Louis Vuitton

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Louis Vuitton is a famed luxury goods maker, founder of the LVMH group, and launched a high-end watch line in 2002.

Overview

Louis Vuitton was founded in 1854, opening the first shop for luggage and travel items in Paris. In 1987, Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy were combined to form LVMH, then the world's largest producer of luxury goods. The company was controlled by Bernard Arnault under his Arnault Group after a hostile takeover in 1988. LVMH continued to grow, with major acquisitions in the area of watchmaking including Benedom (1995, including Favre-Leuba and their Swiss high-end watchmaking workshop), Ebel, TAG Heuer, and Zenith (1999), Bulgari (2001), and Hublot (2008).

The first Luis Vuitton-branded watch line, Tambour, was launched in 2002, rivaling offerings from Chanel, Ralph Lauren, and others. This remains the primary watch line for Louis Vuitton to this day. The company leveraged the high-end watchmaking expertise of Les Ateliers Horlogers (formerly Ebel's "Private Label Development" arm) in La Chaux-de-Fonds along with third parties like BNB Concept to develop higher-end watches throughout the decade.

In 2010, Louis Vuitton launched its first in-house movement, the Spin Time. LVMH subsidiary Hublot had purchased the assets of BNB Concept in early 2010, and this inspired Louis Vuitton to purchase BNB spin-off La Fabrique du Temps in 2011. The company merged this with casemaker Léman Cadrans and their existing La Chaux-de-Fonds workshop in 2014 to create La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, a high-end watch manufacture. This enabled the company to compete at the highest levels of the industry.

Louis Vuitton launched the Escale Worldtime watch in 2014, a complicated offering. Their 2016 Voyager Flying Tourbillon “Poinçon de Genève” achieved the Geneva Hallmark.

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