Maria Doulton: It's always a nice break to come to Louis Vuitton at Baselworld because here everything is calm and elegant, far from the madness of the main halls. I'm here to see the new collection, which is quite surprising this year in its breadth and range for both men and women.
For women, there's a wide range of choice that goes from the Monogram Tambour, on a really practical stainless steel strap, right through to the high jewellery pieces, like the Dentelle Monogram. My favourite high jewellery piece is this one, which is called the Monogram Infini, and I like it so much because the design on the dial was first seen in a high jewellery collection, and I like the way that you can bring jewellery into watches.
The news for men this year is the Worldtime, which is a new and very contemporary way to look at this very traditional complication. Bright colours bring us the time around the world, and it's all hand-painted using these interesting and certainly innovative motifs.
I had the chance to ask Hamdi Chatti, who is the man in charge of watches at Louis Vuitton, which is his favourite watch of the year. Now, surprisingly, he didn't say it was some complicated men's watch. Instead, he has chosen the Emprise, which is the new women's watch in a square, solid shape. This watch is inspired by the Louis Vuitton trunk. Now, I can't think of a harder challenge for a designer to make a watch based on a trunk, but I think it works.
After over a decade of making watches, which isn't long in the world of watchmaking, Louis Vuitton is showing that it's a serious player.