Louis Vuitton exhibited its new watch collection in a beautiful mansion near the city center of Basel this year again. Among the treasures was a new flying tourbillon, the Tambour eVolution Tourbillon Volant, distinguished by a bridge designed in a stylized “V” motif that was invented by Gaston Vuitton in 1901 to adorn his famous Steamer Bag.
The case is made of pink gold, with an MMC (Metal Matrix Composite) middle, a ceramic/aluminum alloy. It has an automatic movement, Caliber LV81 by La Fabrique du Temps, with a 40-hour power reserve.
Another major introduction this year is the Escale World Timer, a colorful, original world timer with no hands. It works by means of three discs, one with a day/night indicator, one with minutes and one with the world’s 24 cities. The hour is indicated in the reference city. The disks are hand painted using acryllic paints in 38 colors, a process that takes 50 hours for each dial. It has a peripheral rotor, which can be seen through the caseback, rotating around a large “LV” in frosted glass. The case features corner pieces that are reminiscent of Louis Vuitton trunks – an element that features in several of the brand’s new watches this year. The movement was made by La Fabrique du Temps exclusively for Louis Vuitton.
Another hit was the Tambour Spin Time Regatta Titanium, a visual regatta timer with a five-minute countdown timer – conforming to the new America’s Cup rules that dictate a five-minute start. The movement, Caliber LV156, was made by La Fabrique du Temps, and is also a chronograph. The five-minute countdown is indicated on the dial by five rotating cubes. The watch is unique in that the three dials work together to time two races and then track the difference between the two times.
The Tambour Twin Chrono Grand Sport is a dual chronograph also allows two competitors to be timed separately and then shows the difference between their times at the finish line. The movement, Caliber LV 175, was also made by La Fabrique du Temps, and functions by use of a three-level column wheel.
Louis Vuitton paid further homage to the structural elements of its trunks on the new ladies’ Emprise, incorporating them into the case side. The dial of the watch is designed to reflect the padding that protects the inside of the trunks. It was presented in both steel and gold versions, both set with diamonds. They contain quartz movements.
The Damier Absolu is another ladies’ dazzler, with either a mother-of-pearl marquetry or full diamond dial, surrounded by three rows of tapered baguette diamonds on an oversized bezel. Versions include either a diamond set bracelet or a white or pink strap. It is also quartz.
Finally, last year the brand introduced the ladies Tambour Monogram Tourbillon in pink gold, and this year presented a white gold version, with a mother-of-pearl dial and a bezel set with diamonds.