- Kristian Haagen
Louis Vuitton Tambour Spin Time Air Quantum
Louis Vuitton keeps impressing. This time with their spectacular and quite unusual Tambour Spin Time Air Quantum that offers unique and highly-efficient LEDs which allows the illumination system to be activated six to seven times a day, every day for three years, before the batteries need replacing.
Long the timekeeping icon of Louis Vuitton, the Spin Time reimagined the familiar jumping hour complication when it was introduced in 2009, converting the conventional display of the hours into a three-dimensional dance.
Now the kinetic performance of the Spin Time has been further transformed in a radical rethink of haute horlogerie with the 42.3 mm Tambour Spin Time Air Quantum. The hour cubes illuminate on demand, adding a fourth dimension to the signature complication. Appearing to emanate from within the cubes, the mysterious light is a tribute to exceptional creativity and fine watchmaking – hallmarks of Louis Vuitton watchmaking.
The contradictions of the quantum world In physics, “quantum” is the smallest amount of a physical property. A photon, for instance, is a single quantum of light – an elementary particle that is massless and travelling at immeasurably vast speed. The study of which is quantum physics.
The intriguing contradictions and revelatory insights of quantum physics echo the philosophy behind the Tambour Spin Time Air Quantum, a watch that is not what it seems to be yet very much is. It is haute horlogerie, yet audaciously reimagines the fundamental tenets of fine watchmaking by adding a layer of micro-electronics to a highly complicated movement to form a single unit that captures time and emits light.
“After twelve years of refinement of our patented Spin Time, we decided to venture toward unprecedented technical challenges," explains Jean Arnault, Director of Marketing and Development, Louis Vuitton Watches.
"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.”
Despite being entirely hidden from the wearer, the power supply and its maintenance were critical considerations during the Tambour Spin Time Air Quantum’s development, with the goal being a streamlined, pleasurable experience for the owner.
As a result, the LEDs are powered by two batteries secured by an enclosed ring, allowing them to be replaced with no damage to the electronic or mechanical sections of the movement.
A subtle, lighted ring at the base of the crown functions as a battery-level indicator which flickers when the batteries are in need of eventual replacement.