Despite the fact that the global sanitary situation (which struck the industry quite hard in 2020) still prevents brands to expose their new collection physically, with traditional watch fairs, the past week has been quite intense for the LVMH Watch Division. Indeed, 3 of the group’s brands (Bvlgari, Hublot & Zenith) digitally presented some new models to kick off the year. While we didn’t have the opportunity to handle the Hublot models in the metal yet, we had the chance to review all novelties from the two other exposing brands. And clearly, both Bvlgari & Zenith didn’t disappoint. Today we present you the three watches that really made an impression on us.
The Zenith Chronomaster Sport
Since 1994, the Chronomaster has been Zenith’s successful vision of a sports chronograph watch, models often directly inspired by the legendary 1969 El Primero collection. This year, the brand gives its watch a strong boost outside and inside, with a new design and upgraded mechanics. First, the case is new and offered in a versatile 41mm diameter. Most importantly, it is topped by a black 1/10th of a second ceramic bezel, which changes the look of the watch – in a very good way. The dial retains the classic El Primero tri-colour layout, but inside the movement has made a jump in the 21st century. Its central seconds hand is able to precisely display the 10th of a second, rotating in 10 seconds around the dial, while the power reserve has been beefed up to 60 hours and the decoration drastically modernized. Worn on a steel bracelet, it makes a great alternative to another famous watch, once equipped with an El Primero-based movement too…
Quick Facts: 41mm diameter x 13.60mm height – stainless steel case – black ceramic bezel – water-resistant to 100m – available in black or white, tri-colour counters – El Primero calibre 3600, in-house – automatic column-wheel, 5Hz frequency, 60h power reserve – stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp or rubber strap with folding clasp – EUR 9,700 – www.zenith-watches.com
The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo S Steel Silvered Dial
The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo is a watch full of contradictions… It is one of the thinnest automatic watches around, but also has an impressively bold design. It is delicate and could appear fragile, but it is now robust enough for an active lifestyle. It also beautifully merge the codes of ultra-thin with those of luxury sports watches. First presented in a monochromatic titanium version, this style was somehow lost in the recent S models, with reinforced water resistance but contrasting dials. This year, the brand goes back to its beloved tone-on-tone style, yet with a watch full of textures and reflections, the new Octo Finissimo S Steel Silvered Dial. Once again, this results in a watch that wears like an integral design object. Inside is still the in-house 2.23mm thin micro-rotor movement and the case measures no more than 6.40mm, despite having 100m water-resistance.
Quick Facts: 40mm diameter x 6.40mm height – stainless steel case – water-resistant to 100m – vertically brushed silver-coloured dial – calibre BVL138 Finissimo, in-house – ultra-thin automatic, 3Hz frequency, 60h power reserve – integrated stainless steel bracelet, triple folding clasp – EUR 12,300 – www.bulgari.com
The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Titanium Black Dial
The Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT is another impressive watch by Bvlgari, as it smashed the world record as the thinnest chronograph watch in 2019. Despite its paper-thin 6.90mm height, it packed a column-wheel chronograph and a practical GMT function, within its modern and sporty case. First presented in full matte titanium with a matching dial, it has been revamped this year with two new editions. First is an even sportier, slightly larger blue panda edition. Second is the one here, still with its sand-blasted titanium case but now with black dial and rubber strap. Even more versatile, easier to use and to wear, it is a great addition to the collection. Plus, the mechanics inside are still here, with this fascinating ultra-thin column wheel movement wound by a peripheral rotor. And the combination of a chrono and a GMT function makes it suitable for almost all situations.
Quick Facts: 42mm diameter x 6.90mm height – sandblasted titanium case – water-resistant to 30m – black opaline dial with silver markings – Bvlgari in-house calibre BVL 318 – automatic column-wheel chronograph with peripheral rotor, 4Hz frequency, 55h power reserve – black textured rubber strap on pin buckle – EUR 17,400 – www.bulgari.com