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Louis Vuitton Time - The Tambour Collection

Tambour: drum n. Lateral wall of a barrel or other similar hollow, cylindrical part.
Illustrated Professional Dictionary of Horology, G-A. Berner.

This timepiece has become an icon. Tambour, launched in 2002, a watch by Louis Vuitton, a name linked with craftsmanship, embodied in the watchmaking workshops of La Chaux-de-Fonds which hold all the promises of the future.

LA CHAUX DE FONDS

With its first workshop employing a team of 30, established in 2002 at La Chaux-de-Fonds in the Swiss Jura, Louis Vuit...

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THE COLLECTIONS

Showing 1 - 32 of 37 items
Showing 1 - 32 of 37 items

Louis Vuitton Time - The Tambour Collection

Tambour: drum n. Lateral wall of a barrel or other similar hollow, cylindrical part.
Illustrated Professional Dictionary of Horology, G-A. Berner.

This timepiece has become an icon. Tambour, launched in 2002, a watch by Louis Vuitton, a name linked with craftsmanship, embodied in the watchmaking workshops of La Chaux-de-Fonds which hold all the promises of the future.

LA CHAUX DE FONDS

With its first workshop employing a team of 30, established in 2002 at La Chaux-de-Fonds in the Swiss Jura, Louis Vuitton marked a new chapter in its development. Its ambition was to design and develop a movement, with the Tambour as its case and also its signature. In 2009, new premises were built to house the expanded team of 50. Like Asnières (for special leather goods' orders) and Fiesso (for footwear), La Chaux-de-Fonds - a stopping-off point on the watchmaking route that links Geneva to Basel - represents the quest for exception, in all its forms.

Together with nearby Le Locle, these two towns have been at the heart of the Swiss watchmaking industry since the 17th century. Originally from neighbouring cantons, then from France - many Huguenots had fled France - the inhabitants of La Chaux-de-Fonds saw their town named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. Combining the culture of travel with a sense of strong roots, an element of surprise with timeless values, Louis Vuitton's history is connected with all times. The time of memory, the present time and the time of all the futures to come.

YVES CARCELLE

"The Tambour collection embodies Louis Vuitton's core values of craftsmanship, know-how and emphasis on excellence. It is also a homage to the first miniature watch created in the West in 1540. Its design projects it into the future, while its concept and manufacture anchor it in the memory of a history : the great tradition of watchmaking. By locating its watchmaking workshops in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Louis Vuitton has made a clear choice: to develop the exceptional craftsmanship of this heritage town, a guardian of time. By making their own movements, the Louis Vuitton watchmaking workshops are taking another step forwards. The Tambour is not just one of the best, most respected collections of watches. With the Tambour, travel and time are joined in the ultimate embrace, at the pinnacle of design, craftsmanship and technology."

LOUIS VUITTON TIME / THE TAMBOUR COLLECTION

Tambour? The word evokes both the cylinder of a clock, the ancestor of the western watch, and a musical instrument associated with celebrations. In 2002, Tambour, a truly innovative shape in the watchmaking industry, incorporated all the company's values into its design: the twelve letters of Louis Vuitton engraved on the case, next to each hour, the brown dial and the yellow of the seconds' hands, echoing the waxed thread of the Louis Vuitton bags. On some models, like the Tambour V, the V of the dial is directly inspired by Louis Vuitton's historical signature.

As well as these references, Tambour has come to symbolise identity, a signature, combining timeless looks with the highest technical standards.

THE ART OF MOVEMENT

When it launched its first collection of watches in 2002, Louis Vuitton left its mark on the world of watchmaking. Swiss history was in the making. New movements were created by the most prestigious makers, such as Joux Perret (Tourbillon, Réserve de Marche (Power Reserve)), Dubois Depraz (Régate) and Zenith with El Primero (LV 277). Integrated into the Louis Vuitton watchmaking workshops since 2006, our watchmakers are the very soul of their watches, they are the people who create the movements, a process that requires a minimum of two years. Their mission: to develop new complications, particularly related to travel, and that embody the most vibrant aspects of the watchmaker's art. Several patents have been filed. With an exceptional 8 day-8 hour power reserve, the Tambour Mystérieuse, launched in 2009, has succeeded in hiding its own mechanism. The eye cannot catch the slightest glimpse of the movement. This technical masterpiece is made up of 115 parts, all performing at the peak of watchmaking virtuosity.

