“Digital and luxury come together” – George Bamford reviews the new Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up Digital “Digital and luxury come together” – George Bamford reviews the new Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up Digital

“Digital and luxury come together” – George Bamford reviews the new Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up Digital


Editor’s note: You’re almost certainly familiar with George Bamford, but just in case you’ve been lagging behind here’s a quick background primer. George got involved in watches in the mid-noughties after customising his Rolex Submariner by taking it apart and treating it using a DLC process. The first time he wore it out he got 25 orders. That was the birth of the Bamford Watch Department that started off by selling exquisitely modified pieces and quickly developed a cult following. Collaborations with the likes of TAG Heuer, Zenith and Bulgari soon followed and BWD then began creating their own timepieces. In short, George knows an awful lot about watches from both the inside and the out, and we’re honoured that he decided to review his new Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up Digital for Time+Tide.

Move over Apple. Louis Vuitton have just shown how luxury watch brands do connected watches with the brand new Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up Digital watch. It really is the next step in digital connected watches.

Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon

We all know that Apple is the master in creating this connected universe on the digital sphere, but this morning my son was wearing his Apple watch and I was wearing this Louis Vuitton digital watch and it was amazing how keen he was to discover the one on my wrist. He wanted to figure out how it worked, how easy it was, how it connected to my phone and he went through every element of the watch.

Now I am a purist. I love a true classic watch – a watch that tells the time and has simple functions. But having worn this watch for the last couple of days, it has really come to life. I always say I never shoot the cuff, but when I do and I roll my wrist, it lights up. It has GB on the dial and it is full of delight. I can change the music from my wrist, I can answer the phone, I can count steps… there are so many things. Of course, you can do this with other digital watches, but there is something unique about this execution. It feels light on the wrist, the crown is excellent, the chrono buttons are slick and beautifully designed… also the shape. It reminds me of a conversation I had with Nick Foulkes about the shape of watches. The Tambour shape goes from large at the bottom to small at the top of the sapphire crystal. It is a reverse approach as most watches want to show off their dial space, but with the digital aspect, it has this expansive sapphire style dial with an integrated bezel that creates this wonderful display on the wrist.

Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon

I have got the steel version with black and the edging, the finish and the separation between the sapphire and the main case is absolutely seamless. It feels like a brilliant combination between high Swiss watchmaking and digital integration. When I say move over Apple, I am referring to the true luxury masters coming in and delivering something that I think is the next step for digital watches.

Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon

It is also such an easy watch on the wrist. The smaller lugs give an elegance whilst still feeling sporty with the quick change function. Every element even to the packaging has been thought about when delivering this watch. I also love the way you can change the colours, which of course you can do on most watches, but I particularly like those Louis Vuitton stripes.

The functionality is another big plus. It was easy to set up on my iPhone and yes I use an Apple device to talk to the Louis Vuitton device. It instantly set up on the App and took me less than five minutes to be ready to go. Compared to other devices that can take an age to figure out, it was genius and I could instantly play and learn about it. It doesn’t have face recognition, but I have to say that I have been wearing the TAG Heuer Connected watch for a while and the Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up offers the same functionality. The things I know should be there, are there. I haven’t tried the Hublot Connected watch but I believe it will have the same interface.

But while these similarities between the brands exist, aesthetically something has been tweaked here. This watch has the Louis Vuitton fingerprints on every part of it. In the same way the TAG Heuer Connected watch feels very TAG Heuer, this feels very Louis Vuitton. It feels like a high-end fusion as if  digital and luxury have come together. One of my favourite dials is the World Timer dial and having that on this digital construct is amazing. I love the colours and the light that illuminates around the bezel when operating the different functions. I also love the demo function that shows all the colours – like the speaker they did where colours come round and the Virgil Abloh bag with LEDS generating a rainbow of light. It really does feel like it is connecting on every side.

Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon

I can’t wait to use it in different situations. I use the TAG Heuer Connected watch for sports and I like how Mario performs different actions for different sports, and I am looking forward to discovering how the Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up fits into my lifestyle. It feels like when I got my first iPhone and I polished the back. I felt I had to be precious with it and it feels the same with this Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up. It feels jewel-like and cool in so many ways. You want to party with it and wear it out it because it is such a delight.

Is this high watchmaking? In some ways, as there is a wonderful sensory familiarity. The pushers feel very connected and every part of it feels right. People say does two plus two equal four but for me two plus two equals five with this watch. As a lover of design, there is something so great about its simplicity and beauty. The edge to edge design without a lip where the case meets the dial is an amazing execution of how luxury and digital come together. I love the personalisation function and it really is Louis Vuitton doing Louis Vuitton. From the colours to the stripes to the initials on the dial, everything becomes personal.

This watch feels like the culmination of a wonderful smartwatch journey that started with TAG Heuer then Hublot and now Louis Vuitton. It is a combination of all their collective skills coming together in a new digital sphere. As I said: move over Apple, Louis Vuitton has arrived and is turning up the heat on desirable luxury technology.

Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up Digital specifications, pricing, and availability:

All References Technical Specifications:

• 44mm in diameter, 13.2mm thick.

• Rotative and functional crown and buttons

• 1.2’’ full round AMOLED touch screen, resolution 390×390 (327 ppi)

• Water resistance: up to 30 meters

• Average battery life: 1 day under normal conditions of use (LEDs usage included)

• Sensors: heart rate monitor, microphone, accelerometer, gyroscope and ambient light sensor

• Actuator: vibration sensor

• Compatibility: Android®1 9.0+, iOS®2 14+ and HarmonyOS 2.0+

• Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 B/G/N), Bluetooth®3 4.2, NFC • MFi®-certified4 • Micro-processor: Snapdragon Wear 4100 • Memory: 1GB RAM – 8 GB Flash

Features and Functions:

• Exclusive Louis Vuitton watch faces

• “My Travel” function – Travel (flight/train/hotel) plans and boarding information – Louis Vuitton City Guides

• “My Day” function – Heartrate, calendar, steps, weather, air quality index

• Notifications – Overview of latest notifications from the user’s phone

• Controls – 4 user modes (Blossom, Explorer, Submarine, Saver) – Connectivity status (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth®) – Battery level – Find my phone – Alarm, timer & stopwatch – Remote for smartphone’s camera – Alipay (contactless payment from the watch) – Calls management – Music playback management – Other settings of the watch (second time zone, notifications settings, security, system updates, …)

Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up Digital pricing and availability:

The Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Light Up Digital is now available for purchase. Price: $3,450 USD