January 12, 2022
With the overwhelming rise of smartwatch sales over the past several years, traditional luxury watch brands have increasingly turned towards this high-tech market segment in an effort to secure a foothold with a new breed of luxury consumer. Louis Vuitton was one of the first non-tech brands to enter into this space in 2017, and for its first release of 2022 the luxury giant is unveiling its third-generation smartwatch design. This new iteration brings a thorough refresh to the brand’s cornerstone Tambour case design, a stunning wraparound LED display, and brings a heart rate monitor to the series for the first time. The new Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up delivers the brand’s most complete smartwatch experience to date, combining a capable suite of features with bold Louis Vuitton design sensibilities.
Measuring in at a sizeable 44mm-wide and 13.2mm-thick, the stainless steel case of the Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up offers a dramatic twist on the brand’s Tambour formula. The overall shape carries over the drum-inspired rounded tapering mid-case from the rest of the Tambour series, along with the line’s bold attached claw lugs. Where the Tambour Horizon Light Up sets itself apart, however, is its striking wraparound sapphire crystal. Rather than a traditional bezel, the crystal itself extends down to the case sides in an unbroken flowing line. Besides adding a clean, monocoque look to the design, this three-dimensional crystal allows the Tambour Horizon Light Up’s display to wrap over to the case profile, in a similar fashion to some modern cell phones. Louis Vuitton offers this case in a trio of available finishes, including polished stainless steel, warm matte brown PVD, and a two-tone model in matte black PVD and matte blasted titanium. Each of these iterations brings its own personality to the Tambour design, with the polished stainless steel model giving the watch a more traditional character in images in contrast to the luxe, ultra-modern look of the matte brown PVD model. The black and titanium variant is by far the sportiest of the three, however, and may well prove to be the most versatile for daily wear. The Tambour Horizon Light Up is also the first Louis Vuitton smartwatch to integrate pushers into its design, and the nearly flush oval pushers here blend smoothly into the overall form. The 2 o’clock pusher gives wearers a quick shortcut to shuffle between face options and configurations, while the 4 o’clock pusher offers a one-touch shortcut to a selected application. The Tambour Horizon Light Up’s caseback integrates a heart rate monitor for the first time in the series, which should open up the line to a suite of new fitness-related functionalities alongside the existing sensor suite of a microphone, accelerometer, gyroscope, and an ambient light sensor. Louis Vuitton rates the watch for a rudimentary 30 meters of water resistance.
The AMOLED touch screen dial of the Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up offers wearers a broad range of customization options and functions, allowing each individual to tailor the watch to their preferences. The base dial design can be swapped between eight different layouts, each playing of classic Louis Vuitton visual cues such as the brand’s trademark monogram pattern, and each of the eight designs can be further customized with 11 different vibrant gradient color palettes. From there, wearers can further customize their experience by swapping between four levels of animation, named Blossom, Explorer, Submarine, and Saver, to suit the wearer’s moods and conserve battery life. The brand aims to add more dial colorways and layouts as time goes on, with future updates planned for seasonal changes, Louis Vuitton collaborations and collection releases, and major holidays. The Tambour Horizon Light Up keeps its most useful functions easily accessible with a single swipe, cycling between the main timekeeping dial and two dedicated activity dials. First up is “My Day,” a dial display which groups together agenda, weather, step count, heart rate, and air quality information, while swiping in the opposite direction accesses the unique “My Travel” dial which organizes travel plans, boarding passes, and custom-curated travel guides for 30 destinations across the globe. Notifications and a control panel featuring music, contact-free payment, and timekeeping complications are also accessible by swiping downward or upward. The most visually arresting element in images, however, is the notification ring. When a new notification is received, the wraparound display flanking the case sides lights up with the Louis Vuitton monogram pattern in a customizable series of colors, which should immediately catch the wearer’s attention when needed. Louis Vuitton claims this streamlined new operating system is the first-ever third-party system to earn Apple’s “made for iPhone” accreditation, but also offers compatibility with Android and HarmonyOS systems.
Louis Vuitton powers the Tambour Horizon Light Up with the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 microprocessor. This nearly two-year-old chipset offers a solid 1 gigabyte of RAM and 8 gigabytes of flash memory, along with connectivity through wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC. Average battery life is estimated at a full day but varies according to usage. In true Louis Vuitton fashion, the Tambour Horizon Light Up is available with a myriad of strap options. Thanks to a quick-release strap changing system, wearers are able to swap easily between a variety of available straps at launch, including monogrammed leather strap options in white, black, pale pink, or deep coffee brown, along with sportier textured rubber strap options in black or red.
With a refined, luxurious presentation, solid functionality, and robust customization options, the Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up is a major step forward for the brand’s smartwatch offerings in an increasingly competitive niche. The Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up is available now through authorized dealers. Starting MSRP for the Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up stands at $3,450 as of press time. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.