Louis Vuitton's Les Ardentes watches continue the elegant precedent set by the French maison's jewellery collection of the same name: they feature diamonds cut in the shape of the brand's iconic Monogram flower. With other diamond-set watches, it is normally the designs - and the diamond settings themselves - that distinguish them, but Louis Vuitton has gone that extra step, making its new timepieces Louis Vuitton through and through.
The Ardentes collection was originally developed in 2010, a year after the Parisian luxury house entered the world of high jewellery. Since then, Louis Vuitton has made a unique mark on the jewellery world - a mark that, as the new Ardentes watches illustrate, is still resolutely flower-shaped. More often seen on a trunk or a handbag, this iconic monogram is just as comfortable set onto jewels.
The Ardentes collection has two particular diamond cuts. The flower cut has 65 facets and the star cut 77, compared to the brilliant cut, which has 58 facets. With diamonds, the more facets the more sparkle, and that's certainly true here. These glittering gemstones are far removed from those first handcrafted trunks that earned Vuitton its luxury status over a century and a half ago.
The monogram theme runs right through to the secret dials on both watches, the watch face teasingly half-hidden and then impressively revealed. Where the flower cut glitters prettily on earrings, necklaces and brooches, it comes alive on the Ardentes timepieces. Watches are a piece of jewellery that we look closer at - and at more regular intervals - by way of their very function. With cuts like these, set into beautiful designs, it makes the idea of time moving by that much more pleasurable.
Diamonds possess a truly rare beauty, and history has seen a variety of cuts and pioneering techniques turn rough rock into lustrous wonder. With the Ardentes and the monogram flower cut, Louis Vuitton has found not only an ingenious method to improve on a diamond's brilliance with more facets, but to do so in a way that captures and reflects the very essence of the legendary French brand.
Louis Vuitton Les Ardentes secret watch (covered) with diamond-set strap. The diamond-set disc slides open to reveal a watch dial.
Louis Vuitton Les Ardentes secret watch with black satin strap.
Louis Vuitton Les Ardentes secret watch (uncovered).
Louis Vuitton Les Ardentes secret watch revealed.