Louis Vuitton


This year more than sixty watchmakers have created timepieces for the Only Watch charity auction, which begins Sunday, November 5, in Geneva. Christie’s will auction these incredible one-of-a-kind watches to raise funds that benefit research in the battle against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

While you may have seen a few of the watches set for auction earlier this year when Only Watch announced them, we thought you’d enjoy seeing many of these impressive designs again just ahead of the event.

The watches are currently touring the globe. After concluding their U.S. visit at Christie’s in New York on September 17, the tour will visit Monaco next, followed by stops in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Dubai and back in Geneva. See the Only Watch website for tour dates and details.

In this post we highlight the Louis Vuitton Tambour Einstein Automata, one of premier pieces in the auction this year. 

The watch displays time only on demand with a movement Manufactured by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, the calibre 525. Einstein’s famous mop of hair crafted in steel and extends beyond the 46.8mm steel case, with one particular lock being a disguised automata push-piece. When this push-piece is actuated, four animations spring to life on the dial.

Once the lock of hair is pushed, the forehead aperture display changes to show the hour. Then the atom model rotates, with one of its valence orbitals (a lacquered, pointed end) moves to the appropriate position on a 0–60 scale to provide the minutes.

Other automata includes the Monogram Flower eye that narrows its petals and the tongue that  extends fully. Even the power reserve is playful.

When the 100-hour power reserve dips low, the indicator transitions from LV to OW. E no longer equals LV². Instead, the letters are replaced with the initials of the Only Watch, a visual cue that prompts the wearer to wind the watch.

The Tambour Einstein Automata Only Watch 2023 marks the first time that grisaille enamel has been used in a Louis Vuitton timepiece. More than 50 hours of enameling went into Einstein’s face alone, with an additional 80 hours dedicated to the base dial in translucent black enamel with overlay of white enamel “chalk” scribbles.

Estimate: CHF 340,000 – 440,000.

Louis Vuitton introduces its first time-only skeleton movement, LV60, and places it into its proprietary, modified cushion-shaped Voyager case to create the Voyager Skeleton, a limited edition, platinum-cased work of eye-catching horological architecture.

The new Louis Vuitton Voyager Skeleton.

No stranger to open-worked movements (see, for example, its Tambour Curve Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève or the Voyager Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève), Louis Vuitton uses this new model to explore a horologically less complex Voyager.

This approach allows the watchmakers at  La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton (in collaboration with Neuchâtel-based workshop Le Cercle des Horlogers) to focus on the Voyager’s architectural case and dynamic bridgework.

In fact, Louis Vuitton explains that its designers were inspired by the architecture of the Frank Gehry-designed Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris when creating the skeletal Voyager.  

Like the Foundation building, the Voyager’s movement offers a minimalist approach to its structure. The Voyager’s watchmakers have carefully trimmed excess bridges and plates, constructing only the minimum required for the movement’s internal integrity.

Fortunately, this approach was taken with a keen sense of design, so that, for example, the watch’s LV-shaped bridges are actually geometric lines. Even the rotor is designed with flair — its bridge features a Louis Vuitton monogram while the barrel ratchet wheel is open-worked to spell the brand name itself.

The watch’s almost monochrome hue is created by the rhodium-plated components, which Louis Vuitton frames with a blue minutes ring. Matching blue hands add legibility. An off-center micro-rotor, which winds the mainspring bidirectionally, offers a clear view of the movement from either side of the watch.  

In another ode to transparency, Louis Vuitton has opened the mainspring barrel so that it can serve as a power reserve indicator. A tightly-coiled mainspring indicates full wind while loosely-arranged coils remind the wearer to wind the watch.

The Louis Vuitton Voyager Skeleton is available as a limited edition of 150 pieces. 

Price: $55,000. 


Specifications: Louis Vuitton Voyager Skeleton

Case: 41mm by 43.7mm by 9mm platinum case with satin-finished sides and a polished top, sapphire glass, blue snailed minute ring. 50-meters of water resistance, ‘Limited edition’ engraved case-back, with sapphire glass.

Movement: Self-winding mechanical skeleton manufacture movement, Caliber LV60, designed & developed by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton. Tungsten micro-rotor decorated with a white gold, rhodium-plated plate. Frequency 28,800 vph with 48-hour power reserve.

Bracelet: Two straps: navy blue, alligator leather strap and calf leather strap with platinum buckle. 

Price: $55,000.

Louis Vuitton adds two new options to its GPHG-award-winning Tambour Street Diver collection.


The Louis Vuitton Tambour Street Diver Burning Rock.

Louis Vuitton’s year-long celebration of its bedrock Tambour case in 2022 pays homage to the design’s many variations on the inverted-drum shape, including its much-acclaimed dive models.

