Louis Vuitton celebrates 20 years of Tambour with a limited edition Twenty watch
It was in 2002 that the iconic house of Louis Vuitton presented its first Tambour watch. Inspired by the English drum, the Tambour had a round case shape but with thicker case sides that flared out to mimic a drum and highly shaped integrated horns that almost looked like a hilt. While Louis Vuitton had started creating watches more than a decade earlier, in 1988, the Tambour was an important collection, as it was the first watch to make its debut since the brand’s workshops opened (also in 2002). Today, 20 years later, Louis Vuitton is launching the Tambour Twenty watch.
Like the very first Tambour, which housed an automatic GMT movement, the new Tambour Twenty also houses an automatic movement. This one, however, is a chronograph movement. The La Fabrique du Temps LV 277 automatic movement is a high-frequency caliber based on the Zenith El Primero movement, which was the first automatic chronograph in history. Both brands belong to the LVMH group. The rotor inside the movement is 22 carat gold and the watch has 50 hours of power reserve. The new watch is also larger than the original one. The 2003 version measured 39.5mm in diameter, while today’s watch is slightly larger at 41.5mm in diameter.
Additionally, like the first watch, the new piece features a sunbrushed brown dial. Like its first Tambour chronograph released in 2003, the Tambour Twenty features a long yellow hand for the central seconds chronograph function and two small yellow hands for two of the subsidiary dials. The Louis Vuitton name, consisting of 12 letters, is engraved on the sides of the case with a letter in front of each hour index, just like the original version.
The Tambour Twenty is water resistant to 100 meters and the chronograph stops at tenths of a second. Only 200 pieces will be made, each bearing its production number and each with an engraved case back. It is sold with a small Louis Vuitton trunk in Monogram canvas. Crafted from stainless steel, the new watch, which retails for $17,800, is a true homage to the original.
Louis Vuitton has regularly upgraded the Tambour over the years. In fact, the Tambour was so popular with Louis Vuitton enthusiasts, and watch enthusiasts in general, 20 years ago that it has become an icon at Louis Vuitton. Over the past two decades, several iterations have been made, including oversized (45mm) versions, slim versions, a tourbillon, minute repeater and more. In 2020, the brand even presented the Tambour Curve with a titanium and Carbostratum® case – proof that Louis Vuitton is not afraid to travel in new directions of high-tech materials. Diver versions, one of which won the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) in 2021, adorn the Tambour line – all as a testament to the versatility of aesthetic design and horological prowess that Les Fabriques du Temps de Louis Vuitton bring to the proverbial table.