Today La malle en coin introduce you an up-close view of a tumbler lock of Louis Vuitton.
A tumbler lock is a lock made up of tumblers (metal parts) on a pivot, which are lifted by the key bit rotation. All tumblers must be lifted simultaneously to enable the bolt to slide past.
The lock on Louis Vuitton trunks and suitcases is built on the same principle since the beginning of the 20th century.
First there were 2 tumblers, till around 1900 when the current lock was created, with 5 tumblers. To build a lock, Vuitton has 9 different tumblers in stock. The tumblers are chosen depending on the required combination.
Each tumbler has a different cutout than the other ones, in terms of depth and location.
For instance, the lock No. 017856 is made of a combination of tumblers 17856. The same tumblers put in a different order, for instance 56781, make a different lock.
Thus it is easy to make 3, 4 or 100 locks with the same combination and the same key, or to do the opposite and create 100 locks with 100 different keys.
That was Vuitton’s selling point when that lock was created.
I have long believed that Vuitton had invented the tumbler lock… It is not the case; I think that the firm has designed the interoperability of the tumblers on request.
The principle of the tumbler lock exists since the 18th century.