By Kien Lee
Louis Vuitton first launched in 2002, the Tambour. Bold and innovative, the watch from the French Maison immediately possessed a distinguishable silhouette, with its unprecedented shape, a round case sculpted from a block of metal, and its signature applied horns
Twenty Years of the Tambour
Since that time, the Tambour has seen presented itself in different iterations, whilst maintaining the brand's DNA: a devotion to the Art of Travel and bold creativity that combines technological innovation with exceptional craftsmanship.
In 2009, the Tambour Spin Time utilized rotating cubes instead of clock hands and indexes to display time. In 2011, La Fabrique du Temps in Geneva and its master watchmakers, Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini, joined Louis Vuitton watchmaking arm, and in 2014, launched the Tambour Evolution sized at 45 mm, and the Tambour Slim in a Tourbillon version, in 2016.
The Tambour Moon model that was launched in 2017, saw a retention of the watch's round case whilst reversing the baseband's curve. Then, in 2020, the Tambour Curve quite literally pushed the boundaries of timekeeping, with its titanium and Carbostratum® case; its surprisingly elongated convex curve, and its phenomenal flying tourbillon calibre, stamped with the prestigious Geneva Seal (Poinçon de Genève) – a perfect match between high-complication movement and bold creativity.
In 2021, the Tambour Carpe Diem received the Audacity Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, while the Tambour Street won the Diver’s Watch Prize.
The Tambour is available also as a smartwatch, with the 3rd generation of its Tambour Horizon Light Up model launched this year. The connected watch is not only is it bright, travel-friendly and playful, but it is also entirely customisable, thus staying true to the Maison’s DNA.
The Tambour Twenty in 2022
In celebration of the Tambour's 20th anniversary, La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton has created an exclusive anniversary model, the Tambour Twenty. The limited edition of 200 pieces pays tribute to the original Tambour by reprising the iconic codes that made it an icon of watchmaking design.
The Tambour Twenty boasts the same unique and instantly recognisable case, a nod to the watch's tambour component which, in English, is known as the “drum”. The timepiece stands out with its deep, flared shape, which gives it a robust and reliable feel.
On its iconic 41.5 mm diameter case are the twelve letters that make up the name “Louis Vuitton” across the numbers and indexes, similar to the original 2002 version. This collector’s edition also features a brown sun-brushed dial, with two sub-dials making a reappearance, along which the chronograph’s long yellow hand glides - a nod to the thread historically used in leatherwork.
The Tambour Twenty, which is water-resistant to 100 metres, runs on the LV277 high-frequency movement which in turn is based off the Zenith El Primero, the first automatic chronograph ever.
This movement with 22-carat gold rotor and 50 hours of power reserve is exact to the tenth of a second.
Limited to only 200 pieces, with the numbering engraved on its caseback, the Tambour Twenty is also available with a miniature trunk in Monogram canvas - a tribute to Louis Vuitton’s travel legacy, clients can continue to protect their most precious belongings in cases that will stand the test of time.