Lionel Messi, football’s most decorated player in history lifted his record-breaking eighth Ballon d’Or trophy in Paris today and eager watch fans spotted he was wearing a peculiar piece when he took to the stage.
Lionel Messi is infinity; or at least, that was the eternal message after Argentina’s captain Lionel Messi lifted his eighth record Ballon d’Or.
The Inter Miami forward, who is widely considered to be the greatest footballer to have ever played the game, lifted the final trophy that has escaped him throughout his already glittering and illustrious career, the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and with it, secured his place in the upper echelons of world football.
It was here during a ceremony in front of the world’s media, that Messi was celebrated and recognised for his greatest achievement and awarded his eighth Ballon d’Or award. As he took to the stage, fans noticed the football GOAT was wearing a very unusual, but revolutionary, timepiece: the Louis Vuitton Tambour.
First launched in 2002, the Louis Vuitton Tambour perfectly encapsulated the luxury French brand’s iconic watch design, presented with a chic and sporty spirit.
In French, tambour means drum, owing to the watch’s circular case shape and its rotund depth, but it’s a poignant connection to the South American passion and pride displayed by every Argentinian fan during the World Cup, whose national team’s triumphs in Qatar were celebrated and cheered against the rolling soundtrack of the drum.
The 2023 iteration of LV’s Tambour is an interesting reflection of the visions coming out of La Fabrique du Temps; it’s a sporty piece, but sophisticated and elegant.
Messi’s piece is a 40mm yellow gold casing reflective of his record-breaking eighth Ballon d’Or whilst small details, that envelop the watch, such as the ‘Louis Vuitton Paris, Fab. En Suisse,’ signage, boasts understated elegance and precision that has become synonymous with LV’s signature line.
The use of an integrated bracelet is all the rage in modern horology; luxury Swiss brands such as Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe championed the feature whilst IWC, Vacheron and other top brands have been quick to join the trend.
Here Louis Vuitton’s inclusion is a nod to the traditions of luxury watchmaking, whilst contemporary, sporty features place the Tambour firmly on the modern wrist.
You’ll remember, Lionel Messi first joined the French brand alongside his perennial rival Cristiano Ronaldo in a now-iconic viral campaign almost one year ago. The hotly-contested pair are well-known for their commercial endeavour outside of the sport, but it was the first time the long-time rivals had ever featured together for a campaign.
The Ballon d’Or – or Golden Ball – is an annual award ceremony held by French newspaper France Football, and is awarded to the footballer who performed the best throughout the calendar year. Other notable winners include Cristiano Ronaldo, who spent his entire career competing with Messi for football’s most coveted prize, Karim Benzema, Luka Modrić, and the Brazilians, Kaká and Ronaldinho.
Messi’s World Cup win over France was a poetic finish during the twilight years of the 36-year-old legend’s career, dismantling defending champions France and football’s next great heir, Kylian Mbappé in a dramatic final in Qatar.
By his own admission, this will be Lionel Messi’s final Ballon d’Or of his career, as he passes the baton to the next generation of stars to come through.