Louis Vuitton’s Carpe Diem Tambour watch tells the time with a skull and a snake


Snakes alive, could this timepiece really be from that well-known house of enviable accoutrements, Louis Vuitton?

A Carpe Diem version of the Tambour, it tells the time on demand, without hands but with a presentation unlike any other.

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The Louis Vuitton Tambour Carpe Diem. 

By pressing a reptile-shaped push-piece on the right of the case, a snake’s head lifts to reveal an hour aperture positioned in the centre of a skull, while its tail oscillates towards adjacent minute markings.

Signature monogram flowers appear in lieu of an eye and – yes, there’s more – the skull’s jaw emits a mocking laugh from which emerge the words “Carpe diem” (seize the day).

The complications required to achieve this – a jumping hour, retrograde minute, power reserve display and associated mechanisms (426 parts) – move in a “bafflingly harmonious way” we’re told, while readability, we’re assured, “is peerless”.

No word on cost, but the Carpe Diem was two years in development and patents have been applied for.

The August issue of AFR Magazine – plus Watch – is out on Friday, July 30 inside The Australian Financial Review. Follow AFR Mag on Twitter and Instagram.