From its beginnings, average solar time was defined by using the meridian that crosses the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. The “Greenwich Mean Time” or GMT entered the parlance of travellers as a synonym for the time zone. Watchmakers quickly took up the term to refer to watches that could show, using an additional hand, the exact time in another time zone.
With the Tambour Graphite GMT model, the classic extra hand of a GMT watch has given way to a disc to tell the hour. As it travels round the face, this disc allows you to instantly see the time in the time zone you wish, juxtaposed with the current time. A single hand ending in a red arrow shows at first glance the time in the current location or at the destination.
The easy to read functions of the timepiece combine with sheer elegance in the Tambour watch, an elegance that appears classic at first glimpse. The 41.5mm diameter steel watchcase has the signature shape of the Tambour line. This is reinforced by the seven lines engraved on the sides of the case, one in red. Subtle metalwork at the crossroads of expertise: the watchmaker’s precision meets the goldsmith’s delicacy and the trunk maker’s exacting standards. For the dial of the Tambour GMT Graphite, Louis Vuitton has played up contrasts, shadow and light, from deepest anthracite grey to silvery shades with satiny reflections.
Precision is the watchword with three gradations on the dial. A chemin de fer chapter ring allows for the most exact timekeeping. Even hours are indicated, alternating with applied, facetted rhodium- plated silver hour markers to tell local time. The disc with figures tells the secondary time. In the centre of the watch, a world map, which makes one rotation in 24 hours (perfects the alliance between time and space). On the alligator strap, red topstitching repeats the connection between the two time zones. To take it a step further, the La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton watchmakers have chosen to offer a second extremely practical watchmaking feature in the Tambour Graphite collection by combining the GMT feature with a chronograph.
The same aesthetic lines apply, with tones of grey and the key information indicated by a red hand. A touch of red is echoed in the strap, identical to the one on the GMT. Additionally, the GMT function occupies the lion’s share of the dial, like a rotating bezel.