The Show Must Go On: LVMH Watch Week 2022

By The Time Place Magazine

The third iteration of the LVMH Watch Week brings excitement back to world of horology with new watches from Hublot, TAG Heuer, and Zenith

It began in the early months of 2020 – before the world learned of the COVID-19 virus – when we first heard of the LVMH group’s plan for the inaugural LVMH Watch Week in Dubai, a far cry from having to travel to Switzerland at wintertime. The LVMH Watch Week opened to much fanfare in 2020, and continues its success this year with its third iteration held digitally.

It surely did not take long for the show to become the horology world’s must-attend event of the year, as it showcases the group’s four Maisons, as well as their novelties, innovations and watchmaking know-how. “For this third edition of LVMH Watch Week we’re proud to once again shine a light on the collective momentum of our four Maisons – Bulgari, Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith – and kick off 2022 with a presentation of their latest creations. Our clients and partners will be able to discover innovative updates of iconic models, along with limited editions and exceptional timepieces, all reflecting exceptional craftsmanship and a unique vision of watchmaking. Anchored by the LVMH Group’s core values of creativity and innovation, this event is the first on the calendar of watch industry showcases, coming ahead of Watches and Wonders Geneva, which takes place in spring 2022,” says Stéphane Bianchi, Chief Executive Officer of the LVMH Watches & Jewellery Division.

As perhaps one of the most popular watch brands among the mainstream crowd, TAG Heuer took the opportunity to celebrate the Autavia – arguably the brand’s most historic model for its 60th anniversary. TAG Heuer first launched the Autavia chronograph watch in 1962. One of the chronograph watches in the market at the time, the watch is distinguished by its rotating bezel and large counters on a “Panda” dial that improves legibility. When it comes to chronograph calibres among TAG Heuer’s offerings, the Autavia sits at the forefront as perhaps it is the most historical and important hallmark in the brand’s history.

Sixty years on – for 2022 – and TAG Heuer commemorates the Autavia for its 60th anniversary with two special Autavia Flyback Chronographs, the first-ever with a flyback complication. Powered by the Calibre Heuer 02 COSC Flyback, the special commemorative watches sport a complication that is synonymous with the world of racing – particularly useful in timing race laps where every single second makes a difference in winning or losing. The flyback function combines the traditional three-step chronograph function into a single step with a push button at 4 o’clock on the case. This allows the timekeeper to measure the next lap in a split second with a single push.

The two new TAG Heuer Autavia 60th Anniversary Flyback Chronographs are presented in 42 mm diameter cases; one comes in a polished and fine-brushed stainless steel case, the other comes in a striking black DLC-coated, polished and fine brushed case. Both versions come with black ceramic rotating bezels and matching black alligator leather straps, however, it is the dial that easily distinguishes them apart. The stainless steel model comes with the iconic 1960s Panda-style silver dial with two contrasting chronograph counters in black at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions.  The black DLC-coated case comes with a matching black dial with monochromatic black chronograph counters for a sporty, edgy look.

Speaking of edgy aesthetics, Hublot makes a bang, with the Big Bang to be precise, as it is the brand’s most popular watch. The Big Bang, as the brand’s flagship model, has revolutionised the watchmaking world with its out-of-the-box, distinct, and edgy design. The watches have been pushing boundaries when it comes to designs, techniques and materials, with limited editions and exclusive partnerships to up the ante. One of most popular Hublot Big Bang partnership models is the Big Bang Sang Bleu II.

At the 2022 LVMH Watch Week, Hublot released three new iterations of the Big Bang Sang Bleu II.  The partnership began in 2016 with Swiss tattoo artist/entrepreneur, Maxime Plescia-Büchi. Büchi, who owns a creative agency called Sang Bleu, rose to prominence with his creative designs for magazines, fashion brands, as well as art. The new Sang Bleu II marks the third collaboration between Hublot and the artist; this year’s iterations see Büchi’s flair applied on Hublot’s highly technical materials: Magic Gold and ceramic.

The watches are presented in a 45 mm diameter with three different case materials. The first one comes in a polished 18-carat Magic Gold case with a matching matt black skeletonised dial. The ceramic case models come in Green and Black; the Black Magic version is rendered in a satin-finished and polished Black Magic ceramic case with a matt black skeletonised dial, while the green ceramic iteration comes in a satin-finished and polished ceramic case with a matching green skeletonised dial. Like all Sang Bleu II models of the past, the dial is the main attraction as it showcases playful lines criss-crossing over one another, creating depth and a somewhat 3-D effect due to the geometric patterns formed all over the surface.

The Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu II has always been an eye-pleasing, talk-of-the-town watch among the other Big Bang models. This year’s offerings are no different; the three models come in highly limited quantities: the proprietary Magic Gold is available in only 100 pieces, the Black Magic ceramic is limited to 250 pieces, while the striking Green ceramic is limited to 200 pieces. All three pieces are powered by Hublot’s HUB1240.MXM, which is a Unico automatic calibre with flyback chronograph function with a 72-hour power reserve.

While Hublot continues to look to the future, and TAG Heuer celebrates an icon, Zenith chose to look both ways by appropriately celebrating its historic model and launching an all-new DEFY Skyline.  This year, Zenith continues to expand its DEFY line with Zenith’s El Primero calibre. At the 2022 LVMH Watch Week, the brand further expanded with the introduction of five new DEFY timepieces. Among the five, we delve deeper into the DEFY Skyline, a time-only, non-chronograph El Primero watch with a flying seconds hand.

The DEFY Skyline is directly inspired by the recent DEFY Revival A3642 where the most obvious influence can be seen on the octagonal case. The DEFY Skyline boasts a contemporary sports watch aesthetic, with its 41 mm stainless steel case finished in various brushing and polishing techniques creating a clean, sleek, and modern look. The 12-sided bezel also receives polished and brushed finishes to further enhance the DEFY Skyline’s sleekness. As mentioned, the DEFY Skyline is a time-only watch that comes with three dial options: silver, blue, and black; all three are adorned with a unique starry pattern, consisting of engraved four-pointed stars, giving them extra depth. The small counter at the 9 o’clock position is a seconds-hand counter. Instead of going with a traditional seconds hand along with the hour and minute hands, the DEFY Skyline has a seconds counter which runs a complete circle every 10 seconds. The hand makes 10 jumps per second and does a total of 60 jumps to signify a full minute.

The DEFY Skyline is powered by the El Primero 3620 calibre – a direct descendant of the legendary El Primero 3600 Chronograph calibre. The movement beats at a highly precise 5 Hz frequency delivering a 1/10th of a second accuracy with a generous 60-hour power reserve. The Zenith DEFY Skyline models come with a standard stainless steel bracelet, and an additional rubber strap in khaki green for the silver dial, blue for the blue version and black for the black iteration.

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