Louis Vuitton’s recent Tambour Moon watch won the honor of wearing the Geneva Seal for its luxurious craftsmanship, but the new Tambour Horizon, the firm’s first smartwatch, looks to take things in a different direction by prioritizing luxury without skimping on the smarts. Created in conjunction with Google and Qualcomm, the watch runs a heavily modified version of Android Wear meant to be aesthetically pleasing, and put Louis Vuitton’s trademark travel sensibilities front and center. The 42mm watch contains an unnamed Qualcomm processor, likely the Snapdragon Wear 2100 that was specifically created for smartwatches. The smartwatch is set to come in three versions, being all black, polished, and satin, which cost between HK$20,000 and KH$23,500, which roughly translates to around the $2,600 mark to around $3,000. A release date has not yet been announced.
While the Tambour Horizon certainly won’t be sporting a Geneva Seal due to its lack of classical movement, the same team that designed the award-winning Tambour Moon is behind the new smartwatch. In order to get it just right, the team traveled to California. While all of the non-silicon parts of the watch are made in and shipped from Switzerland, just like the parts of any fine timepiece, the technical aspect and final assembly were taken care of in California. The end result is supposedly a smartwatch that can straddle the line and offer interested buyers the best of both worlds; a luxurious look, feel, and finish that scream premium and sport the best materials, along with top-notch smartwatch functionality with a powerful processor and well-made software.
Louis Vuitton’s vice president of watches and jewelry, Hamdi Chatti, said that this is only the first tech-centric venture that the company will pursue, and that future endeavors will likely sport the Horizon moniker. While Louis Vuitton is not the first luxury watchmaker to get into the smartwatch business, the creation of the Tambour Horizon certainly marks the first time that a powerful mainstream fashion name dipped their toe into the space. Louis Vuitton is known for far more than just watches, unlike Tag Heuer, the first luxury watchmaker to crank out a smart device in the form of its critically acclaimed Tag Heuer Connected. Louis Vuitton’s entry into the smartwatch space is easy to construe as a concession to the fact that major players in non-smart wearables will eventually have to make the choice to either jump into the market or let it pass them by, and it could have an interesting knock-on effect in the high fashion and fine watchmaking industries.