For years, luxury fashion houses have struggled to bridge the gap between fashion and consumer technology. Although a number of products from these brands fall on the fashion side of the spectrum rather than feature, their ambitions live on. (Understandably.)
This week Louis Vuitton launched a new consumer tech product to connect those two worlds. Step inside the Tambour Horizon Light Up: a luxurious digital watch modeled after the expressive style of its analog counterpart. This year’s Tambour Horizon is a third generation networked watch..
The Tambour Horizon made of stainless steel has a 1.2-inch circular display made of sapphire glass, which lights up thanks to 24 LED lights under the so-called Monogram number ring when a notification is received. This year LV updated the processor the reel runs on and opted for Qualcomm’s world-class Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform.
Perhaps the biggest change has been made to the smartwatch’s software. Louis Vuitton decided to abandon Wear OS, the smartwatch system developed by Google, and work with companies like Motorola, Huawei and OnePlus to develop a proprietary operating system. The lack of Wear OS has several implications, including the fact that Tambour Horizon no longer supports Google Pay. Instead, carriers can turn to Alipay, an extremely popular Chinese payment app owned by Jack Ma’s Ant Group.
The operating system to be mentioned, which is compatible with Android and iOS, has a basic set of functions, including alarm clock, stopwatch, notifications for calls, e-mails and messages. There is heart rate monitoring and daily step count on the health page, which can be viewed from the My Day tab. You can also track air quality and weather, along with an itinerary, or explore LV’s curated city guides in the My Trips section. When it comes to personalization, you can choose between different watch faces to switch the always-on display or even add your own initials in a color or font of your choice. Unfortunately, the watch could not be paired with the Louis Vuitton Connect companion app, neither on my iPhone 12 Pro Max nor on my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, so I was unable to test these functions. A spokeswoman for LV said a software update will be available on January 14th.
While LV wants to be seen as a more innovative company, this digital timepiece is not entirely suitable for the average tech consumer due to its limited features combined with an prohibitive price tag. But LV doesn’t necessarily seek to cater to tech geeks or the average shopper. Instead, the super luxury watch will likely appeal to fashionistas who are spending a lot of money looking for a technical solution. After all, this is a haute couture smartwatch from a traditional French brand that is known for fetching breathtaking prices for its luxury products. LV is traditionally a synonym for chic designer handbags, but the French label has been adding high-end consumer electronics to its portfolio for several years. Last year it started aand in front of it a row of brightly colored wireless earbuds adorned with their distinctive logo.
The Tambour Horizon Light It Up was sold worldwide on Friday through Louis Vuitton’s websites and retail stores. In the US, the Tambour Horizon starts at $ 3,300 for the polished steel model and increases to $ 3,600 for the matte black and brown models.
- Case diameter: 44 millimeters
- Case material: stainless steel
- Material front and back: sapphire crystal
- Display: 1.2 inch AMOLED touch screen
- Screen resolution: 390 x 390 pixels (327 ppi)
- Water resistance: up to 30 meters
- Battery: should last a day
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100
- Memory: 8 GB
- RAM: 1GB
- Optical heart rate sensor
- Colors: polished steel, matte brown and matte black