Introducing the Louis Vuitton Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater 200th YearsBy Li Ren
Louis Vuitton, a centuries-old brand best known for iconic luxury leather goods, has been in the business of high-end watchmaking for two decades. The Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater 200th Years is the latest addition to the brand’s collection and showcases their expertise in the best of both worlds in watchmaking – haute horlogerie and metiers d’art.
Like the Tambour Carpe Diem from two years ago, the Jacquemart is Louis Vuitton’s top-of-the-line timepiece. The execution of the chiming complication and automaton puts it on par with the best of complicated watchmaking, while the artisanal dial takes it a step further. This combination of haute horlogerie and metiers d’art is rare, especially when executed as thoughtfully and skillfully as this watch.
The watch was created by an all-star team: engraver Dick Steenman, enameller Anita Porchet, and complication specialist La Fabrique du Temps (LFDT). Ms. Porchet, widely known as one of the best in the field, painted the dial using several enamel techniques to create a dreamy effect that subtly blends the gigantic LV logo with the celestial background, while Mr. Steenman crafted the automaton from solid white gold. The two often collaborate on high-end watches, as seen on the Carpe Diem from 2021.
Compared to the Carpe Diem, the Jacquemart Minute Repeater 200th Anniversary has a more understated design, making the highlights truly shine. The design avoids the over-the-top sculpture on the dial and instead relies on smaller sculptures and simplified drawings. In terms of mechanics, the Jacquemart uses classic time-telling with hours and minutes hand, while the Carpe Diem has jumping hours, retrograde minutes, and a power reserve indicator in the format of an hourglass.
This latest piece may be simpler than the Carpe Diem, but it is still highly complicated and impressive. The watch retains a minute repeater and automaton, which consists of nine moving parts – the spaceship, planets, and flower petals all move in harmony when the minute repeater is activated. According to Michel Navas, the Master Watchmaker at LFDT, the Jacquemart required two years of development.
Simplifying the presentation of the watch, however, has a major upside for collectors who prefer a sleeker design. The case has a simpler design with a futuristic flavour, making the large size more manageable. At the same time, the case is made of titanium and white gold to give it a sleek look that matches the dial.
In my opinion, the Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater is Louis Vuitton’s statement to the world that it has the capabilities in high-end watchmaking that combines haute horlogerie and metiers d’art, which it has been doing with increasing frequency in recent years, following on from the acquisition of LFDT in 2012. The watch’s execution is of such high quality that it shows the brand is serious about bringing quality watchmaking to the most discerning collectors.
Typically reserved for traditional painting, it’s unusual to see a futuristic and modern drawing completed in enamel, so it shows the uniqueness of the present example, while also demonstrating Ms Porchet’s workshop ability to push the boundaries. Additionally, the quality of the enamelling is exceptional, with a translucent and fluorescent look that adds depth to the dial.
Last but not least, the Jacquemart is a showcase of Louis Vuitton’s masterful design skills, which is often unique to fashion houses. The watch’s design seamlessly blends modern elements, such as sapphires on the dial, with traditional techniques and artisanal details. The result is a harmonious and cohesive design that does not feature any show-off traits, and the sapphires on the dial are a prime example of this. The understated yet deeply attractive aesthetics of the Jacquemart is one of its standout features, with a very different allure than the over-the-top designs of the Carpe Diem.
Louis Vuitton Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater 200th Years
Movement: LV200; manual
Functions: Hours, minutes, minute repeater, and automaton
Case: 46.8 mm; 18k white gold and titanium
Strap: Blue rubber strap
Availability: Unique piece