Watch & Jewellery
DRIPPIN' IN FINESSE: Louis Vuitton's Tambour Street Diver
Text by Kee | Photos courtesy of Louis Vuitton
'Tambour Street Diver Skyline Blue' by Louis Vuitton
'Tambour Street Diver Skyline Blue' by Louis Vuitton
'Tambour Street Diver Neon Black' by Louis Vuitton
'Tambour Street Diver Black Blaze' by Louis Vuitton
'Tambour Street Diver Pacific White' by Louis Vuitton

Life has thrown enough curveballs to keep you busy until 2030. Do yourself a solid by achieving some consistency in this existence such as drinking copious amounts of water, exercising regularly, and having a solid wristwatch game plan at all times. We can help you with the latter. Try on for size Louis Vuitton’s Tambour Street Diver. It might not save the world but it will serve you well in this lifetime.

The reason you’re reading this is because you need a this-century-type of wristwatch pronto, one that doesn’t work around the hype formula of a sneaker drop but won’t shock the bejesus out of someone who still knows what a wristwatch looks like today. The truth is, your options aren’t limited as the wristwatch space is overcrowded with storied labels competing with indie watchmakers, crowdfunded projects, and unexpected revivals and collabs. One thing’s for sure, the last faux pas you need to make is to drop a chunk of change on a version that your entire social circle and office building already owns, turning your high-end timekeeper into a fast fashion fit. Probably to your surprise, this is where we think Louis Vuitton fits into the frame. We know, Louis Vuitton is a top-tier fashion name but what most people don’t know is that for the last 19 years it has been fine-tuning the pillars of its timekeeping division so much so that its wares might even be considered as underrated. But don’t let the big billboard name fool you; its designs aren’t here to fit in and then be phased out. A case in point is the way it has continued to be loyal to its Tambour case design that it launched back in 2002, a drum-shaped silhouette that continues to differ from horological standards. This case is a visual treat as it is shaped like a natural monolith with its sloped case band. On said case band, each letter of the Louis Vuitton name is etched on the metal as it doubles up as hour markers and doubles down on the flex. For 2021, a diver’s version of the Tambour has returned to ignite interest for those who missed the memo when it was first launched just over 15 years ago. Though this version has met with a few variations since – including an official sequel in the Tambour Diving II and even one with a GMT and chronograph module – Louis Vuitton has considered the original has enough panache to make a second run at your affections. Like any good movie remake, the newly named Tambour Street Diver crowns this new release of three self-winding models in a 44mm case and a quartz-powered version in a 39.5mm case. It is packed with all the hallmarks of what a recreational diver’s timepiece looks like today: screwed-down crowns to prevent water from seeping into the case, luminous indexes and markers for adequate visibility in night fall and underwater, and an inner rotating bezel for marking decompression times at the end of a dive. What is a noticeable change in this series is the 100-metre water resistance compared to the aggressive 300-metre water resistance endowed with previous models. What this means for newbies is that Louis Vuitton recognises that if you’re a serious professional, you’re probably not taking this on an underwater expedition ala James Cameron. But that doesn’t mean that the Tambour Street Diver won’t do you any favours. If surfing, swimming, snorkelling, sailing and even showering are on your agenda, the Tambour Street Diver is more than up for the task. So, why do you need this wristwatch with robust qualities and a sports-related backstory in 2021? Louis Vuitton acknowledges the timing of this release is likely to do with the change in lifestyle, especially since most of our schedules have become unpredictable. One moment you could be enjoying a cold one at the beach bar and in the next you might be making a big decision at the office. With the Tambour Street Diver, you won’t be frantically swapping wristwatches to fit your plan or occasion. It’s not a science in getting your wristwatch right; it’s just being street smart with your choices.

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