Since the introduction – and popularity – of the Apple Watch, numerous brands have taken to the market to release their own smart or hybrid watches. Whether it’s the Samsung Gear, LG Watch, ASUS ZenWatch or the Moto 360, there are numerous Android-based options to rival the ubiquitous Apple timepiece.
Up until recently, the smartwatch market was the arena of the tech company or affordable watch brands, with high-end manufacturers typically sticking to their traditional horological approach. But we’re now seeing more and more watches with ‘smart’ functionality from some of the biggest names in luxury timepieces, with recent examples from Montblanc, TAG Heuer and Movado watches.
All of the above brands have found ways to incorporate Android Wear into their luxurious line-ups, and it seems they’re not the only ones, with Louis Vuitton introducing a $2,490 model into the wearables space. Fittingly called the Tambour Horizon, this beautifully designed watch features an elegant stainless steel chassis surrounding a 1.2-inch full-colour AMOLED screen (you can also opt for brushed steel or black steel if you’d prefer). The 42mm case can be mounted on one of over 60 different Louis Vuitton straps, allowing you to get exactly the look you want.
For the technologically savvy out there, the Horizon features a 300mAh battery, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage, it’s also running the latest version of the Android Wear operating system. The aforementioned OS means it comes with a range of palatable features, including a standalone app store and even access to two proprietary apps exclusive to Louis Vuitton. These are both related to travel (a city guide and travel planner), giving a clear indication of the international jet-setter Louis Vuitton are thinking will be purchasing their timepiece.
There’s no question that the watch is stunning and will undoubtedly turn heads, but at a $2,490 starting price (it shoots up to $2,900 if you want the black steel version), I’m not sure how popular this timepiece will be. For me the problem comes with longevity – it’s clear people don’t mind spending considerable sums on luxury watches, but you would expect them to last for years or even decades (and hold their value well), whereas it’s possible this smartwatch could be seriously out of date in a couple of years time. Despite this I’m sure the lure of the LV branding will convince some to make the purchase, but personally I’ll be sticking to my Rolex and Omega for the time being.