In relation to watches in 2023, nothing screams luxurious greater than an built-in bracelet. Now, are they notably sensible? No. Are they cool? Positively. And if watches with built-in bracelets are luxurious, then a gold watch with an built-in bracelet – and a Louis Vuitton emblem on the dial – is the peak of decadence. Enter the brand new Louis Vuitton Tambour in gold: an extremely luxurious proposition that represents not solely a excessive watermark for gold built-in bracelet timepieces but in addition for Louis Vuitton’s new watchmaking pursuits extra broadly.
My colleague Fergus goes into nice element in regards to the design of the brand new Louis Vuitton Tambour of their hands-on review of the stainless steel models, so I like to recommend you learn that first. The most important speaking level in regards to the new Tambour design is that it represents a marked departure from the exceptionally chunky Tambour designs of the previous: it’s nonetheless acquired that recognisable drum-like kind, however at 40mm in diameter and solely 8.3mm thick, it’s a a lot slimmer, dressier proposition, comfortably becoming beneath a cuff with a a lot much less pronounced profile.
Earlier Tambour designs (to my eyes, no less than) have been considerably – nicely, perhaps not artless, however an acquired style, particularly when imagined in treasured metals. The slimmer, extra elegant type of the brand new Tambour is a much more stylish design – however extra importantly, it’s nowhere close to as heavy, particularly when imagined in gold. The brand new Louis Vuitton Tambour is obtainable in two gold alloys: yellow gold and rose gold, with the previous obtainable with a silver dial, and the latter with a chocolate brown dial. Extra on these dials in a bit.
It’s vital when making a be careful of gold – particularly a watch with an built-in bracelet – that the bracelet is each well-balanced ergonomically and visually spectacular. That is one thing LV has completely nailed with the Tambour’s bracelet: considerably neo-vintage in look, it options vast, flat brushed hyperlinks that alternate with skinny, polished stadium-shaped hyperlinks, which catch the sunshine brilliantly. The bracelet has a curvaceous, considerably natural look – it’s a way more thought of design than earlier metallic bracelets obtainable for Tambour fashions, which featured a lot larger, much less slinky hyperlinks.
It’s acquired an virtually lugless look, thanks partially to the intelligent design of the built-in bracelet, which connects to the watch inside a shoulder on the again of the case. Extra importantly, this design is extraordinarily ergonomic, which is vital while you’re lugging a giant hunk of Franco-Swiss gold round in your wrist. A hidden butterfly clasp permits the gorgeous design of the bracelet to wrap round one’s wrist in a single uninterrupted, luxurious golden bangle. It’s actually one thing.
The dial of the brand new Louis Vuitton Tambour can also be an aesthetic affair and one which’s full of gold. A considerably Nineteen Thirties-esque sector design with alternating brushed and matte surfaces (plus an azuraged small seconds at 6 o’clock), every sector is delineated with polished gold indices and dividers, in addition to semi-skeletonised gold alpha arms tipped with lume. It completely straddles the boundary between dressiness and sportiness.
Whereas usually I’m a yellow gold form of man, I discover myself drawn most to the rose gold/chocolate dial mannequin. Not sufficient watchmakers make brown dials, and the Tambour’s is really distinctive: the crisp sector dial completely enhances its virtually ganache-like hue. It’s additionally quintessentially Louis Vuitton: it’s the color of their leather-based items, the inspiration of the Maison.
It’s not simply the case of the brand new Tambour that’s obtained a Midas contact. Its LFT023 motion, a co-creation of Louis Vuitton’s La Fabrique Du Temps and the famend Le Cercle des Horlogers, incorporates a strong gold micro-rotor engraved with dozens of little LV logos, which stands out towards the perlaged metal mainplate of the motion. Right here, the usage of gold is each aesthetic and practical: gold’s heavier than metal, so it’s generally used within the creation of micro-rotors, that are extensively thought of an indication of haute horlogerie.
Apparently, the LFT023 is based mostly on the CH200.CHSA calibre that powers the Speake-Marin Ripples, one other built-in bracelet luxurious sports activities watch – but it surely’s fascinating to see how LV’s gone in such a unique route in relation to ending the motion. The place the Speake-Marin incorporates a conventional aesthetic with côtes de Genève and a white gold rotor, the Louis Vuitton’s motion is grained and incorporates a luxe gold rotor. The bridges are even designed to look a bit like an LV emblem. It’s an irrefutably stunning motion, and comes off as a extra luxurious providing, each for its horological sophistication and aesthetic brilliance – vital while you’re housing it in a gold watch.
Louis Vuitton is a maximalist model; one which’s a byword for luxurious. In some ways, few manufacturers go well with gold higher than LV… And the brand new Tambour notably fits gold nicely. It is a excellent instance of how a lot a unique case materials can change the aesthetic of a watch: whereas the brand new Tambour in metal is sporty and exudes a form of ‘quiet luxurious’ vibe, the gold Tambour is unabashedly luxurious – but not OTT. It’s ‘elevating its voice’ somewhat than screaming.
Louis Vuitton Tambour Gold pricing and availability
The brand new Louis Vuitton Tambour in gold is now obtainable from Louis Vuitton boutiques Australia-wide and online. Worth: A$88,000.
|W1YG10 (yellow gold/silver dial)
W1PG10 (rose gold/brown dial)
|40mm (D) x 8.3mm (T)
|18ct yellow or rose gold
|Sapphire with AR coating
|Two-tone silver or chocolate brown
|Gold bracelet with three-blade folding clasp
|LFT023, by La Fabrique du Temps and Le Cercle des Horlogers, CH200.CHSA base, micro-rotor
|Hours, minutes, small seconds
|Accessible now from Louis Vuitton Australia