Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini (i.e. Chip and Dale), the two watchmakers from La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, have proved the excellence of their savoir-faire time and time again.
The instruments created inside their ateliers located in Meyrin, near Geneva, are real wonders. Frank sans C will probably pay them a little visit some day to show us in a video their innovative creations.
Tambour Curve: modernity and movement inspire Louis Vuitton’s reinterpretation of the iconic model
The Tambour Curve GMT Flying Tourbillon is an utterly futuristic rendition of the original emblematic Tambour watch, released in 2002. The round case of this piece is ultra-modernized thanks to a new striking design. The bezel, as well as the sapphire crystal, display a convex curve while the case back features a bombed and flared look.
This exclusive dynamic design is all about fluidity and movement. It gives the Tambour “Curve” a true aesthetic identity, a graphic signature of sorts.
Tourbillon and display of a second time zone: a perfect balance
At first glance, this Tambour Curve could easily be mistaken for a chronograph because of its two push-buttons. This has to do with the cleverness of the watchmakers who used them to make it very easy to set the GMT function. Indeed, the buttons are used to move forwards or backwards the small see-through disk, shaped like the LV logo, which points to the second time zone on a 24-hour scale inside the right subdial.
On the opposite side, another complication, and a good one at that, gives balance to the dial. Like a myriad of other fine watchmaking models designed by the manufacture, this timepiece integrates a calibre, which features a flying tourbillon.
It has to be said: the gyratory motion of the Tambour Curve is absolutely eye-catching. Placed at 9 o’clock, the V-shaped cage is hypnotizing with its one revolution per minute. The “logo” letter was designed by Gaston-Louis Vuitton over a hundred years ago.
Tambour Curve GMT Flying Tourbillon, a rock from the far reaches of space…
Louis Vuitton released three 46 mm diameter versions of the Tambour Curve GMT Flying Tourbillon (titanium or titanium with pink gold).
Still, one of the models comes with an extra-special touch.
Indeed, one of the editions of this watch, including complications made for globetrotters, displays a true wonder: the graphic and minimalist skeleton see-through dial reveals a disc made of a real meteorite.
It was carved out of the Gibeon meteorite, named after the town close to where it landed in Namibia, during prehistory. This 110 kg rock, made of iron, nickel and cobalt comes from the beginning of times and space. Westerners learned about its existence in 1836, when the British captain, James Edward Alexander, shipped samples to Europe.
But History remembers that native people had already known about the meteorite for centuries before that. The rock had crumbled before colliding with Earth and was used to make arrows and other tools.
…and forever-shining gemstones from the depths of the earth
While the markers of the other models, made of Super-LumiNnova, glow through the night, those of the meteorite dial version shine brightly.
To do so, the watchmakers set baguette-cut diamonds on the markers. These gems work their way up the steep surface of the internal bezel to illuminate the dial. You can count them: 22 baguette-cut diamonds in total (about 0.48 carats).
An impressive mechanical core for the Tambour Curve GMT Flying Tourbillon
It goes without saying that La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton designed a mechanism worthy of the beauty of its timepiece.
As previously mentioned, this automatic movement comes with a flying tourbillon. As for the rest of the inner workings, they are revealed through the case back by a sapphire crystal. The movement guarantees a 65-hour power reserve and it features an oscillating weight made of pink gold and carved in a V shape, which is nicely brought out by the sandblasted components of the calibre.