By Maria Doulton
Louis Vuitton confirms its commitment to bringing the excitement of the catwalk and its horological kudos to the wrist. Combining the elements that make Louis Vuitton watches so successful is proving to be a winning strategy. These new Louis Vuitton ladies' watches are the boldest I have seen yet, with a strong use of colour and patterns, brought to shimmering life in diamonds and sapphires, and accentuated with details from its famous leather handbags.
The watch that first caught my eye was the Chevron jewellery watch, created under the guidance of Vuitton's designer Nicolas Ghesquière. With an Aztec air, Ghesquière used the "V" symbol in his Summer 2015 ready-to-wear collection, and has continued the theme on this new Louis Vuitton watch. Hand-painted lacquer and 268 diamonds create the effect of lace on the dial, uniting the worlds of couture and watchmaking.
There is a red lacquer version in white gold as well as a black lacquer model, and only eight will be made of both. Each one is hand painted at Vuitton's La Fabrique du Temps workshop in Geneva.
Discreet and dainty, the new Tambour Monogram Bijou Epi watch in bright poppy red or more sober electric black measures a mere 21mm. This charming new Louis Vuitton watch, with a deeply engraved dial imitating the pattern of sunrays, catches the light with every move of the wrist. The more luxurious versions include diamonds, both as hour-markers and on the bezel.
Look closely and you will see that, like the house's leather goods, the famous Monogram pattern is lightly etched on top of the sunray pattern. Further bringing the universe of Vuitton's leather goods to the wrist, the straps are made of grooved Epi leather and the edges are painted black, adding an extra touch of style. The shining star of this family is the Tambour Monogram Bijou Riviere. The 212 diamonds on the dial really do imitate the rays of the sun, which on a bright day is a spectacle to rival the sun itself. A further 463 diamonds bring a high-voltage sparkle to the watch bracelet and bezel.
The square Louis Vuitton Emprise Epi watch, directly inspired by the famous trunks, has also had a revamp. Presented with a new strap directly inspired by Ghesquière's catwalk show, with its predominance of denim blue and poppy red, flashes of these colours frame the dial, complemented by an Epi leather strap with either yellow overstitching for the denim blue version, or red on red for the poppy version. The new Emprise Malletage watch, meanwhile, picks up on the quilted pattern of the padded linings of the steamer trunks and interprets it in leather or metal bracelets.
Saving the most spectacular of the new Louis Vuitton watches for women until last, the Tambour Monogram Sun Tourbillon brings together the best of Vuitton's Fabrique du Temps horological know-how and its signature style. A mother-of-pearl flower blooms on the dial - the bottom petal opening to reveal an impressive tourbillon with the LV star at its centre. In constant spinning motion, the tourbillon is one of horology's greatest achievements, and craftsmanship powers the LV80 Calibre, which was entirely developed and created at the Fabrique du Temps workshop.
The rest of the dial is decorated with snow-set diamonds, creating a shimmering rich background for the creamy sunray patterns of the mother-of-pearl flower. Choose from the white all-diamond version, or pink or blue sapphires, and wear the very finest horology with the distinctive Louis Vuitton style.