It’s common knowledge that very few mechanical dive watches are actually used for professional diving. They might be used as a backup for a sophisticated electronic gadget, but on the whole, dive watches are bought because they are particularly rugged and because they look good. So, what happens when the world’s most valuable luxury brand, Louis Vuitton, gets its hands on a dive watch? Last year we saw the brand’s signature Tambour case converted into the Tambour Street Diver, a compressor-style diver with bold splashes of colour. To ensure that nobody gets the wrong idea about this watch or its diving capacities, Louis Vuitton describes its Tambour Street Diver as a “sporty urban timepiece“. Two new colours – Burning Rock and Urban Green – join the collection today. And if anybody is humming and hawing, suffice it to say that the Tambour Street Diver Skyline Blue took home the prestigious GPHG diver’s watch prize in 2021.
Released in 2002, the Tambour marked Louis Vuitton’s maiden voyage into the high seas of mechanical watchmaking. Immediately recognisable thanks to its unusual drum-shaped case, the generous dimensions of the Tambour ensure plenty of space for branding, but also for high-end complications, like the impressive Spin Time designed by La Fabrique du Temps (owned since 2011 by LV) or the recent Tambour Twenty Chronograph.
Burning rock & urban green
The Tambour Street Diver fills a gap in the Tambour portfolio for a robust, high-end sporty watch with more than enough water-resistance (100m) for recreational dives. Measuring 44mm across, the drum-shaped stainless steel case is fitted with two screw-down crowns at 3 o’clock and 1.30. The crown with the LV monogram at 3 o’clock is used to set the time, and the second crown with the silhouette of a diver in orange or green is used to manipulate the 15-minute dive bezel on the dial’s flange (picked out in green or orange). Instead of the traditional luminous dot at noon, the Tambour uses the letter ‘V’. When the other ‘V’ on the tip of the minute hand is aligned, they form an ‘X’, marking the beginning of a dive or timing your soft-boiled egg.
Unlike most Tambour cases, the thick caseband displays a sporty brushed finishing and the letters forming the Louis Vuitton name are engraved in the polished band forming the sides of the bezel with the letters in either green or orange.
Beneath the thick sloping flange with the diving scale and minutes, the olive green and bright orange dials feature chunky round and rectangular indices framed filled with Super-LumiNova. The hour and minute hands are partially skeletonised, and their tips are filled with lume. In contrast, the small seconds counter at 6 o’clock has a silver frame and a black snailed background traversed by a thick bar at an angle. The bar is, in fact, a reference to the Alpha flag or ‘diver down’ signal to indicate there is a diver in the water.
Presented with either an Urban Green or Burning Rock orange rubber strap, the brand name is also embossed on the central band in bold black letters.
Powered by an ETA 2895-2 automatic movement, the caseback has a sapphire crystal porthole with the LV monogram, and the rotor is personalised with the LV monogram and the brand name in full. Beating at 28,800vph, the movement delivers a 42h power for the hours, minutes and small seconds.
The Louis Vuitton Tambour Street Diver, in Burning Rock or Urban Green, retails for EUR 6,120. For more information, please visit louisvuitton.com.