Louis Vuitton’s New Smartwatch to Disrupt the High-End Watch Market

The luxury watch market is hotter than ever, having survived the early days of the pandemic and surpassed pre-pandemic numbers last year. The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) reported an all-time high in watch export figures in 2021 of $21 billion. Global revenue of French luxury goods corporation (and owner of Louis Vuitton) LVMH Group's watches and jewelry rose from $4.8 million in 2019 to $10.4 million in 2021. The demographics behind that growth: largely Millennials and Gen Z. “For Millennials and Gen Z, owning a watch has become more important over the past five years whereas for older generations it has become less important, since presumably the majority of Baby Boomers and Generation X already own one or more timepieces,” according to the 2021 Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study. “With Millennials and Gen Z gaining more purchasing power, they are the generations most interested in watches.” Louis Vuitton was already one of the most popular luxury brands in the world — and one most coveted by both millennials and Gen Z buyers. The brand’s new watch is poised to increase that dominance. The Tambour Spin Time Air Quantum is a 42.5mm, three-dimensional art piece/functional timepiece with a black titanium case and neon yellow accents. Twelve yellow, fused silica cubes circle the periphery, spelling out Louis Vuitton (Another brand reminder, the LV monogram, rests in the center of the watch face.). As time progresses, each cube rotates to reveal the hour. Press the crown of the self-winding watch to activate the 12 hidden, battery-operated LED lights. This illuminates the entire bioluminescent-inspired display for three seconds at a time — and causes a spectacle that proves the Tambour Spin Time Air Quantum is far more than an update of the original, circa-2009 Tambour Spin Time. “After 12 years of refinement of our patented Spin Time, we decided to venture toward unprecedented technical challenges,” said Jean Arnault, director of marketing and development at Louis Vuitton Watches, in a statement. “The Tambour Spin Time Air Quantum is not only a formidable horological feat, it is a unique and disruptive complicated hybrid watch that combines the best of the mechanical and electronic worlds at the service of both legibility and design.” Developed at La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, the Maison’s Geneva factory, by Michel Navas, Louis Vuitton’s master watchmaker formerly with Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe, The Tambour Spin Time Air Quantum features a 35-hour power reserve and basic water resistance of 50 meters. It comes with a rubber or alligator leather watch band. The Louis Vuitton Spin Time Air Quantum timepiece is priced at $93,000.  


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