This past weekend in Bermuda, the 2017 Countdown Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers came to a close. The qualifiers, which took place from May 26th to June 3rd, saw all of the challenger teams racing one another as they vied for points to determiine which four Challenger teams will progress to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs and in which order. If you haven’t already noticed, one of the dominant brand names of this 35th America’s Cup– like many before it — is Louis Vuitton. The luxury brand holds a starring role in the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda as the Official Title Partner of the America’s Cup Presented by Louis Vuitton.
Louis Vuitton has held the Official Title Sponsor role of the America’s Cup since 1983, and so its name is tagged to every series of the race countdown from the world series to the qualifiers, the Challenger races and the final matches. Now that the qualifiers have come to an end, the Challenger Playoff races begin on June 6 and run though June 12. These are the races wherein each of the four Challengers are pitted against one another to determine the final outcome: which Challenger team will head up against the Defenders, Oracle Team USA, for a chance to win the world’s oldest sporting trophy.
In addition to Louis Vuitton’s title partner role, the brand has also had a hand in creating an all-new Challenger’s Cup Trophy, and a travel case to go along with it. The Louis Vuitton Challenger’s trophy will be awarded to the Challenger team that emerges victorious on June 12th in the Bermuda Sound.
The new trophy is crafted in sterling silver. It weighs about 22 pounds and is just over two feet tall. Engraved on it are passing sails, as well as the famed Louis Vuitton Gaston ‘V’ mark (the symbol designed by Gaston-Louis Vuitton in the 1930’s to encapsulate the House’s values of Fly, Sail, Travel). The trophy was commissioned by Louis Vuitton to Thomas Lyte, a British goldsmith and silversmith.
To celebrate its role in the America’s Cup, Louis Vuitton also offers a complete America’s Cup Collection of clothing, bags, leather goods and more inspired by the sailing life. Included in the collection is the brand’s nautically inspired Tambour Navy Chronograph watch and an automatic version. The Tambour Navy Chronograph features a three-color design that interprets the Gaston V amidst the chronograph counters on the dial. Crafted in stainless steel, the 46mm watch is finished with a special canvas strap printed with the America’s Cup signature on it. Water resistant to 100 meters, the watch retails for $6,800.