Earlier this week, French luxury powerhouse LVMH staged its first Watch Week in Dubai to showcase the novelties of its four brands, Bvlgari, Hublot, Zenith and TAG Heuer (even though the latter had no new watches on display), which we’ve covered on MONOCHROME. But to end this rather intense week, let’s take a look at the three best watches that were introduced at the LVMH Watch Week in Dubai – at least, in our opinion.
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Satin-Polished in Steel
As you know, we love the Octo Finissimo at MONOCHROME. It’s bold, modern, refined, complex in shape and it features a fascinating ultra-thin movement – Calibre BVL138 with micro-rotor – just 2.23mm thick, making it a contender for the thinnest time-only watch on the market today. For the LVMH Watch Week, Bvlgari brings a new version of its highly acclaimed watch in steel… Well, you could argue that this watch already existed. True, but the new version gets rid of the sandblasted finish (not liked by all) for a more classic and more contrasting combination of satin and polished surfaces – and it gives the watch an even more architectural look. Best of all, the water-resistance goes up from 30m to a very respectable 100m, thanks to a screw-down crown and only 0.1mm extra thickness (5.25mm now versus 5.15mm)… Insignificant.
Quick Facts: 40mm diameter x 5.25mm height – polished and satin-brushed steel – 100m water-resistant – ultra-thin automatic movement, micro-rotor – Calibre BVL138 – steel bracelet, satin polished, folding clasp – reference 103297 – USD 12,000
More details at www.bulgari.com.
Hublot Big Bang Integral in Titanium
As surprising as it may seem, the Hublot Big Bang, a watch that celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, has never been available on an integrated bracelet – which is, admittedly, an enigma considering the current love for these watches. Problem solved with the new “Big Bang Integral“, a redefined version of Hublot’s robust sports chronograph, now with an integrated metallic bracelet and a redesigned case. Although Hublot hasn’t always been our cup of tea here, at MONOCHROME, we have to admit that this iteration, with its polished bevelled angles all around, contrasting over the brushed surfaces, is really quite desirable. The movement inside, the in-house Unico base, is also a very decent modern engine. And best of all, the titanium case/bracelet combo makes it quite comfy, despite the 42mm diameter and the large amount of metal (also available in black ceramic and King Gold).
Quick Facts: 42mm diameter – satin-finished and polished titanium – 100m water-resistant – integrated automatic chronograph with column wheel – Calibre Unico HUB1280 – integrated satin-finished and polished bracelet in titanium – 451.NX.1170.NX – EUR 20,700
More details at hublot.com.
Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Edition
Zenith certainly was the most active of the four brands at the LVMH Watch Week, with a plethora of novelties. While the new Elite collection caught our attention with its elegant design, the most remarkable of the new models is the Zenith x Land Rover Defy 21. First of all, it brings a rugged, yet minimalistic and monochromatic look to this usually quite bold model, with a completely grey colour scheme – for the ceramic case, the bezel and the rubber strap. Second, it features a closed dial to enhance its tool-watch nature. Finally, it still retains the innovative and ultra-active declination of the El Primero movement, which still runs thanks to a 5hz regulator… But only for the timekeeping part, as the chronograph is regulated by a second escapement that runs at 50Hz (or 360,000 vibrations/hour), allowing this watch to time to the closest 1/100th of a second, with a central seconds hand that turns around the dial once per second.
Quick Facts: 44mm diameter – sandblasted grey ceramic – 100m water-resistant – automatic chronograph with two escapements, one for timekeeping (36,000vph of 5Hz) and one for the chronograph (360,000vph or 50Hz) – Calibre El Primero 9004 – rubber strap and fabric/rubber strap – 97.9000.9004/01.R787 – Limited to 250 pieces – CHF 13,900
More details at www.zenith-watches.com.