I knew Canadian architect Frank Gehry for his work on the beautiful and impressive Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. However, through Louis Vuitton, I learned that he was also responsible for the Fondation Louis Vuitton building in Paris (2014) and the Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul (2019). The latter inspired a remarkable watch, the Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève Sapphire.

Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul — Image: Louis Vuitton

Frank Gehry and Louis Vuitton

It took two years from the first discussions between Louis Vuitton and architect Frank Gehry to finish producing the watch. This Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève Sapphire Frank Gehry provides an uninterrupted view of the movement inside. This movement boasts a flying tourbillon assembled at La Fabrique du Temps in Geneva and the prestigious Poinçon de Genève.

A 200kg sapphire block

For this exceptional watch, Ghery used the 2022 Tambour Moon Saphir model as a base and recreated the rippling glass structure found on the roof of the Louis Vuitton Maison in Seoul. Sapphire was his medium of choice for this Tambour Flying Tourbillon. Indeed, the case, dial, crown, lugs, and hands of this Louis Vuitton Tambour masterpiece are all cut from a block of sapphire weighing 200 kilograms. The dial alone takes 250 hours to produce, utilizing carving techniques and working with sapphire no thicker than a sheet of paper. The artisans at La Fabrique du Temps sculpted the sapphire by hand, an incredibly delicate task.

Made by hand in hand

These artisans used diamond powder and a diamond-tipped drill to achieve the matte surface on the dial. This task requires nerves of steel and a lot of patience as the heat and vibrations of the drill can (and will) easily break the thin sapphire material. It’s also interesting to know that these tasks are done by hand and in hand. The material could not rest on any mount due to the thinness of the sapphire sheets. The spectacular result shows the beautiful patterns that Ghery also applied to the Louis Vuitton Maison in Seoul. And, importantly for the watch collector, it gives the tourbillon movement the center stage.

Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève Sapphire

The sapphire case measures 43.8mm in diameter and 11.27mm thick. As mentioned above, Ghery and Louis Vuitton also opted for a hand-crafted sapphire dial, crown, and hands. All dial parts have polished and matte surfaces, and the outlines of the sapphire hands have luminescent pigments (using HyCeram Luminex) for good readability in low-light conditions. Attached to the sapphire case is this white leather strap. It comes with a rose gold folding buckle to match the rose gold elements of the movement. The leather is taurillon leather, Louis Vuitton’s high-end grainy soft leather with a soft feel to it.

Caliber LFT MM05.01

Inside this Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève Sapphire Frank Gehry is caliber LFT MM05.01. The movement is perfectly visible through the case and dial, and there are no hidden secrets. The movement is finished according to the highest standards, hence the Poinçon de Genève seal. Even the smallest components boast chamfering and satin finishes.

The movement plays with two colors — (solid) rose gold for the mainplate and rhodium-plated gears and flying tourbillon components. The rose gold plate has been decorated with a concentric satin finish. Caliber LFT MM05.01 has a power reserve of 80 hours and ticks at a 21,600vph (3Hz) frequency. It also consists of 160 components, including 17 jewels, and the Monogram-flower-shaped tourbillon cage rotates once per minute. On the case back, Frank Gehry’s signature can be found in the center of the sapphire crystal.

Only five pieces

Louis Vuitton will produce only five of these Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève Sapphire Frank Gehry timepieces for the lucky few. With a price of US$935,000, the buyer will own something rare and distinctive connected to the 95-year-old architect Frank Gehry.

The Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève Sapphire Frank Gehry is nothing less than impressive on the wrist. While having it on my wrist to take some images, I wondered how many of the five pieces would see any wrist time from their owners. Will these be safe queens or trophies on display in beautiful homes somewhere? Or will they find their way to the wrists of five lucky people eager to show it to other watch (or Louis Vuitton) fans?

For more information, visit Louis Vuitton online.

Watch specifications

Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève Sapphire Frank Gehry
Case Material
Case Dimensions
43.8mm (diameter) × 11.27mm (thickness)
Case Back
LFTMM05.01: manual winding with flying tourbillon, 21,600vph (3Hz) frequency, 80-hour power reserve, 17 jewels, Poinçon de Genève
Water Resistance
White taurillon leather with a rose gold folding clasp
Time only (hours, minutes, sub-seconds
Special Note(s)
Limited to five pieces