The watch: the Louis Vuitton Tambour Street Diver
The single best thing about this watch: The traditional diver’s watch get Louis Vuitton’s high-fashion touch.
The backstory: While the watch world and Watches & Wonder show has been dominated by the Rolexes, Jaeger LeCoultres, and Patek Philippes of the world, luxury timepieces are not solely the domain of traditional Swiss houses. Since 2002, Louis Vuitton has been in the luxury watch game with its round Tambour model. This year, the model has been reworked into what the brand is calling the Street Diver. The result is a generously sized watch with a concave dial design and the brand’s name inscribed along the outer ring. The watch comes in neon yellow, bronze, white, and a crisp bright blue. It is a traditional diver’s watch—remade for an underwater version of the movie Tron.
This watch matters in the world of watches because: it is yet another sign that watches are increasingly a concern for high-fashion luxury houses. While most collectors are very church-and-state about who makes their clothes and who makes their timepieces, brands like Louis Vuitton are making a solid case for junking that prejudice. Beyond the Tambour Street Diver, one of the most buzzed-about pieces to come out of Watches & Wonders was Hermès’s safari-ready H08 watch. Dolce & Gabbana, meanwhile, maintains a line of predictably outrageous watches built with chronographs and plenty of diamonds. Ralph Lauren now uses its iconic pony logo on timepieces, too These watches aren’t the luxury fashion products of yesteryear, either—all flash and no substance. Watches like the Tambour and those from other fashion brands are now using real movements and emphasizing the technical details collectors love. It’s not hard to diagnose the reason for these brands’ reenergized interest in watches, either, as the industry continues to explode. Louis Vuitton has seen firsthand how much people love watches: Abloh himself is a massive, influential collector.
Who needs to dive? The Tambour Street Diver is a good reminder that everything that makes the diver watch useful is also what makes it extremely stylish. The rounded and soft hour indices, legible dial, and rotating bezel are all necessary for real divers, but they’ve become beloved aesthetic touches, too. Even the glowing Super-LumiNova applied on the Tambour—designed to make the watch easier to read underwater—only serves to make the piece’s accents that much tastier to look at.
Where and when to buy it: The Tambour Street Diver (priced from $7,505 to $16,910) is available on Louis Vuitton’s website now.