It’s not considered either as a manufacturer, not a watchmaker, the Louis Vuitton is understood to reinvent hours with his new Fabric of Time. Discovery!
A stop in The Fabric of Time Vuitton
To enter is a bit like taking a dip in time, it’s like to go back in time, grasp it, or even stop it. Here, the needles have suspended their long and tireless rotation. We are in Meyrin, in the Louis Vuitton factory. On the glass walls are facades, mountain scenery and landscapes of Switzerland are reflected. Behind these reflections, more than 4000 m2 are available to the watchmakers of the house.
Here, Enrico Barbasini and Michel Navas, two horological complications specialists hadimagined a watchmaking workshop. Here in 2011, “The Fabric of Time” became the propertyof Malletier Paris. “The Fabric of Time”, Property to evolve reflecting its foundations and other houses around the world, when Louis Vuitton takes a place, it does it well. In this Fabrique du Temps, white walls alongside the wood ceilings. All is calm, all is clean, the factory seems to be both a laboratory where everything is possible,where the best is to come, but it is above all the appearance of a setting dedicated to excellence.
In the lobby, Louis Vuitton trunks are presented as to write his new success story in the worldof watchmaking. The history of time has been very good for this newcomer. In 2002, Vuitton presented his first Tambour. While the word evokes the cylinder of apendulum, the Tambour watch takes the forms of Kodo drums, and interprets the brand values: expertise, craftsmanship, and excellence.
12 letters engraved in a box preseed each hour, yellow colored hand waxed threads recalling the bags, a brown tone reminiscent in the trunks, the Tambour watch becomes an icon, the emblem of the watchmaking branch of the house. The surprise is great and Trabour builds the identity of this new activity of Louis Vuitton.
The current future of the “The Fabric of Time”
In an interview with luxury Design Hamdi Chatti reveals his ambition. When he came to the post of Vice President of Timepieces and Jewellery, a little over 5 years ago, his desire was to implant Louis Vuittton in a timepiece inspired by Swiss expertise, and the legacy of Vuitton(travel, themes, quality, codes …).
For Hamdi Chatti, Louis Vuitton should stand out aesthetically by the shape and complication, while respecting the values and the theme of travel. He said that one of the important stages of the development was to provide the means to create something else,beyond the compulsory figures and try to change them.
He then uses the example “synchronized universal time”, an imposed figure, which, according to Hamdi Chatti in itself is nothing exceptional! This gives the time and 24 time zones with a small improvement in the crown. He argued then that the real contribution is the singularreading of the time and it’s style gives strength … even though the figure imposes a fineclassic box.
“The Fabric of Time”, a place to differentiate?
We then asked Mr. Chatti if the mark shall not depart from its core codes with its past and its future creations. He answers that Vuitton does not withdraw but makes a difference. The Tambour watch is - for him - one body while the universal time synchronized, shows a face.This is the first product of the new manufacturer. It sets the tone to follow. Vuitton seeks tohave new ideas in products to capture a wider audience. A large audience does not meanprices more “accessible” but a wider heart sensitive to new creations. Man ensures thatwatchmaking is a universal expertise. The price is simply a consequence …
Throughout the interview, the Vice-President of Timepieces & Jewelry says that Louis Vuitton clients access Vuitton watches via two channels. The first is a natural progressionfrom leather goods and consuming the various categories of the brand. The second channelcorresponds to a clientele of enthusiasts for high-end pieces. These are not consumers from other Vuitton activities. Like the Louis Vuitton customers, they come for the quality,originality, and the craftsmanship in the watch area.
To lay the solid foundation of its new strategy and meet its customers, “The Fabric of Time”will serve as an “ideas factory” to develop what can not be offered by others … The idea is not to maximize capacity but to better the ability to perform the job of watch design, develop, and manufacture prototypes in small series. Once on track, watchmakers can outsource small parts.
The interview ends with the confirmation that Louis Vuitton will take a new direction in 2015 to reach a wider audience. This approach will be based on the values and the reputation of thehouse and will certainly benefit from the expertise of many artisans whom are now together on a single site. The reputation of Switzerland for watches, the international influence of the capital of watchmaking and use of the Hallmark of Geneva for future models will beadditional assets for this “The Fabric of Time”, which is neither a manufacturer or a watchmaker but a box of ideas dedicated to excellence.