Louis Vuitton Tambour Curve GMT Flying Tourbillon Premieres
La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton has outdone itself once again with this novelty at Watches and Wonders 2021.
By Ashok Soman
Although the word curve is in the name, the Louis Vuitton Tambour Curve GMT Flying Tourbillon is not a curveball. It is a testament to the prestige and credibility of La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton that high watchmaking in contemporary styles is only to be expected, and the 2021 Louis Vuitton Tambour Curve GMT Flying Tourbillon does not disappoint. The GMT Flying Tourbillon, as we will address the watch for the rest of this story (good SEO practice would call for the full name but it is rather a lot of words!), adds a new chapter to the Flying Tourbillon Poincon de Geneva launched last year, which we also covered. The GMT mechanism allows for the display of a second time zone, of course, and this adds a level of dynamic functionality to the watch, which already boasts fine watchmaking pedigree in that flying tourbillon. On the dial of the GMT Flying Tourbillon, you can see both mechanisms along the same axis, as evident in the pictures.
There is a lot happening on the dial of the GMT Flying Tourbillon, but the keen observer might wonder about those pushers. If you guessed that this must be a +/- control mechanism for the GMT, congratulations. The setting of the second time zone, often a needlessly finicky affair, is greatly simplified in this style of execution, allowing the time to be set in one hour increments both forwards and backwards. This is a great boon for travellers, and a key one for a company such as Louis Vuitton, which has such a strong tradition in the travel business. We recall fondly the Louis Vuitton Worldtimer model some years ago, but we digress. You will note that in the GMT Flying Tourbillon, there are two mobile V graphic elements. One is the bridge of the flying tourbillon, and the other is the GMT indicator. This is what adds that dynamic component to the description we used above.
As mentioned, the dial has a lot of action, and Louis Vuitton has taken advantage of the Tambour case construction to turn it into a sort of horological stage. A two-part construction with a lot of depth, we imagine that the dance of the hands, tourbillon and GMT indicator really light up; we have not yet seen this watch in the metal so we cannot confirm this. The dial is also partially openworked, with shapes and details emerging from etched out windows. Between the tourbillon and GMT indications, see if you can make out the shape hinted at there.
Now the Louis Vuitton Tambour Curve GMT Flying Tourbillon is a big watch at 46mm and 13.15mm thick but it is offered in Grade 5 titanium so that will help with the weight. There is an option with pink gold horns and pushers, and pink gold and rubber crown. The two titanium variants are distinguished by various details, but mainly the use of meteorite for the second level of the dial in one. That version is also graced by 22 baguette cut diamonds for the hour markers (it would have been 24 but for the flying tourbillon and GMT displays). There is much more to say about this watch, and another rather spooky offering from Louis Vuitton but we shall close with that for now.
All images courtesy of Louis Vuitton