With its Divers Watch Prize from the 2021 Grand Prix dHorlogerie de Genève in mind,  the global fashion brand and watchmaker recently added two new options to its Tambour Street Diver collection.

New within the collection are the orange-accented Tambour Street Diver Burning Rock and the Tambour Street Diver Urban Green. 

The duo borrows hues from Louis Vuitton’s own historical designs, and in one case (the orange model) recalls traditional dive watch coloring devised to ensure easy legibility under water and in darkness.

Both watches are 44mm steel-cased dive-inspired watches with ETA-based automatic calibers and luminescent white hands, numbers and indexes.

The Louis Vuitton Tambour Street Diver Urban Green.

Both offer screw-down crowns to ensure water resistance to 100 meters and each come with a Louis Vuitton-branded interchangeable rubber strap. Price: $7,805.

Louis Vuitton extends one of its most dramatic ongoing collections, the Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève, adding two hard-to-miss new models. 

One of two new Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon models, each cased in fluorescent sapphire.

In addition to the collection’s existing clear, blue- or pink-tinted sapphire-cased models, Louis Vuitton now adds one new watch cased in fluorescent green sapphire and the other in a fluorescent yellow sapphire case.

Touted by Louis Vuitton as “the first watch collection with a sapphire case to bear Geneva Seal,” the new The Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon “Poinçon de Genève” debuts are brilliant in their new color.

Created by heating aluminum oxide at temperatures of around 2,000° Celsius, the sapphire cases are each cut from a from a single block of colored synthetic sapphire. 

The material protects Louis Vuitton’s LV90 caliber, a high-performance openwork movement regulated by a flying tourbillon. The hand-wound movement offers a superior power reserve of eighty hours.

Louis Vuitton explains that each case requires 420 hours of complex operations on digitally controlled machines working with diamond tools. “The 10mm thick monobloc part alone, comprising the case middle, the bezel and the glass, requires 100 hours of milling and 150 hours of polishing. The case back needs fifty hours of machining and sixty hours of hand and machine finishing to become fully transparent and ready for assembly. Finally, the transparent bridge bearing the LV logo takes twenty hours of cutting and forty hours of manual finishing,” according to the manufacturer.

Louis Vuitton attaches the case to a leather strap using black PVD-treated titanium lugs, attached by screws. The watch’s indexes and brand-name lettering are lacquered in white for the green sapphire version, and black for the yellow sapphire model. The 42.5mm by 9.9mm case is water-resistant to 30 meters thanks to a transparent gasket.

Created in a limited production of twenty for each color, each new Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève watches is priced at 400,000 euros.

La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton earlier this year unveiled the impressive Louis Vuitton Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater 200th Anniversary, a white gold and titanium-cased minute repeater with an astral-themed dial Louis Vuitton says is meant to mimic “a porthole opening onto an endless galaxy.”

The impressive Louis Vuitton Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater 200th Anniversary.

In that dial-borne galaxy you’ll find an unusual space capsule automaton mechanism endowed with a cathedral gong minute repeater.

Within the watch’s 46.8 mm by 15.2mm titanium case (with white gold lugs and bezel) Louis Vuitton places nine gold automatons (known historically as jacquemarts, characters devised to strike gongs on church bells).

When the wearer presses the slide, the rocket takes off to expose diamond ‘passengers’ in its cockpit. At the same time, the planets on the dial spin while the Louis Vuitton Monogram flower rotates and two stars shoot across the blue void. Even the case itself is finished with the celestial theme as its design is meant to echo the shape of an astronaut’s helmet. 

As this astral show unfolds, a cathedral gong minute repeater chimes the hours, quarter hours and minutes.

La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton spent two years developing this unique piece as a tribute to the 200th birthday of Louis Vuitton. The watchmaker enlisted the creativity of engraver Dick Steenman and enameler Anita Porchet to decorate the the case and to craft the dial elements.

You might recall that Steenman and Porchet also collaborated on the Louis Vuitton Tambour Carpe Diem,  an earlier automaton unique piece, which won the Audacity prize at the 2021 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG).

Look closely at the dial at 7 o’clock on this new watch and you’ll see Ms. Porchet’s signature. 

On the bezel, the Louis Vuitton signature is encrusted in blue rubber letters. The pusher, crown and the LV initials are set with a gradation of tourmalines and sapphires to match the deep blue dial.

From the back of the case, a sapphire crystal allows a peek at the LV200 caliber, a hand-wound movement with 480 components, several of which have been finished in a celestial blue hue.

The watch nicely blends traditional high-end watchmaking and gem-setting techniques with a contemporary, space-themed design. Its unique character again demonstrates how La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton has successfully marked its own path among its peers within traditional high-end Swiss watchmaking.