wrist. This is in addition to attracting more and more attention from amateur collectors of top-flight timepieces.

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