French luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton continues to impress in haute horlogerie with its spectacular creations. Recently, the maison unveiled the limited-edition Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Kaleidoscope. Arresting and nostalgic, the new watch marries the traditional fine craftsmanship of cloisonné enamel with an artistic reinterpretation of the iconic four-petal Monogram Flower introduced in 1896, 42 years after the company was established.
Essentially, the Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Kaleidoscope is an ode to the celebrated logo invented by Georges Ferréol Vuitton in honour of his late father. “We wanted to create a contemporary version of the watch by transforming it into a kaleidoscope,” explains Michel Navas, master watchmaker at Louis Vuitton’s factory La Fabrique du Temps.
The Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon is synonymous with delicate enamelwork. Skilled craftsmen used gold threads to draw patterns by forming thin partitions, which were then filled with enamel in different shades of blue and purple. The latter is arguably the most difficult colour to achieve in enamelling and the house spent weeks researching to perfect the colours used in this timepiece.
To strengthen the kaleidoscopic effect on the dial, Louis Vuitton incorporated a variation of intense purple in gradations alongside the multiple hues of blue. As the house decided to leave the dial’s canvas unsigned, the focal point of the creation is primarily the painting-like dial, which stands out with its cloisonné enamel details.
The watch is equipped with the flying tourbillon LV 81 calibre, a sophisticated self-winding movement fully designed, developed and assembled at La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton. The painstakingly-made regulator at 6 o’clock boasts a refined structure that reveals the V for Gaston-Louis Vuitton at the heart of the flying tourbillon carriage. On the caseback, a sapphire crystal opens a window into the micro-rotor and watch mechanism.
The creation of the Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Kaleidoscope is a testament to Louis Vuitton’s prowess in producing innovative complications while maintaining aesthetics that pay homage to the brand’s rich history.
This article first appeared on Oct 9, 2023 in The Edge Malaysia.