Louis Vuitton gives the diver’s watch a haute couture makeover
The watch: the Louis Vuitton Tambour Street Diver
The best thing about this watch: The traditional diving watch receives the haute couture touch of Louis Vuitton.
The backstory: While the watchmaking world and the Watches & Wonder trade fair have been dominated by Rolexes, Jaeger LeCoultres and Patek Philippes from around the world, luxury timepieces are not just the domain of traditional Swiss houses. Since 2002, Louis Vuitton has been in the luxury watch game with its round Tambour model. This year the model has been reworked to become what the brand calls the Street Diver. The result is a generously sized watch with a concave dial design and the brand name inscribed along the outer ring. The watch is available in neon yellow, bronze, white and a bright vivid blue. This is a traditional diver’s watch – remade for an underwater version of the film Tron.
This watch counts in the world of watches because: this is yet another sign that watches are of increasing concern to luxury high fashion houses. While most collectors are very confident about who makes their clothes and who makes their timepieces, brands like Louis Vuitton argue for this bias. Beyond the Tambour Street Diver, one of Watches & Wonders’ liveliest pieces was the Hermès Safari-ready H08 watch. Dolce & Gabbana, meanwhile, maintains an outrageous line of watches, built with chronographs. and lots of diamonds. Ralph Lauren now uses its iconic pony logo on timepieces. Nor are these watches the luxury fashion items of yesteryear, all flash and without substance. Watches like the Tambour and those of other fashion brands now use real movements and showcase the technical details that collectors love. It is also not difficult to diagnose the reason for the renewed interest of these brands in watches, as the industry continues to explode. Louis Vuitton has seen how much people love watches: Abloh himself is a massive and influential collector.
Who needs to dive? The Tambour Street Diver is a good reminder that everything that makes the diver’s watch useful is also what makes it extremely stylish. Soft rounded hour markers, readable dial and rotating bezel are all necessary for real divers, but they have also become beloved aesthetic touches. Even the shiny Super-LumiNova applied to the Tambour – designed to make the watch easier to read underwater – only makes the room accents even tastier to look at.
Where and when to buy it: The Tambour Street Diver (priced at $ 7,505 to $ 16,910) is now available on the Louis Vuitton website.
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