ASSEMBLY

A Tambour watch can contain up to 100 components, all fully tested at the production site and by our in-house team. All parts are checked at every stage of assembly. The preparations prior to manufacturing are rigorous, to ensure everything is in place: back, clamp and gold screws, crown stems, hour wheels... Staffs, tongues, barrettes, casing circles, short arbors, long arbors... Some pieces are custom-made before being used in the manufacture, ensuring optimal standards are respected. With its square scales, only the frontal skin of the alligator is used for watch straps: the tail and sides have irregular, raised scales and so are not suitable. Sold exclusively in 200 Louis Vuitton stores around the world, the watches are encased in protective shells and delivered in vacuum packs.

QUALITY CONTROL

This covers checking components as well as finished products. From receipt of the parts required for manufacturing a movement to checking the cases, Louis Vuitton's high standard of technical and operational controls allows it to issue five-year guarantees, much longer than the market standard. Quality control includes random testing of the materials' robustness to ensure, for example, that a dial does not change colour over time, or that the leather does not bleed, alongside traction and torsion tests. The watch is checked to ensure it is watertight and airtight, and undergoes an array of tests. It is plunged into water, then heated, then immersed in cold water. Most watches are watertight to 100m, a sign of quality and durability.

JEWELRY SETTING

Brilliant-cut or baguette-cut, diamonds are part of the Tambour legend. They illuminate and highlight a dial, and in the Tambour Mystérieuse and Tourbillon Monogram, even become part of the movement itself. The gems are tested for the 4Cs (Carats, Clarity, Cut, Colour) and are analysed by an approved laboratory in Basel. In terms of diamonds alone, Louis Vuitton uses up to 30 different diameters.

TRAVEL INSTRUMENTS

Since 1854, when the company Louis Vuitton was created, travel has been one of the founding elements. The Tambour Orientation watch has a Manufacture movement designed by the Maison. This exclusive LV122 calibre offers a useful feature for all travellers : according to the sun's position in the sky, the wearer can estimate the direction of north, whichever hemisphere they are in. For explorers of modern life, the 42-hour power reserve and the sunstone indicating solar time contribute to this fusion of technology and tradition, in honour of travel.

With the Tambour Spin Time, collection launched in 2010, Louis Vuitton watchmaking is offering a new way of reading the time through the rotating movement of the stems. Two of the twelve visible axes (current hour/ next hour) turn simultaneously, each featuring a cube at its end displaying in turn a numbered or neutral face engraved with the house's celebrated historic V. The open dial allows a better understanding of how the module functions, incorporating these twelve components in the form of a Maltese cross. They turn each axis a quarter turn in a day.

In 2010, this collection includes two models: a Tambour Spin Time GMT XL (44 mm) model in white gold, with an LV 119 mechanical calibre movement, which offers an original jumping hour display mode; and a Tambour Spin Time Joaillerie, a women's white gold L (39.5 mm) watch with an LV 96 automatic calibre movement. The current hour is displayed by a cylinder set with black diamonds in the section of the dial paved with white diamonds, and vice versa for the lower section. The hand has been crafted in the style of a quill pen, calligraphing a sky sprinkled with stars.

The manufacture offers another patented innovation : inspired by a car's transfer case, the new Level Up system is a crown stem lifting system, which makes it easier to manipulate the crown and gives greater comfort on the wrist.

A MANUFACTURE MOVEMENT

Used in the LV277 chronograph and certified by the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres), the LV277 movement measures intervals of time in hours, minutes, seconds and fifths of seconds. Admired by the world's best watchmakers, this exquisite movement works with all watch styles, from the emblematic brown dial, the Tambour in Black, or the jewelry version set with diamonds.

