This blog is mostly about luxury watches for women, as the men’s market has been covered pretty well by the other hundred thousand watch blogs out there.
Whether a watch is for women is easier to discern than whether a watch can be considered to be a “luxury” watch. What determines that? The materials? The price? Can any watch that isn’t a traditional timepiece even qualify as a “luxury watch?”
The lines get blurred as more fashion companies who traditionally stay away from the watch market start to make them and as more companies begin to experiment with the still-somewhat-tepid smartwatch movement.
Smartwatches, for those who haven’t yet seen one, are wristwatches that are basically small computers that interface with your smartphone. That lets you use the watch to check your email, answer the phone, respond to texts, and usually, monitor physical activity.
Most of them also allow you to tell the time.
Using a smartwatch also requires that you have a smartphone, and most smartwatches so far have been marketed as technology devices, rather than watches and certainly not as pieces of either fine jewelry or fine fashion.
The market has so far been dominated by companies such as Apple and Samsung, and a number of other makers who are known for making “gadgets,” rather than for making watches. Most of them have been priced in the low hundreds of dollars.
That’s changing a bit, as some of the less-skittish members of the watchmaking industry have started to make a few smartwatches to see if there’s anything in that market for them.
Apple briefly had a smartwatch on the market with a $10,000+ price tag, but that was quickly removed from the market due to low sales and large-scale mocking on the Internet.
Luis Vuitton has decided to enter the smartwatch market, however, and based on price alone, I suppose the watch has to be considered a “luxury watch.” The price of the Louis Vuitton Tambour starts at about $2400 and runs up close to the $3000 range, which now puts this product in the upper end of smartwatch offerings.
The question is – will anyone who isn’t fixated on the Louis Vuitton brand care? Will watch aficionados regard this as a “real” watch, or just another “me, too!” product in an ambiguous market?
For me, the first thing I care about is whether the watch is attractive, and so far, for me, at least, the jury is out. Other reviewers seem to think the Tambour is nice looking, and it does have some interesting lines, including the fact that the back of the case is wider than the front.
Aside from that, the Tambour will be available in a number of colors and will include up to 30 strap designs in an attempt to lure in both male and female buyers.
The Android powered device will be compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones, and the watch measures some 42mm wide and 12.55 mm thick. The screen measures 390×390 pixels. The watch has most of the usual smartwatch features, though it apparently does not include a heart monitor.
In some configurations, it’s rather pretty. In others, it’s rather ugly. Regardless, it’s priced at a point that just a few years ago would buy you a Rolex.
I’m still not sure if it’s a luxury watch, or just an expensive one.