Louis Vuitton unveils its first smartwatch

Connected, customisable and cool, Louis Vuitton’s new Tambour Horizon watches open up a new dimension of practicality and style for today’s globetrotters.

Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon watch

Louis Vuitton is not missing a beat when it comes to attracting a new generation of globetrotting consumers who value practicality, style and the status associated with this Maison’s products. The new Tambour Horizon watch, the brand’s first timepiece endowed with smartwatch technology, embraces all the current market trends summed up by the three Cs – connected, customisable and cool – and is a smart travel companion for people who appreciate instant access to information but refuse to forego style. 

Tambour Horizon Black watch
Overriding the usual mandate of form follows function prevalent in the wearable tech market, Louis Vuitton’s Tambour Horizon is made to look and feel like a mechanical watch (£2,600).

Connecting prestigious companies to the future

It would be fair to say that the smartwatch industry has not performed in the stratospheric way that many originally prophesized. In a strange turn of events, it is no longer the big electronics companies that are investing in connected wear but fashion designers and even some traditional watch companies.

The reasons are pretty straightforward since all the companies involved have that magical essence known as “brand cachet” and, let’s face it, most of the smartwatches out there are not particularly fashion-forward. Wearable technology is just that: wearable technology with a secondary regard for aesthetics. 

Louis Vuitton’s Tambour Horizon watch is available in three different finishes: Graphite, Black and, pictured, Monogram (£2,140).

New horizons for the Tambour watch

As a company that brought glamour and practicality to global travel, Louis Vuitton applies the same principle to its first connected watch, the Tambour Horizon. Overriding the usual mandate of form following function prevalent in the wearable tech market, the Tambour Horizon is made to look and feel like a mechanical watch and is a direct descendant of the signature Tambour watch that first saw the light 15 years ago. Instead of its regular mechanical heart, the Tambour Horizon sports an Android Wear™ 2.0 operating system.

Like other luxury brands that have courted connectivity, Louis Vuitton is relying on the enormous brand recognition and cachet it commands and has designated the Tambour watch collection as the first product to test the waters of connected reality.

Customisation extends all the way to the wrist with a choice of 60 plus Louis Vuitton straps and an interchangeable strap system.

Pimp my ride

Customisation is the name of the game for Louis Vuitton’s Tambour collection today. The dial of the Tambour Horizon can be customised with LV iconography and set to different display modes depending on your needs. Another big advantage is that the dial – unlike the Apple smartwatch – does not go to sleep and fade to black. In addition to personalising the dial, you can choose from a range of 60 different interchangeable straps (prices start at £235) so you are just one click away from altering the look of your watch. In fact, the beauty of Louis Vuitton’s patented strap changing system is that it is compatible with all existing Tambour models, from the original to more recent models like the Tambour Slim and the Tambour Moon, regardless of the diameter of the watch.

Tambour Horizon Graphite watch
At 42mm, the case of the Tambour Horizon is exceptionally compact for a connected watch and works well on both female and male wrists (£2, 275).

What does it do?

Developed in conjunction with Qualcomm Technologies and Google, the device runs on Android Wear 2.0 software and will alert you to incoming emails, phone calls and texts as well as providing GMT functionality across all 24 time zones. Water-resistant to 30 metres and with a battery life of a full day, the Tambour Horizon also features a step counter for the calorie conscious.

In addition to the standard smartwatch features, the Tambour Horizon offers two proprietary Louis Vuitton apps developed for people on the move. “My Flight” is the first app to offer travellers updated information of flight times, terminal and gate information, and delay alerts for a smoother and less stressful journey. The second app is the “City Guide”. Louis Vuitton’s acclaimed city guides, packed with the best addresses and sights in seven cities, are literally at your fingertips. Equipped with a geolocation function, the guides flag restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions in the vicinity in real time.

Tambour Horizon Monogram watch
With the new Tambour Horizon watch, Louis Vuitton has not missed a beat when it comes to attracting a new generation of globetrotting consumers who value practicality, style and the status (£2,140).

Look and feel

At 42mm, the case is exceptionally compact for a connected watch and works well on both female and male wrists. Available in three different finishes – Graphite, Black and Monogram – its silhouette will remind you of the Tambour Moon watch released earlier this year, with its slightly concave depression on the case adding volume and depth.

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