THE CALL OF THE SEA

Louis Vuitton has had a close connection with the sea since 1854. As early as 1901, Louis Vuitton designed the steamer bag, an item of luggage specially designed for travelling on ocean liners. Then in the 1930s it designed smaller models for taking on yachts. From the Louis Vuitton Cup to the Louis Vuitton Trophy, held in Nice in 2009, the regatta is an event that takes up the challenge of style and performance.

Nautical adventure meets seduction with a Tambour sports version for women. With its 34mm case of polished steel and a dial in white mother-of-pearl or black lacquer, the Chronograph Tambour Lovely Cup is designed to be worn on deck, from dawn to nightfall.

For men, the black Chronograph Tambour Régate is equipped with an automatic movement (the LV171 calibre) with regatta functions: a timer counts down the ten minutes before the start, and the flyback can be used to stop and restart the countdown with a single push.

Water again with the chic, sporty Tambour Diving. Its bold colours and luminescent hands, index and details in Superluminova stand out from the dial, giving this watch, which is watertight to 300m, a timeless strength.

EXERCISES IN STYLE
THE TAMBOUR MYSTERIEUSE

Inspired by the inventions of Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin in the 19th century, the Tambour Mystérieuse showcases a unique, ingenious device in watchmaking: a mechanism hidden by a system of transparent sapphire glass discs. It is impossible to perceive the movement with the naked eye. Time floats, as if by magic. This is the first watch designed, made and assembled in the Louis Vuitton watchmaking workshops. Most of the parts that make up this LV115 calibre are crafted by hand. Virtuosity is the watchword, which is reflected in the performance of the power reserve: 8 days-8 hours.

The Tambour Mystérieuse is the absolute symbol of the art of personalisation, taken to its extreme : the customer's initials can be inlaid in the watch's oscillating weight, like gold inlaid in the sapphire glass. The three basic styles, Techno, City and Night, are the starting points for an infinite number of variations, from white gold to platinum, the setting of gemstones on the mechanism and on the horns. To honour this extraordinary timepiece, Louis Vuitton has created a case in the shape of a treasure chest, made to order at the Asnières workshops to match the requirements of each individual customer.

PERSONALIZATION
THE TOURBILLON MONOGRAM

By letting the customer choose the stones (rubies, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds, etc) to be set into the movement, Louis Vuitton takes the made-to-measure concept further than any other watchmaker. The Tourbillon Tambour Monogram cannot exist without the symbol, the letter, the personalised element chosen by the customer to form the centre wheel bridge. Originally, this small part was shaped into the letters LV of the brand, in gold, set with diamonds. An essential part of the movement itself, the shape of this piece can be altered to suit the requirements of its future owner. The latter can also choose the precious metal of the case and hands (platinum, or yellow, pink or white gold). And finally, the customer can choose from among the Louis Vuitton leathers and canvases the one that will cover the "treasure chest" case in which the watch will be delivered. To fulfil such an order, the customer must wait a year for delivery.

Time gets under the skin. It depends on mood, taste, personality. The customer can choose between 50 colour and material combinations. From the traditional choices like alligator or calfskin, to an impressive selection of rare and precious skins, for the ultimate touch of made-to-measure luxury: sharkskin, dogfish, toad, beaver, ostrich foot, and lizard.


KEY DATES AND FIGURES

2002 : Launch of Louis Vuitton's first watch collection and the Tambour LV277 chronograph.
2004 : Tambour LV Cup Régate, the first watch directly inspired by the Louis Vuitton Cup,
the legendary yachting competition.
2005 : Tambour Tourbillon.
2006 : Tambour In Black.
2008 : Tambour Orientation.
2009 : Tambour Mystérieuse.
2010 : Tambour Spin Time.

171 components in the Régate movement.
18 mm : the diameter of the Tambour Bijou.
44.5mm : the diameter of the Tambour Diving.
152 g : the weight of platinum in the Régate Platinum.

60 different operations required to make a watch strap.
50 minutes on average to make just one strap.

60 quality tests carried out on each Louis Vuitton watch.

200 Louis Vuitton stores sell the Tambour watch.