The modern model of launching watches is a glorious thing. In the “before time”, we would still be waiting on one of the industry’s only watch fairs to be pummelled by hundreds of new watch release. Instead, we’re a touch past half way through January, and there’s a healthy little assortment of new watches that have just been unveiled between LVMH Watch Week Singapore, and the LVMH Watch Week festivities in New York that we’ve just returned back to Canada from.
It took a global pandemic and the death of Baselworld for brands to get a handle on this, but there’s finally an industry consensus that scattering watch launches out over the course of the entire year is better for exposure. What’s more, brands have also gotten wise to the idea that a “launch” can be immediate; several of the watches to drop cover this past week arrived at retailers on the day they were unveiled. This is a far cry from the unveilings of old that would happen in the spring with hopes of deliveries by late Q4 of that year.
No matter how you slice it, this new model is a winner, and the LVMH watch group — comprised of TAG Heuer, Zenith, Hublot, and Bvlgari — solves a lot of problems. This latest batch of watches was filled with noteworthy pieces, deserving of a recap with live imagery from our appointments.
TAG Heuer — A New Carrera, & A Twist of Tech
It’s destined to be an interesting year at TAG Heuer for a handful of reasons, and we’re not mad about it. On one end of the spectrum, the brand has taken a dramatically different approach to the Monza than we’ve ever seen — opting for a combination of skeletonization and a neon colour palette. On the other, the 60th Anniversary Carrera Chronograph revives a brand legend in a format that just modernized enough to suit modern tastes. If neither of those tick the right boxes for you, there’s a new 42mm version of the brand’s Connected watch (and a new Golf Edition), as well as a new titanium version of the solar-powered Aquaracer Solargraph.
Hublot — Materials, Rainbows, & Legacy
Let’s face it, Hublot always goes hard. This time around, the brand dropped new rainbow gemset Big Bang Integral Models (both Unico Chronograph and time-only references) — a pair of watches that got plenty of attention from everyone in the room. They also managed to pull off a new variation of sapphire casing on the Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Neon Yellow Saxem, specifically by using a sapphire aluminum oxide alloy to achieve its vibrant yellow hue. Pretty clever, but these days we always expect wild alloys from the brand.
Zenith — Nodding to The Past While Launching Forward
In a way similar to TAG, Zenith also played with both the heritage and forward-thinking ends of its offerings for LVMH Watch Week. Expanding on the Revival subset of watches, we’re seeing an all-new Defy Revival model, this time in the form of the A3691 that first came to market in the early ’70s. On the other end, the Defy Skyline was expanded to include more svelte 36mm references in an assortment of colours, as well as a skeletonized version for the first time.
Bvlgari — Ladies First
On the men’s side of things there wasn’t much of anything to say about Bvlgari at LVMH Watch Week in New York, however our chat with Antoine Pin — the brand’s Managing Director — gave us a bit of insight into what to expect a little further into the year. The ladies’ pieces shown included a lot of high jewelry, including the Serpenti Turbogas seen above. A keen eye will note the diamond setting running around its bracelet, which is a new feat for the brand that meant a complete redesign of the bracelet and its links. As we spoke with Antoine Pin it was made clear that more interesting innovation is coming to the men’s watch collections at Watches And Wonders this year, though as a change of pace, it’s not going to be in the much-loved Octo Finissimo line.