Fashion businesses have been attempting to bridge the gap between fashion and consumer technology for years. Although many of these luxury firms’ products are more on the fashion side of the spectrum than on the utility side, their objectives remain. (This is understandable.)
Louis Vuitton released a new consumer tech product this week in its latest attempt to unite these two worlds. The Tambour Horizon Light Up is a luxury digital timepiece that mimics its analog counterpart’s statement-making look. Tambour Horizon is a third-generation connected watch launched five years after the French design firm initially joined the smartwatch market.
The stainless steel Tambour Horizon features a sapphire glass 1.2-inch circular display that illuminates when a notification is received thanks to 24 LED lights integrated beneath the so-called Monogram dial ring. In addition, LV improved the Tambour’s chipset this year, opting for Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform.
The smartwatch’s software was perhaps the most significant modification. Louis Vuitton has decided to ditch Google’s Wear OS smartwatch platform, joining the likes of Motorola, Huawei, and OnePlus in designing their own operating system. Wear OS’s absence has some consequences, including that Tambour Horizon no longer supports Google Pay. Instead, wearers can use Alipay, a massively popular Chinese payment service controlled by Ant Group’s Jack Ma.
The yet-to-be-named OS, compatible with Android and iOS, comes with a standard feature set that includes an alarm clock, stopwatch, and phone, email, and message notifications. In addition, the My Day option provides heart rate monitoring and a daily step count on the health front. In the My Travel feature, you can also keep track of air quality and weather, as well as a travel schedule and LV’s selected city recommendations. In addition, you can choose from various watch faces to adjust the always-on display, or you can add your initials in any color or font you like. Unfortunately, I couldn’t test these capabilities because the watch couldn’t link with the accompanying app, Louis Vuitton Connect, on my iPhone 12 Pro Max or my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. According to an LV spokesman, a software update will be available on January 14.
Despite LV’s desire to be recognized as a more modern company, this digital timepiece isn’t for the typical tech consumer due to limitations in capabilities and a prohibitive price tag. On the other hand, LV isn’t necessarily looking to appeal to techies or everyday shoppers. Instead, the ultra-luxe timepiece is more likely to appeal to high-spending fashionistas seeking a tech dose. After all, this is a high-end smartwatch from a French heritage brand notorious for charging exorbitant rates for its opulent goods. LV is best known for its high-end luxury handbags, but the French label has been diversifying its range with high-end consumer gadgets for several years. For example, it released a portable speaker last year, and before that, a line of colorful wireless earbuds with its unique emblem.
On Friday, Louis Vuitton’s online and retail stores worldwide began selling the Tambour Horizon Light It Up. The Tambour Horizon will be available in the United States for $3,300 for the polished steel variant and $3,600 for the matte black and brown varieties.
- Case diameter: 42 millimeters
- Case material: Stainless steel
- Front and back material: Sapphire glass
- Display: 1.2-inch AMOLED touch screen
- Display resolution: 390×390-pixels (327 ppi)
- Water resistance: Up to 30 meters
- Battery: Quoted to last for one day
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100
- Storage: 8GB
- RAM: 1GB
- Optical heart rate sensor
- Colors: Polished steel, matte brown and matte black