|  29 apr 2015

Maria Doulton: Ladies' watches do a lot more than tell the time - they tell us a lot about the age that we live in. So it's natural that houses that make fashion, draw on their archives for inspiration when it comes to designing watches. And nowhere more so than at houses such as Chanel, Dior and Vuitton, who were all at Baselworld.

At Louis Vuitton, the V of the LV logo takes over the dial in a pattern that looks very much like lace, and this was taken directly from Nicolas Ghesquière's 2015 Summer collection, which was shown earlier this year in Paris. Here, using black or red paint and 268 diamonds, that lacy effect is recreated on the dial, showing just what's hot on the catwalk can also be very much on trend on a watch dial.

Buy the Louis Vuitton Chevron jewellery watch here

Gabrielle Chanel's life is still very much the creative driving force at Chanel and I think when you look at this Flying Tourbillon Camellia watch it brings together in a very clever way elements that were very close to Chanel and her life. So, the shape of the watch case is in fact like the Place Vendome, and the tourbillon is in the shape of a camellia, which was her favourite flower, so it's a very clever way to bring together the history of the house, but in the world of fine watchmaking, and it's just a really elegant way to wear something very sophisticated which, I think, Gabrielle Chanel was all about.

These three Dior Grand Bal Envol watches are inspired by Monsieur Dior's 1948 couture collection called Envol and, like much of Mr Dior's work, are very architectural, with clever pleating and lots of volume. You can see when you look at these watch dials the mesmerising effect of ball gowns swirling on a dance floor, and that's thanks both to the rotor that spins around on the dial of the watch and is decorated with mother-of-pearl and coloured stones, as well as that fascinating material underneath the rotor that is in fact scarab beetle wings.

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