Louis Vuitton’s new smartwatch is more chic than geek

Louis Vuitton

For years, fashion houses have struggled to bridge the divide between fashion and mainstream technology. While a number of products from these luxury brands tend to be on the fashion side of the spectrum rather than function, their ambitions endure. (It’s understandable.)

This week, Louis Vuitton launched a new consumer tech product in its latest attempt to connect these two worlds. Enter the Tambour Horizon Light Up: a luxurious digital watch that takes on the assertive style of its analog counterpart. This year’s Tambour Horizon is a third-generation connected watch, arriving around five years after the French design house first entered the smartwatch category.

The stainless steel Tambour Horizon has a circular 1.2 inch screen made from sapphire crystal, which lights up when a notification arrives thanks to 24 LED lights integrated under the so-called Monogram ring. This year, LV upgraded the processor Tambour runs on, choosing Qualcomm’s high-end Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform.

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Perhaps the biggest change has been in the software of the smartwatch. Louis Vuitton has decided to ditch Wear OS, the connected watch system made by Google, joining companies like Motorola, Huawei and OnePlus in the development of a proprietary operating system. The absence of Wear OS has several implications, including the fact that Tambour Horizon no longer supports Google Pay. Instead, users can turn to Alipay, a hugely popular Chinese payment app owned by Jack Ma’s Ant group.

The future operating system, which is compatible with Android and iOS, has a standard feature set including alarm, stopwatch, notifications for calls, emails and messages. On the health side, there is heart rate monitoring and a daily step count, served via the My Day tab. You can also track air quality and weather as well as a travel itinerary or explore city guides organized by LV in the My Trip section. In terms of customization, you can choose from different watch faces to change the always-on display or even add your own initials in any color or font you want. Unfortunately, the watch could not be paired with the companion app, Louis Vuitton Connect, on my iPhone 12 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, so I didn’t have a chance to test these features myself. . An LV spokeswoman said a software update would be available on January 14.

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Louis Vuitton

Although LV wants to be seen as a more innovative company, this digital watch is not quite for the average tech consumer due to factors such as its limited feature set coupled with prohibitive price tag. But LV isn’t necessarily looking to cater to tech geeks or the average shopper for that matter. Instead, the uber-luxury watch will likely appeal to high spending fashionistas looking for a technical fix. After all, this is an haute couture smartwatch from a French heritage brand known for its exorbitant prices for its luxury goods. LV has traditionally been synonymous with chic designer handbags, but the French brand has expanded its portfolio into high-end consumer electronics for several years now. Last year she launched a portable speaker and before that, a range of colorful wireless headphones sporting his signature logo.

The Tambour Horizon Light It Up went on sale worldwide on Friday via Louis Vuitton websites and retail stores. In the US, the Horizon Drum will start at $ 3,300 for the polished steel model and increase to $ 3,600 for the matte black and brown models.

Key specs

  • Case diameter: 42 millimeters
  • Housing material: Stainless steel
  • Front and back material: Sapphire crystal
  • Display: 1.2 inch AMOLED touch screen
  • Display resolution: 390 x 390 pixels (327 ppi)
  • Water resistance: up to 30 meters
  • Battery: Quoted to last a day
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100
  • Storage: 8 GB
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Pedometer
  • Optical heart rate sensor
  • Colors: Polished steel, matt brown and matt black

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