HIS ‘N’ HERS: Louis Vuitton is breaking with tradition by introducing its first unisex watch line.
Best known for its Tambour men’s watch, with its distinctive drum-shaped case, the French luxury brand is going for a more accessible design with the Fifty Five, a line consisting mainly of steel models named after the LV initials read as Roman numerals.
“Often, our watches have a lot of personality — they tend to be slightly extroverted,” said Hamdi Chatti, vice president of fine jewelry and watches at Louis Vuitton. Case in point: the Escale Worldtime on his wrist, which featured a multicolored dial inspired by vintage trunk monograms.
“I wanted [the Fifty Five] to be a watch you can wear everyday,” said the executive, sitting in the garden of the historic Louis Vuitton grounds in the northern suburb of Asnières-sur-Seine, where the watches were presented on Thursday night.
The timepiece also takes its cues from historic trunks, specifically those made from water-resistant materials like aluminum, but the references are more discreet. The case features two metal plaques riveted and engraved with the Louis Vuitton name, inspired by the plaques on the locks of the trunks.
The Fifty Five comes in three sizes — 31 mm., 36 mm. and 41 mm. — with a steel or leather bracelet. The small version is a quartz model, while the other two are automatics, with the 41-mm. model incorporating a GMT function.
The dial, which comes in silver and anthracite, features hour markers in the form of a V at every quarter — a reference to the triple V marking painted on many pieces of luggage — and the brand’s signature LV at 12 o’clock. Metallic emerald green hands provide a pop of color.
Priced from 2,900 euros to 4,500 euros, or $3,255 to $5,050 at current exchange, the collection will launch in Japan in October and the rest of the world in January 2016.