Fans of Louis Vuitton will know that almost every design to leave the portals of this Parisian luxury house is steeped in its 160-year-old history. And the new LV Fifty Five watches are no exception, tracing their design cues back to a particular style of trunk made in 1892 for intrepid Victorian explorers.
Called the LV Fifty Five, as LV in Roman numerals is 55, these Louis Vuitton watches are inspired by a robust tropical trunk made for adventurous travellers who, when heading into the tropics, required lightweight aluminium luggage to keep their linen suits and scientific instruments safe and dry. Aluminium was the perfect material thanks to its lightness and resilience, and so became the trunk of choice for voyages to extreme, steamy climes.
The Louis Vuitton LV Fifty Five watch collection follows the clean and elegant lines of this original trunk, which is one of the many historical items on display at the Louis Vuitton Volez, Voguez, Voyagez exhibition that will tour the world. Seeing these luxury watches together with the original inspiration for their design reminded me of how LV made its name by offering elegant solutions for needs such as transporting your wardrobe, microscope, or tea-set across the globe.
See other Louis Vuitton watches inspired by the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez ad campaign
The metal plaques on the Louis Vuitton LV Fifty Five watches are the most distinctive feature and refer back to the tamper-proof locks found on the trunks. Vuitton was proud of introducing this safety feature, which is still found on its luggage today. The winding crown looks like the round rivets that are nailed on the trunk’s exterior, while the links of the metal bracelet are shaped like the handles.
These new Louis Vuitton watches come in three sizes, with the 31mm (quartz) and 36mm (automatic) perfect for smaller wrists, while the larger 41mm GMT automatic, with a green hand to mark a second time zone, is particularly useful for frequent travellers.
As expected from the masters of luggage, the leather used for the soft straps employed historic techniques to create a comfortable fit combined with an elegant look and LV-monogrammed deployant clasps. The two smaller models have super-soft Veau Cachemire straps in pink or grey, while the 41mm model uses more robust black Taurillon leather. A metal bracelet is also available for a look closest to that of the original trunk.
So, if you are looking for luxury watches that combine style, history and a certain Parisian je ne sais quoi, then the Louis Vuitton LV Fifty Five collection is the one for you.