When the Tambour was first unveiled by Louis Vuitton at its La Chaux-de-Fonds workshop in 2002, the watch world was cautiously reserved in its admiration. A high-fashion maison dipping its toes into the world of horology was nothing new, but few brands had been able to effectively capture what makes the intricate art form so unique. While the original Tambour, which was inspired by Japanese taiko drums and featured a 39.5 mm round stainless steel case left a lot to be desired, it marked a new focus for the Parisian fashion house, which has finally been realised in 2023. If ever there were doubts over Louis Vuitton’s watchmaking prowess, consider them quashed.
Louis Vuitton has unveiled the new Tambour Twenty, an anniversary edition of the now iconic watch. This time around, the Tambour Twenty steps up the design a bit by making the case larger—41.5 mm—but sticking with the original design inspiration and material (stainless steel). Around the circumference of the case, you’ll see the name of Louis Vuitton spelled out in engraved letters, harking back to the original model. The clean look of the case contrasts beautifully with the sun-brushed dial, which is complemented perfectly by the long yellow seconds hand and two smaller hands for subsidiary dials.
The watch is powered by a chronograph movement—the La Fabrique du Temps LV 277 automatic movement to be specific. The chronograph times down to the tenth of a second. This high frequency caliber was based on the Zenith El Primero, which also came from the same LVMH group that created the LV 277. No expense was spared on the movement, with the rotor being made of 22-karat gold.
“Watch enthusiasts will recognise all the features that made the Tambour’s design so unique,” Jean Arnault, marketing and development director for Louis Vuitton watches, said in a statement. “While this limited edition is a true concentrate of everything that made this watch stand out, it also boasts brand new features that will set it apart for collectors. To me, as well as celebrating our anniversary, this watch also paves the way for many future decades of fine watchmaking, staying true to Louis Vuitton’s values of creativity, craftsmanship and excellence.”
The Tambour Twenty offers 50 hours of power reserve and is water resistant up to 100 metres. It comes with an engraved case back that reveals its production number—only 200 will be made. The Louis Vuitton Tambour Twenty is presented in a Louis Vuitton Trunk made with Monogram canvas. It’s priced at $17,800.
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