In celebration of 200 years since the one and only Louis Vuitton was born, the brand’s horology house, La Fabrique du Temps, is introducing a unique timepiece. The Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater takes its inspiration from humankind’s conquest of space and integrates an array of horological wonders. The watch marks the first time that the maison has endowed a timepiece with an automaton mechanism alongside a cathedral gong minute repeater.
The unique Tambour timepiece comes in the maison’s recognisable drum-shaped case. Cast in white gold and titanium, the timepiece has a sizeable 46.8 mm diameter and is refashioned to evoke a space capsule and astronaut helmet. Meanwhile, its winding crown, interestingly placed at 12 o’clock, is reminiscent of 20th century chiming pocket watches. As always, the bezel bears the ‘LOUIS VUITTON’ signature, also this unusually appears in blue rubber. Various details on the watch are set with gemstones, complementing the deep blue dial.
The dial of this model is like no other we’ve seen before, whether from La Fabrique du Temps or any other manufacture. Highly creative and beautifully crafted, the dial is not only innovative in horological terms, but also a work of art in its own right. The innovative watchmaker worked alongside two famous artisans, engraver Dick Steenman and enameller Anita Porchet, to bring this unique creation to life.
Anita Porchet combined several techniques, such as enamel miniature painting, to portray the imaginary planet and stars on the dial. Meanwhile, engraver Dick Steenman is responsible for the sculpting of the white-gold moving automaton rocket and planets. In addition, Louis Vuitton coat the open-worked hands with luminescence for 24-hour legibility.
Powering Louis Vuitton’s ingenious Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater is the manual-winding calibre LV200. With Louis Vuitton creating and assembling the complex movement in their Geneva workshop, the manual-winding LV200 requires 480 components in order to provide hours, minutes, as well as the jacquemart function with a cathedral gong minute repeater.
Louis Vuitton integrate a sapphire crystal caseback, allowing the owner to admire the eye-catching blue movement with its fine Côtes de Genève finishing. Beating at a frequency of 3 Hz, the bespoke timepiece has an impressive 100-hour power reserve.
The jacquemart function
Originally, jacquemarts were automatons designed to strike the hour
on church bells. When watchmakers miniaturised them on watches,
they became essentially decorative, as the time was still traditionally
marked by classic hands. The dial of the Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater has no less than nine jacquemarts. When the wearer activates the push button, the rocket ‘takes off’, revealing diamond ‘passengers’ in its cockpit. The precious metal planets then rotate, while two shooting stars fly across the dial following the rotation of LV’S monogram flower rotation.
Louis Vuitton combine this visual display with an auditory delight: a cathedral gong minute repeater. Once essential to tell the time at night, the minute repeater still chimes the hours, quarter hours and minutes. The head watchmakers of La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton chose this type of gong to provide a deeper, more solemn sound with a longer-lasting resonance. Furthermore, the watchmakers worked closely alongside the client in order to curate the sound to match the buyer’s personal preference.
Strap and availability
This brings us to availability: the Louis Vuitton Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater is a unique bespoke piece. La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton equip the timepiece with a sporty blue rubber strap, and present the watch in an exclusive Louis Vuitton travel box.
|MODEL||Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater
|CASE MATERIAL||Sandblasted titanium and 18-carat white gold Tambour case
|DIMENSIONS||Diameter: 46.8 mm
Height: 15.12 mm
|DIAL||Enamel and miniature hand-painting, jacquemarts hand-sculpted in white gold, open-worked hour and minute hands with blue lume, diamonds
|STRAP/BRACELET||Blue rubber strap with Louis Vuitton logo
|MOVEMENT TYPE||Manual winding
|POWER RESERVE||100 hour power reserve
|FREQUENCY||3 Hz (21,600 vph)
|FUNCTIONS||Hours, minutes, minute repeater with cathedral gongs, automaton mechanism for 9 jacquemart figures