LVMH Watch Week returns with its sophomore edition featuring a week of virtual manufacture tours, novelty launches and interviews. Its inaugural event in Dubai last January was officiated in response to the luxury conglomerate’s departure from contentious annual watch fair Baselworld, preferring instead to present novelties from Bvlgari, Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith within its own exclusive setting.
While TAG Heuer has chosen to reveal its 2021 timepieces at a separate event on Feb 4, Bvlgari, Hublot and Zenith had put together an impressive first day. Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe took guests on a virtual tour of the Nyon manufacture in wintry Switzerland, showcasing departments directly involved in the creation of its latest novelties. Bvlgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin and Chinese-Canadian actor, singer and model Kris Wu discussed the brand’s new masterpiece over a video call while Zenith introduced NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers as its new ambassador.
The event was a promising start for the year of haute horlogerie to come. Check out our favourite novelties from the LVMH Watch Week 2021:
Sound is thrust into the spotlight with the new Bulgari Masterpiece of Sound novelty, the Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon. Timekeeping is elevated from a mundane chore to a transcendent experience with this melange of artistry and technique as a three-hammer chime meets a tourbillon regulator.
As with all striking watches, the timepiece was built with sound at its heart, from affixing the chimes directly onto the titanium case body for utmost sound transmission and diffusion to the generous proportions that maximise sound propagation. Painstaking production ensures the gongs’ crystalline resonance while the three hammers indicate the different tones for the hours, quarter-hours and minutes in the melodic sequence.
The in-house manufactured Calibre BVL428 is a 432-part manually-wound movement that measures a mere 8.35mm thick. Its two barrels safeguard the sound mechanism and the 75-hour power reserve, with a sapphire crystal caseback flaunting the play of depth and dimension enabled through clever construction and surface finishing. A black alligator strap cements the sophisticated aesthetic of this 15-piece limited edition timepiece.
Signing on Rodgers as an ambassador was a well-timed move considering Zenith’s new masterpiece: the next generation of the Chronomaster Sport collection with an evolved El Primero calibre boasting accuracy of 1/10th of a second.
This affirms the watchmaker’s gravitas in technicity, drawing inspiration from past greats to create a sporty chronograph like no other. The updated calibre boasts higher performance and precision than its predecessors with a frequency of 36,000 VpH (5Hz) and 60 hours of power reserve.
The two new references of the Chronomaster Sport comprise a matte black or white dial with the signature El Primero tri-colour chronograph markings in blue, anthracite and light grey, as well as chronograph counters graduated to 60 for intuitive reading. The 41mm steel case with pump-style pushers is offset by a novel polished black ceramic bezel etched with the 10-second gradations, allowing viewers to instantly distinguish the model.
A sapphire crystal caseback allows for a clear view of the movement within while bracelet options include an integrated steel bracelet or a textured cordura-effect strap for a rugged aesthetic.
The Art of Fusion philosophy perfectly encapsulates the spirit of innovation behind Hublot’s avant-garde wonders. Among its greatest accomplishments is its cutting-edge work with manufactured sapphire. Following world-first reveals of cases and dials in through-tinted clear, black, red, blue and yellow sapphire, Hublot completes this palette with the Big Bang Automatic Orange Sapphire.
This striking hue is another world premiere, made possible with the skilful incorporation of titanium and chromium into the manufacturing process. The six H-shaped titanium screws on the bezel, iconic of the Big Bang design, perfectly frame a new tourbillon movement within the skeleton dial.
Few other watchmakers would attempt not only a self-winding tourbillon (an incredibly rare feat), but one with a reconstructed architecture with three sapphire bridges and a micro-rotor dial-side up. Seventy-two hours of autonomy power the tourbillon’s nimble dance in its cage at 6 o’clock, and the lightness of the entire aesthetic is elevated with a transparent orange rubber strap featuring lined relief and the patented express One Click interchangeability system. The Big Bang Automatic Orange Sapphire is a hypnotising fusion of transparency and audacity, further coveted for its limited release of just 50 pieces.