LVMH Watch Week has become an annual January event, a smaller exhibition that acts as a taster for the full horological trade show circuit that begins later in the year. The group has only four brands, but each is a powerhouse in their respective niches. Together, they all have a broad appeal that means there is something for everyone. Here are the highlights of the show – which, this year, took place much closer to home at the Capella Singapore, a hotel on Sentosa Island.
DEFY Skyline Skeleton
Zenith expanded its latest collection, the DEFY Skyline, which is shaping up to be a versatile, contemporary line-up that stays away from the overt muscularity of the DEFY Extreme or the sportiness of the Chronomaster. The DEFY Skyline Skeleton (RM49,100) is one of the new offerings, a 41mm steel-cased watch with integrated bracelet (and optional rubber strap), an open-worked design that shows off its self-winding, 5Hz El Primero movement, and a tenth-of-a-second sub-dial at 6 o’clock. It draws immediate comparisons to the old DEFY Classic Skeleton, but the new watch does not have the aggression of the Classic’s five-pointed star design. Available in black or blue, the DEFY Skyline Skeleton instead has a symmetrical four-pointed star motif that is a nod to Zenith’s double-Z logo of the 1960s.
Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon Saxem
Hublot’s automatic tourbillon HUB6035 movement is already an impressive feat of engineering on its own. In recent years it has been a platform for the brand to debut some truly outrageous colourways – and this year is no different. The Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon Saxem (RM875,100) is a violently fluorescent yellow. Its 44mm case is see-through as well, following a number of cutting-edge coloured sapphire executions from the brand. The case here is not quite the sapphire that watch lovers know – it is made of Saxem, a material that combines aluminium oxide, which is the principal component of sapphire, with rare earth minerals that result in its vibrant hue. Saxem was originally developed for satellite technology, and was also used by Hublot in 2019 for the Big Bang MP-11. The new Saxem watch is limited to just 50 pieces, and is yet another step in Hublot’s incessant quest of material innovation and visual spectacle.
Monza Flyback Chronometer
The new TAG Heuer Carrera 60th Anniversary is for fans of the brand’s history, but the Monza Flyback Chronometer (RM56,500), on the other hand, may reference its 1970s roots albeit with a thoroughly modern make-up. It has a 42mm carbon case with black DLC-coated pushers and crown to match, and wears surprisingly easily despite its broad-shouldered profile. The dial is open-worked, while the minutes totaliser and running seconds sub-dials are translucent blue sapphire. The hour markers are blue as well, filled with lume that also glows a bright blue in the dark. The overall look is unabashedly sporty, with a hint of motorsports aggression. The Calibre Heuer 02 COSC Flyback, a self-winding COSC-certified flyback chronograph movement, from the Autavia collection also returns. The bezel has pulsometer markings for its first quarter, marked by a blue line and calibrated to 15 beats, while the rest of it acts as a tachymeter. A black textile strap with blue stitching completes it.
Serpenti Tubogas Infinity
Bulgari focused on its traditional strengths, with a dazzling, vibrantly coloured display of bejewelled ladies’ watches. Not quite so colourful but more intriguing on a technical basis was the Serpenti Tubogas Infinity. At first glance, it seems very similar to the pre-existing Serpenti Tubogas – a Bulgari icon with its snake-head watch on a plumbing-inspired bracelet – save the inlaid diamonds that undulate along its length. Its gem-set nature was made possible by re-engineering the bracelet entirely, with each gold segment constructed separately and assembled on a titanium blade in a way that sacrifices none of the suppleness and comfort that one expects of the Roman jeweller. Equipped with high-precision quartz movements, it comes in single- and double-twirl varieties (RM268,000 and RM347,000 respectively); the latter has 486 diamonds across bracelet, case, and dial, for a total of 5.85 carats.