Conceived as its entry-level mechanical wristwatch, the LV Fifty Five has a sleek, thin case that is almost retro, being inspired by timepieces of the not too distant 1980s and 1990s. Another inspiration are the aluminium trunks made by Louis Vuitton in the 19th century, while its name is a play on the initials “LV”, which mean 55 in Roman numerals.
The slim form of the LV Fifty Five is starkly different from the drum-shaped Tambour or the more recent Escale. Though new, its shape is strangely familiar, being heavily reminiscent of watches like the Ebel Wave, TAG Heuer Kirium or Tiffany Streamerica. Conceived by designers like Hysek and Giugiaro, such watches were emblematic of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the LV Fifty Five leans heavily on them for inspiration.
Scattered throughout the design are references to Louis Vuitton, the most obvious being the “V” shaped hour markers and logo at 12 o’clock. Even more obvious are the two metal plates bearing the brand name are affixed to the case at 6 and 12 o’clock, modelled on similar name plates on vintage Vuitton trunks.
|Steam trunk in aluminium, circa 1892|
Being made in-house at Louis Vuitton’s impressive facility in Geneva, the dials are notably well made, with appealing colours and finishing. The dial is subtly complex, being made up of two parts, a sunburst brushed centre portion and a domed chapter ring for the hours. Each of the hour markers is slightly longer than the chapter ring, making it resemble a frame for the dial.
Variants and specs
The LV Fifty Five line-up is made up of three models, starting with the GMT Automatic at the top end. It’s 41 mm in diameter, but like all the other watches in the collection, wears smaller than it is. The dial is dark grey with green accents, while the movement is an ETA 2893.
The next model is 36 mm wide, with a bright silver dial that resembles aluminium. Intended to be unisex, it’s small size means it’ll more likely be worn by ladies. This is powered by an ETA 2892.
And the smallest model is a 31 mm quartz model, also with a silver dial. All three are offered either on an integrated bracelet, or a soft, unpadded leather strap with a folding buckle.
Pricing and availability
The LV Fifty Five starts at €2900 or S$5600 for the 31 mm quartz ladies’ model on a leather strap, and €3300 or S$6400 on bracelet. The midsize automatic €3500 or S$6750 on strap, and €4000 or S$7750 on a steel bracelet. And the GMT Automatic is €3900 or S$7550 on strap, while on a bracelet it’s €4500 or S$8700.
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