By Steve Lundin
What is the aesthetic behind Louis Vuitton’s latest entry into the field of connected watches? I tried unsuccessfully to extract the answer from the company itself, so I’m offering my own conclusion to explain what you get for $3,400-$4,100.
One night, a team of symmetrically self-medicated Louis Vuitton designers looked up at a starry sky and were struck with a revelation. “What if we put all those stars into a watch and splattered the LV logo all over it? Multiple logos mean multiple sales. Brilliant! Let’s drink some more!”
And so, a fluorescent fruit salad for the wrist was born, and with lots of logos, no one will ever mistake it for anything besides a Louis Vuitton product.
The Tambour watch is a showpiece, and should be worn full on, in “blossom” (one of several display modes), so that its twenty-four LED dancing dial show is given as many opportunities to activate as humanly possible.
Lifting your arm spools up a bevy of twirling colorful lights positioned around the dial, like the nacelles on the Starship Enterprise going into warp drive. The Tambour will command attention at any bar or party and would be spectacular at a séance.
Don’t worry about LV’s “smart features.” Any watch with more face treatments than apps isn’t really designed to be smartest timepiece in the room – and who cares! The company’s own website leads with form over function, so it’s clear that this baby is more for show then go. You want features, buy the Apple watch, you want art, wear the LV.
The build quality on this watch is exceptional, with a nice, beveled sapphire crystal, solid hefty case, and reliable feeling pushers (as a former owner of an Omega X33 I know what not-so-reliable pushers feel like).
The Tambour does have a few connected features that include calendar, step counter, some text/phone connection (depending on your platform), yada, yada, yada; see the list below if you want the rundown. Because Louis Vuitton aficionados (those who own the genuine articles, not the numerous knockoffs), presumably travel a lot (except during the pandemic, when this watch was released, or if you’re sporting knockoffs, which means you probably can’t afford to travel anyway), the Tambour offers a nice variety of travel support software.
Think of it as a combination of Expedia, Yelp and Google Maps with some alerts thrown in for good measure. Looking for the weather and current latte prices at your favorite Starbucks in Paris? Rest easy, the Tambour has you covered.
So what do you get for your money? Strapping on the Tambour is a commitment. It’s a hefty watch, in the same vein as a Royal Oak or Sea Dweller. It takes up 44mm of wrist space and is literally a half-inch thick.
Forget about French cuffs or even a shirt with long sleeves. Why would you want to hide this beauty anyway? This is strictly a warm-weather, short-sleeve fashion accessory; maybe a bit much for the pool or golf course, but great for evenings and nights out. Besides, anyone buying this watch already has a collection to pick from (hopefully not ALL knockoffs), and the Tambour is simply another bauble in the drawer.
It’s not super smart, but so what? It’s got something that no other watch in the world can boast: a built-in fireworks show.
On a purely entertainment level the watch is a hoot to wear. It comes with an amazing array of faces that can be tailored to match your mood, from slightly festive to off-the-charts Hunter S. Thompson on adrenochrome.
Feel like channeling the Bellagio forum while on acid? The Tambour has a face for that. The standard face, featuring location and time, coordinates perfectly with the LED bezel, creating one crazy, continual carnival of light every time your connected phone rings, alarm goes off or you just feel like coughing for show and raising it to your mouth to activate the feature.
It holds a charge for a good day and a half and has one of the brightest displays in the category.
Would I purchase one of these watches? Maybe, once they start appearing on eBay for under two grand. Would I accept one from LVMH in appreciation for writing the most candid and accurate article about this watch? Absolutely – please send it to my Florida address, available from the publisher on request.
The Tambour is a total blast and a great novelty that I don’t see getting anyone bored with any time soon. Granted, it doesn’t have the un-obtanium cachet of a Tiffany-faced Nautilus or the bling of a gold Big Bang Mecca, but then you don’t have to explain what brand it is when that showy Louis-Vuitton-themed light show blows up on your wrist.
In the final analysis, Louis Vuitton has produced the ultimate electronic art watch. Pair it with the LV sunglasses, LV shoes and an LV backpack and you’ll give any Supreme-bedecked Gen Z’er (wearing knockoffs or not) on Miami Beach a true run for their money!
Specifications: Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up
Case: 44mm polished stainless steel. Case diameter: 44 mm/1.7 inches, Case thickness: 13.2 mm/ 0.5 inches, sapphire glass, 24-hour ring: black ring with white numerals and LV logo, yellow indexes. LED ring: black ring with 24 Monogram Flowers backlit with LEDs. Water resistance: up to 30 meters.
Screen: 3 cm/1.2 inches full round AMOLED touch screen, resolution 390×390 (327 ppi). Exclusive Louis Vuitton watch faces, Louis Vuitton City Guides, ‘My Day’ function, 4 user modes (Blossom, Voyager, Pacific, Saver), find my phone.
Sensors: Heart rate monitor, microphone, accelerometer, gyroscope and ambient light sensor, actuator: vibration sensor. Micro-processor: Snapdragon Wear 4100
Compatibility: Android 9.0+, iOS2 14+ and HarmonyOS 2.0+