When it comes to Louis Vuitton watches, we can clearly see two categories. On one side is the so-called core collection, luxury watches composed of traditional complications and styles, such as the Tambour Street Diver. The other side of the spectrum is a collection of high-end watches showcasing impressive expertise, created and manufactured according to haute horlogerie standars, thanks to the talent of the in-house atelier, La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton. Specialized in animated watches with jacquemarts and traditional complications such as tourbillons and repeaters, the latest creation to come out of this Geneva-based manufacture is a pair of coloured sapphire openworked tourbillons finished according to the Geneva seal; the Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Tourbillon Volant in green and yellow sapphire cases.
The name Tambour is inevitable when it comes to Louis Vuitton watches. This drum-shaped case, with the 12 letters of the brand engraved on the flanks and short attached lugs to respect the cylindrical shape has become the signature design of almost the entire collection. Created in 2002, it has evolved over the years, giving birth to new interpretations, such as Tambour Moon. First released in 2017, it re-invented the concept by inverting the curves of the case, moving from convex, domed flanks to concave, recessed sides to give a refined, more subtle style to the watch – a shape that evoked that of a crescent moon. Only available with the finest movements of the brand, all of them made by LFT, the Tambour Moon Tourbillon Volant has once been the first sapphire-cased watch to bear Geneva Seal. And now, they come crafted from single blocks of synthetic sapphire in fluorescent green or yellow.
Bright, translucent and polarizing. But also rather impressive in terms of execution. The new yellow and green LV Tambour Moon Tourbillon Volant are relying on the classic shape of the collection, now crafted from a single block of tinted sapphire. Obtained by heating aluminium oxide at temperatures of around 2000° Celsius, synthetic sapphire combines the advantages of its transparency with its great resistance, with a hardness only surpassed by diamonds. These new editions, with striking colours that appear almost fluorescent, are made from a single cylinder of mass-tinted sapphire in order to get a consistent colour on all parts (case middle, caseback and LV bridge), over the entire production of 20 pieces per colourway. Each component is cut from this sapphire crystal bar using diamond tools, and then polished to reveal its transparency. In total, a complete case required 420 hours of work.
These Tambour Moon Tourbillon Volant in green or yellow sapphire are housed in cases measuring 42.5mm in diameter, with a reasonable height of 9.9m. It is complemented by horns and a crown made of titanium with black sand-blasted PVD treatment. As always with the Tambour shape, the diameter of the watch isn’t true to the compactness of the case, which wears short on the wrist. The 12 letters forming the Louis Vuitton logo are engraved on the outer side of the concave case middle of the Tambour Moon, just like the 12 hour markers on the inner flange – both lacquered to stand out from the sapphire case. Water-resistance is ensured by the use of a transparent gasket positioned between the case middle and the screwed caseback.
The tinted sapphire cases of these new Tambour Moon are a perfect vessel to showcase the openworked, in-house movement inside. Light and fully opened, this hand-wound movement is produced by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton and finished according to the Geneva seal – a certificate of origin, precision and quality, ensuring that the watch is made and hand-finished in the Canton of Geneva, then tested for resistance and precision. The Calibre LV90 has an 80-hour power reserve and a flying tourbillon with a finely decorated carriage designed like LV’s Monogram Flower motif. The movement is finished in a modern way, with a series of matt black circles.
Worn on a black or green alligator strap, the new sapphire Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Tourbillon Volant watches are each limited to 20 pieces. They are priced at around EUR 400,000 (excl. taxes). For more details, please visit louisvuitton.com.
Technical specifications – Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Tourbillon Volant Poinçon de Genève
Case: 42.5mm diameter x 9.90mm height – case milled from a solid block of green- or yellow-tinted sapphire crystal – sapphire crystals with AR coating, front and back – Titanium crown and horns, with black sand-blasted PVD treatment – water-resistant to 30m
Dial: openworked structure coated in black, matte finishing – coloured sapphire LV bridge – openworked black and white hands
Movement: Calibre LV 90, in-house by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton – certified timepiece according to the Geneva seal – hand-wound – 17 jewels – 160 components – 21,600 vibrations/hour, flying one-minute tourbillon – 80h power reserve – hours and minutes
Strap: Alligator strap in black or green – Titanium ardillon buckle with black sand-blasted PVD treatment
References: Q8DB2Y – green
Q8DB1Y – yellow
Availability: Limited and numbered edition of 20 pieces per colourway
Price: Approx. EUR 400,000 (excl. taxes)