The French house is marking the timepiece’s 20th anniversary with an ephemeral exhibition at South Coast Plaza
Words by ELIZABETH VARNELL
Louis Vuitton’s Tambour watch, designed to look as if it was carved from a solid metal block, is celebrating two decades with an immersive capsule exhibition held in the South Coast Plaza’s Jewel Court through Thursday, November 10. The presentation, a retrospective of the bold ticker, chronicles the timepiece’s various iterations from the first version launched in 2002 to the latest limited-edition Tambour Twenty model which debuted this past September. Its name, meaning drum in French, refers to its unique case shape, and on display are models showing the ways in which its understated look steadily evolves yet retains core elements from year to year. The current Tambour includes letters spelling the French trunk-maker’s name as the chronograph’s 12 dial indexes and the case’s solid shape still evokes the sturdy dependability of the house’s first forays into luggage and travel accessories. Long yellow hand glides nod to the thread traditionally used to create leatherwork cases.
The Tambour movement is based on the Zenith El Primero, the first automatic chronograph. Its many iterations over the years show both its versatility and continuously clean aesthetic. The first Regatta timer debuted in 2004, to be read at a glance by the crews competing in the Louis Vuitton Cup races, a series of sailing races to determine the America’s Cup challenger. The Tambour Diving also debuted that year, with 300-meter water resistance. The Spin Time model, launched in 2009, includes independently spinning cubes marking the hour rather than a central hand. The 2013 Tambour Slim has a larger bezel than its caseback and mother-of-pearl dials include diamond indexes. The Tambour Moon of 2017 includes a crescent-shaped profile with variations that include a Horizon smartwatch and the Mystérieuse Tourbillion-Volant with mechanics that appear to be suspended in mid-air. In all, the comprehensive exhibition is also a meditation on time’s eternal march. South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714-850-9273.
November 1, 2022
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