The second skin of time – Louis Vuitton

Tambour Automatic Chronograph Tachometer  

Movement : mechanical self-winding, Calibre LV 168, 42h power reserve Case : pink gold or steel Diameter : 44mm Functions : hours, minutes, small seconds, date, tachometer Strap : perforated calfskin Limited edition : 888 in steel, 88 in pink gold.

The watch : Tambour Automatic Chronograph with Tachometer by Louis Vuitton

Voyagez! That is exactly what this watch might say if it had powers beyond measuring speed and expressing the passing of time. Louis Vuitton invites us to a one-way journey into the world of vintage car racing with the second edition of this Automatic Chronograph with Tachometer that now comes roaring in the wake of the first version released in 2011. The triple tachometric scale, an obvious nod to the theme of the circle, enlivens the grey dial inspired by the dashboards of 1970s racing cars, thanks to elegant touches of black, red and light grey. This triple circular tachometric graduation offers the possibility of measuring the lowest speeds, up to 20 km/h, whereas classic tachometers cannot calculate average speeds below 60 km/h. The three concentric circles are complemented by the small seconds at 3 o’clock along with a date window appearing discreetly at 6 o’clock. The aesthetic and technical heart of the watch is housed within the famous 44 mm Tambour case in steel or pink gold. So go ahead and Voyagez!


Its architectural counterpart  : the Alésia Museum and Archaeological Park by Bernard Tschumi Architects and Townplanners

Bernard Tschumi has designed a circular building made entirely of glass, with a 52 m diameter and a 6650 m2 surface area, held together by a wooden mesh which enables the building to be visually absorbed into its surrounding environment – an initiative which is complemented by an eco-roof made by Michel Desvigne. The building houses four levels of public reception areas, a permanent exhibition, an auditorium and meeting rooms, classrooms, administrative offices and technical installations.

“Nothing stands alone, there is always a dialogue to be had” explains Bernard Tschumi. The architect’s favourite theme is “the house in a house” which creates the concept of a “double skin”. This concept embraces the duality between two sets of circumstances and certain common elements: the duality between the different walls of the building’s façade and the duality of the environmental context accompanying the programme. The point of the “second skin” is both thematic and technical: in addition to sheltering it from the elements, it gives the building an identity that can change completely depending on where it is located. And at the same time, the passage through this set-up gives the visitor a chance to split the trip into the building : a clever scenography that offers a chance to discover that the interface crossing is punctuated by intervals, and by transition thresholds.

Where the Louis Vuitton watch is concerned, different coloured concentric circles are arranged on the dial. This staging can be freely interpreted and recalls the concept developed by Tschumi – notably that of the house within a house. And one can well imagine that, just like the route established for visitors to the museum, the designers of the watch imply that the hands are intended to guide us on our voyage through time and in the discovery of constantly renewed moments.

Journaliste spécialisée en horlogerie, la plume de Marie présente les nouveautés tout en s'occupant de la rubrique Architecture.

Review overview