For the first time, the horological calendar gets under way courtesy of LVMH. With fairs no longer having the monopoly on the big reveals, a number of brands have decided to go it alone or are hosting their own events. It’s the case of Bulgari, Hublot and Zenith, all of which belong to the world’s largest luxury group. Previously, they would take advantage of Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, held in January in Geneva, to lift the veil on their novelties for the year. With SIHH, which becomes Watches & Wonders Geneva, now scheduled in April, presentations have been relocated to the Bulgari Resort in Dubai. We take a look at what’s on show.
Bulgari Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon White Gold
Bulgari begins the year with a major new release, the Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon. The dial and bezel of the rose gold and white gold versions are diamond pavé, with the addition of a diamond bracelet on the full pavé white gold version. So as not to distract from the refined lines of the collection, Bulgari has developed a movement with a miniature tourbillon, which it describes as the smallest on the market.
Bulgari Serpenti Seduttori Steel and Rose Gold
Building on the success of the Seduttori collection – the latest iteration of the legendary Serpenti which launched in 2019 – Bulgari is introducing five new models to the range. They include a precious version with diamonds, a two-tone version in rose gold and steel, and another two-tone version, this time in white gold and steel.
Bulgari Diva's Dream Finissima Minute Repeater Malachite
Hard stone dials ring the changes for the ultra-thin minute repeater in the Diva’s Dream collection. Green malachite or blue lapis-lazuli join the diamonds on the bezel, lugs and dial. A third interpretation features a dial crafted with peacock feathers.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater Sandblasted Rose Gold
This new release adds to the collection of Octo Finissimo watches, which have set a slew of world’s-thinnest records. First presented in 2016 in platinum, this minute repeater is remarkable for the cut-outs in the dial which double up as hour markers and also amplify the chimes. This year’s version is in sandblasted rose gold.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Satin-Polished Steel
The automatic Octo Finissimo, which is powered by the ultra-thin (2.23mm) BVL 138 calibre, also lends itself to new versions. Alongside renditions in satin-polished rose gold and sandblast-polished ceramic comes this piece in satin-polished steel, complete with steel bracelet and lacquered dial.
Zenith Defy 21 Carl Cox
While in Dubai, Zenith took the opportunity to introduce the latest “friend of the brand”, Carl Cox, and reveal the first special edition Defy 21 which it dedicates to the DJ and producer. Made as a 200-piece limited edition, the 1/100th of a second chronograph rolls out a carbon bezel, luminous strap stitching, an openwork dial and running seconds shaped like a vinyl record.
Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Edition
Coinciding with the release of the next-generation Land Rover Defender, Zenith, which is partner to the British automaker, releases an original version of its 1/100th of a second chronograph. The Defy 21 Land Rover Edition, limited to 250 pieces, gives a new raw look to the original, in particular the microblasted finish on the titanium case. This is also the first Defy 21 to feature a linear power-reserve indicator.
Zenith Defy Midnight
Women take the honours at Zenith this year, with the presentation of the new Defy Midnight collection of sport-chic watches. Set in a 36mm stainless steel case hemmed with brilliant-cut diamonds, with more diamonds in place of hour markers, the dial introduces a glossy finish with a vertical gradient effect suggesting the night sky above the horizon.
Zenith Elite 36mm
Zenith revisits its past with these new unisex Elite watches, distinguished by a sleeker, more minimalist style. Proposed in two sizes with several dial and case combinations, the Elite Classic and Elite Moonphase set the tone for Zenith’s vision of contemporary elegance.
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Rescue
Until now, the Pilot collection looked to the history of the brand with combinations of aged case materials and coloured dials. Now Zenith is giving its icon the functional appeal and contemporary design of a modern watch, offered in a stainless steel case paired with a slate-grey dial.
Hublot Big Bang Integral
Fifteen years after its creation, the Hublot Big Bang gets its first integrated bracelet, with the first link fused to the case. The brand is marking the occasion with three variations, in black ceramic, King Gold or titanium. An All-Black version is limited to 500 pieces and is dedicated to the “invisible visibility” concept that Hublot introduced in 2006.
Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 King Gold
Hublot has reworked its in-house Meca-10 calibre, which delivers 10 days of power reserve, to fit the tonneau shape of the Spirit of Big Bang 45mm. Three versions, in titanium, ceramic or King Gold on rubber straps, set the ball rolling.
Big Bang MP-11 Red Magic
Red ceramic – an exploit made all the more challenging by the fact that coloured ceramic is notoriously difficult to stabilise – wraps around the Big Bang MP-11. This 100-piece limited edition incorporates an in-house movement that provides 14 days of power reserve, courtesy of the seven series-coupled barrels that are prominent on the dial side.
Spirit of Big Bang Rainbow 42 MM
After the Big Bang, Spirit of Big Bang is next in line for the rainbow treatment. The soft glow of cases in King Gold shimmers with a paving of round and baguette-cut gemstones. On the 42mm version, the hour circle clasps the skeletonised chronograph movement in the same way the claws of a setting grasp a precious stone.
Hublot Classic Fusion Gold Crystal
Hublot presents a Classic Fusion whose dial is embellished with gold crystal, a Hublot exclusive. This gold crystal is obtained by heating gold in the purest form possible to melting point. This produces emanations of gold, like steam carrying atoms of gold. As soon as they reach a cold surface, they set in a crystalline form. These crystals are then carefully detached and laid on the dial.
Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu II King Gold Blue Pavé
Blue is the new black. The Big Bang Sang Bleu II explores a palette of blue in new limited editions. A sculpture as much as a timepiece, according to tattoo artist Maxime Plescia-Büchi, it comes as a 45mm diameter in titanium or in King Gold, with or without stone-setting.