Louis Vuitton have been bringing convenience and luxury to the journeys of the great since 1854. The most iconic example of this is undeniably the steamer trunks that criss crossed the globes on the cruise liners and Pullman railway cars of a more glamorous era of travel. Sadly, although LV still make trunks, the age of jet travel has rather less use for them, but the Parisian institution haven’t let this sever their connection with voyaging across oceans and continents. They’ve simply moved with the times.
The Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon watch is part of a growing trend of luxury watch companies trying their hand at the wearable technology game. It is perhaps more of a departure for the older watch brands, whereas LV have only been producing a watch for the last 15 years, and still use quartz in some of their ladies models. Their first foray into watches was in fact the original Tambour, and they’re celebrating its 15th anniversary by modeling their smart watch on this model.
It runs on the Android Wear 2.0 software that both the Tag Connected, and the Montblanc Summit use. So from a technological stand point it’s like every automatic chronograph using a Valjoux 7750. Essentially it’s not a fascinating subject. What is fascinating though is what each brand has chosen to do with that engine. LV have chosen to dedicate the Tambour Horizon to improving the lot of the denizens of departure lounges the world over. Their focus has been on creating functions like an integrated city guide, with GPS tracking to let you know your proximity to the best restaurants, bars, and shops in the city you’re in.
Another unique feature of the Tambour Horizon is it’s ability to switch your social media from Western format to the Chinese equivalent, allowing luxury lovers from around the world to post across numerous platforms in different timezones. I think this is a wonderful feature as it moves away from a eurocentric view of luxury.
If you’re the sort of airline passenger that is forever missing flights or being chastised for keeping planeloads of people waiting then the Tambour Horizon could be a godsend. It can tell you the gate number of your flight without having to leave the first class lounge bar to find a screen, and it’ll let you know when your flight will start boarding with a series of helpful buzzes and lights.
There are several different materials that the 42mm case can be chosen in, and they come at varying price points from £2140-£2600, not including the strap which has to be purchased separately for around the £500 mark and comes with a very neat interchange system in myriad different styles.
In regards to different styles, the various dials and faces that are available reflect both classic and inventive LV design, which they will be adding to constantly. Given the watch’s focus on travel, the GMT and world timer options seem most apt, albeit with a personalised touch.
The price is undeniably quite high given what the competition is charging for the same technology, but the sense of purpose that the Tambour Horizon exudes makes it seem reasonably priced. Not that they are having any trouble shifting them. The team at the Bond Street location in London told me there was now a considerable waiting list full of eager travellers looking to bring a little bit of that Louis Vuitton chic back to the long haul.
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Written by Iain Robb