Over the last few years, I have become captivated by the word luxury and what motivates us to buy into this world. This has motivated me to write several books about exclusive, watches, architecture and design. Recently my publisher commissioned a second edition of my ‘Luxury Design for Living’ book. Due to global sales exceeding expectations they wanted a second volume rather than a reprint. This gave me a great opportunity to revisit this scintillating subject and explore the latest technology.
A good friend of mine recently posed the question: what does the word luxury mean to you?. Many people have their own definitions and sometimes it doesn’t equate to monetary value. However, that’s a philosophical quandary best left for another time. Ultimately, within the realms of this context, the name Louis Vuitton embodies the term luxury. The brand has dominated this sector for several decades. In fact, for several years they were named the world’s most valuable luxury brand. They are predominantly associated with high-quality products like handbags, jewellery, leather jackets and sunglasses. The company also create exquisite timepieces like the Tambour Carpe Diem.
For my 10th book, I explored the world of modern dress watches, which illustrates how brands have gently steered away from traditional tastes. The Tambour Carpe Diem illustrates exactly what I was hoping to achieve with this concept because of its striking contemporary façade. In fact, the judges of the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève were so impressed they awarded it the ‘Audacity Prize’. The model took Louis Vuitton two years of fastidious research and development. Key features include a sublime dial depicting a skull, snake and hourglass. This is meticulously enamelled by Anita Porchet and engraved by Dick Steenman.
Beneath the extravagant 46.8 mm x 14.42mm 18-karat pink gold case lies a highly sophisticated 48-jewel manual-winding movement (developed and assembled at La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton). The Calibre LV 525 comprises 426 individual components and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. This exquisite Jacquemart mechanism is visibly showcased via the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the Tambour Carpe Diem features jumping hours retrograde minutes and a power reserve indication. The watch also has an impressive 100-hour power reserve and is waterproof to a depth of 30-metres. To complete the picture the timepiece is presented on a black Alligator strap with 18 Karat pink gold double folding buckle.