The Tambour Horizon is Louis Vuitton’s take on the smart watch. And it is too.
By James Gurney
Another day, another smart watch and Louis Vuitton’s entry is worth your attention. Android powered watches are fast becoming ubiquitous, but as recent launches have shown, it’s less about the chipset and all about the design. Packing enough battery and hardware to run Android Wear as per Google’s requirements means finding room for almost twice the volume a standard ETA 2824 takes up. That presents a rather tricky problem for watch designers, particularly as the trend of recent years is for smaller case sizes – do you just bulk up a regular case design and hope no-one notices the extra heft?
One person’s problem is, as ever, another’s opportunity. Louis Vuitton seem to have an ability with case shapes that’s miles ahead of the field – over the last couple of years, we’ve seen the Voyager, the Escale and the LV Fifty Five each of which has brought something new and, dare one say it, quite witty to the party. So if you were going to guess which case Louis Vuitton would use for a smart watch, it would have to be one of those – you didn’t think for a second that there wasn’t going to be one?
The brand has gone one better, however and re-invented the Tambour, Louis Vuitton’s first original case design, quite literally turning it inside out, or at least transforming convex case sides to concave. This is both an smart update for a staple design and, thanks to its relatively high sides, the perfect vessel for all the AMOLED screens and GPS modules. Louis Vuitton have, naturally enough, focussed the functions on travel with various custom apps that do things such as vibrate when you need to start running before the gate is closed or integrate with the brand’s city guides to locate restaurants and the like. It’s also just that bit more colourful than most.