The Mesmerısıng Beauty of the Louıs Vuıtton Tambour Moon Flyıng Tourbıllon Kaleıdoscope
The French luxury powerhouse is securing its relatively young watchmaking division a firm position in the top echelons of watchmaking, now in the hands of LVMH scion Jean Arnault. Louis Vuitton’s Tambour watch, which debuted in 2002, is the backbone of the brand’s horological adventure represented by models ranging from urbanite Street Divers to the latest sporty/chic integrated Tambour all the way up to impressive Haute Horlogerie marvels like the Tambour Opera Automatic. The latest Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Kaleidoscope pays tribute to the brand’s iconic Monogram Flower with a finely crafted cloisonné enamel dial animated by a flying tourbillon.
Starting life as a purveyor of luxury travel trunks, Louis Vuitton (1821-1892) understood the power of effective branding and developed motifs that would become intimately associated with the brand, including the interlocking LV monogram. His son, Georges Vuitton, invented the famous quatrefoils or four-petal Monogram Flower motif in 1896.
Another name that crops up frequently at LV is Anita Porchet, the best-known enamel artist in watchmaking who has crafted the exquisite enamel dial of recurring Monogram Flowers. Using the ancestral technique of cloisonné enamel, gold threads are soldered to the dial to create the kaleidoscope pattern. The gold threads form thin partitions separating the different colours of enamel. Using a predominantly purple (the most difficult colour to achieve in enamelling) and blue palette, the dial took nearly two weeks to complete. The gold hands are skeletonised to ensure full viewing pleasure, and discreet gold semi-spherical dots represent the hour markers.
Empowered by the horological expertise of La Fabrique du Temps, which the brand bought in 2011, complications are the order of the day and the latest Tambour is fitted with a flying tourbillon calibre. Dominating the lower half of the dial is the large aperture for the tourbillon with a large V placed in the heart of the carriage – a tribute to Louis Vuitton’s grandson, Gaston-Louis Vuitton, who ran LV for more than 50 years. The caseback reveals the LV 81 calibre with its micro-rotor and decorative details, recreating the striped Trianon canvas of 1858.
The Tambour case selected for this model responds to the redesign undertaken in 2017. Crafted in 18k rose gold, the polished case has a diameter of 42mm and a thickness of 11.5mm and features the signature drum-shaped concave profile that suggests that of a crescent moon. The watch is presented with a blue alligator strap with an 18k rose gold pin buckle.