Tales of people abandoning smartwatches as more trouble than they’re worth abound — they’ve become yet another way we get bombarded with notifications, and too often not much else. Who else but Louis Vuitton to come in and save the day? Saving the day might be too strong, but the Tambour Horizon smartwatch does at least try to make it useful with some smart travel features — especially if you’re going to China.
Running Android Wear 2.0 on a Qualcomm chipset, the Tambour Horizon is at a bare minimum going to do the same thing as other smartwatches — deliver notifications, execute voice searches, and send out and receive calls and texts (all when connected to a phone, as there’s no LTE connectivity). While there will be some step counting, it looks like there’s no heart rate monitor here. A physical rotating crown on the side of the watch looks like it’ll make controlling the watch a little easier.
On top of all that, Louis Vuitton has added the City Guide app. The downside is that the app only works in a handful of world capitals, but if you’re in the right place, you’ll get shopping, dining, and entertainment recommendations. There’s another app that can track flights and notify you of delays and cancellations, so it’s definitely meant for the frequent flyers out there.
Getting the most out of gadgets in China has been tricky, but this watch handles the switch automatically. When it detects that you’re in China, it’ll ignore the services and apps that are banned or restricted, switching you over to apps like Weibo in the meantime.
The design is a bit plain, although the bezel-less look is always nice. There’s a ring of numbers 1 to 24 around the outer edge, in another nice addition for travelers. Inside that is 390 x 390 AMOLED display, so it should be easy to read in all situations. Outside, the case and buckle are made of polished stainless steel, and it’s on the bigger side at 42 mm in diameter and 12.55 mm thick. The straps are interchangeable, but Louis Vuitton has used their own connectors, so you’ll have to work with the straps Louis Vuitton is selling, which includes silicone and leather options.
It’s tough enough to be an everyday smartwatch, too. The display and caseback are protected by sapphire glass, and the watch is water resistant to a depth of 30 meters.
You know it’s not going to be cheap. Available in a number of color and strap combinations, the Tambour Horizon starts at $2,450, which as ever is crazy for a smartwatch (comes with a fancy charger, though!). Smartwatches can’t be physically upgraded or repaired, so the thought of paying that much for something that will be junk drawer fodder in a couple years rankles. Tag Heuer got around this by offering a trade-in program that would allow Tag Heuer Connected smartwatch buyers to trade in their expensive smartwatches for similarly priced mechanical watches after a couple years, but we haven’t heard of a similar program here.
Via Droid Life