When Louis Vuitton, the world's leading artisan of luxury travel goods launched it's Tambour line of watches in 2002, fans of horology around the globe sat up and took note. The strength, character and volume of the original Tambour line was supplemented by the release of the original "Tambour Monogram" Tourbillon in 2004, a classic concept that further suggested Louis Vuitton as a watchmaker, was here to stay. We eagerly featured a number of the Tambour range in our Issue 3, Time Is Now shoot so it was with considerable excitement that we arrived at the Louis Vuitton V.I.P room to view the new seasons watches yesterday. We were warmly welcolmed by the knowledgable and endearing Alain Huy, Senior Merchandising Manager, Watches & Jewellery, Louis Vuitton Asia Pacific and the equally hospitable and endearing Jimmy Peh, Assistant Public Relations Manager, Watches & Jewellery, L.V.A.P. From presentation to packaging, it is impossible to ignore the breadth of Louis Vuitton style.
The Louis Vuitton Auckland store is one of the first in the Asia Pacific region to feature a specialised watch area so it is apt that the store is also about to offer the full range of fabulous new LV timepieces from September through to Christmas. There are two new Tambour lines:
The "Tambour in Black" LV277 or "Black Force" (top) is a digital analog chronograph, the first of which was launched in 2006. Using the prestigious LV277 movement, "Black Force" is our kind of watch. Set in a 44mm 'black steel' case, this isn't just any old housing, the darkened steel being up to four times more resistant than classic steel. Nice and black, nice and strong.
The "Tambour Silver Dust" GMT automatic watch, is a travel watch fitted with a sparkling "silver dust" dial and featuring anti-reflection sapphire glass. The Silver Dust is a refined timepiece, both functional and aesthetic.
Marc Jacobs, Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton is bringing a real sense of quality and style to the table with the "Emprise" collection (above}. Jacobs, in his inimitable sense of interpretative style has referenced the company's functional history and authentic tradition as a luggage-maker by including distinctive elements of that history to the range. Historic symbols such as the latches, corners and riveting on the classic Vuitton trunk are paraphrased ingeniously throughout the Emprise range, then again we'd expect nothing less from the fashion genius.
Now, we are pretty sure there are a bunch of Russian Oligarchs reading this right now, sitting in their expansive holiday homes on the Cote D'Azur digging the BlackLOG updates so the next watch will be of particular interest to you as the starting price is $165,000 Euro.
The new "Tambour Monogram" Tourbillon (above) is literally a 'made to order' masterpiece. The opportunity exists to personalise and create a timepiece that is as much you, as it is Louis Vuitton. From concept to delivery, the customer is included in the process, even being flown to the Swiss home of Louis Vuitton watches to immerse themselves in the process. The intricate, see-through and highly unique watch is very rare and so special that only half a dozen can be made each year. Roman Abramovich, perhaps you could dial one up now...
Alain started the morning with a video of the watch creation process in Switzerland and it was enlightening - and pleasing - to see that it is still very much one of craftmanship, detail and ubiquitous human touch. Thanks to Alain and Jimmy for the inspirational insight into the world of "Haute Horologie." Keep an eye out for the very cute Christmas range on offer too...