The first watch and jewellery exhibition organized by the LVMH group opened its doors in Dubai on Monday 13 January 2020 in an unusually cool atmosphere due to the torrential rains that fell on the city just before—and almost ruined the party. Nevertheless, the ambience was quickly warmed up by the remarkable quality of the timepieces presented to the international press and retailers.
This very first exhibition edition was organized by the Watches and Jewellery division of the LVMH group. It took place at the Bvlgari Hotel in Dubai from January 13th to January 15th. The event was inaugurated by Stéphane Bianchi—CEO of the LVMH Watch Division, and CEO of TAG Heuer—Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bvlgari, Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot, and Julien Tornare, CEO of Zenith.
For three days, these four manufacturers unveiled part of their new models for the year 2020, that is timepieces that showcase and perpetuate the know-how, the creativity, and the innovation that have always characterized these great maison. Here is a small illustrated curation of these novelties, which will give us a glimpse of some of this year’s trends.
From left to right: Ricardo Guadalupe, Stéphane Bianchi, Jean-Christophe Babin and Julien Tornare
Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon with a miniature tourbillon specifically designed for the iconic Serpenti reptile head case
The manufacture is bringing up to date the designing of miniature mechanical calibres dedicated to women’s wrists—a watchmaking tradition gradually lost in the 1970s in favour of quartz-set pieces. With the Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon, Bvlgari offers a perfect symbiosis between its Swiss watchmaking expertise and its Italian jewellery creativity. And never before has its nickname—the Jeweller of Time—been so well illustrated. The model is available in white or pink gold, is entirely paved with diamonds, and houses nothing less than the world’s smallest tourbillon. Equipped with a cage of an only 10.88-mm diameter and a transparent sapphire bridge, the rotating system regulates a manually wound calibre specifically designed to adapt itself perfectly to the shape of the reminding reptile’s head case. The watchmakers also paid particular attention to the finesse of their movement so that the watch is no larger than 9 mm in thickness. To do so, they shifted the axis of the winding system by 6 degrees, which explains why the crown is positioned between 2 and 3 o’clock.
Black ceramic Octo Finissimo Automatic: the strength of the emblematic model’s design is transcended by the chromatic depth and the technicality of the high-tech material.
Bvlgari explores new materials for its emblematic Octo Finissimo Automatic. For the first time, the ultra-flat male icon is dressed in satin-finish steel and black sandblasted ceramic. It should be noted that the metal version approaches the record thinness of the references already in the collection with 5.25 mm (difference of 0.10 mm) and that the ceramic version, 5.50-mm thick, is a real technical feat that only Bvlgari’s know-how in this field could make possible. Last but not least, it should also be underlined that the case, for these two new editions, guarantees water resistance for up to 100 metres.
Big Bang Integral, the first Big Bang watch with a fully integrated bracelet
With Big Bang Integral, the Hublot manufacture gives its icon a totally integrated bracelet that seems to have always been there. The natural extension of the case reflects the talent of the Maison’s designers. They have devised a graphic structure composed of links: the geometrical shape is directly inspired by the shape of the chronograph push-pieces. And if the link appears so aesthetically perfect—between the case and the bracelet—it is because these push-pieces are designed just like those that equipped the first Big Bang in 2005. At the heart of the instrument, one can find the Hublot Unico movement, with automatic winding and flyback function, which can be seen both on the dial side and on the caseback side.
Big Bang MP-11 Red Magic, the unprecedented fusion between the manufacturer’s red ceramic and its mechanical movement offering 14 days of power reserve.
A world exclusive unveiled in 2018, Hublot’s bright red ceramic is entirely developed and produced within the R&D department and the Metallurgy and Materials laboratory of the factory. The unique high-tech material now benefits a new Big Bang MP-11 Red Magic, of which 100 copies have now been released. This model also shines with its hand-wound Hublot HUB9011 skeletonized calibre: a movement with an original design, incorporating seven barrels coupled in series, and aligned horizontally to guarantee an exceptional fourteen-day power reserve.
Defy Midnight, Zenith’s new sporty-chic women’s line is a symbiosis of unique design and a cosmic touch.
Celestial spirit and technical innovation for the Defy Midnight watch from Zenith. With this 36 mm-diameter version, the manufacture is clearly opening up its Defy collection to women, which until now had been aiming more at men’s wrists. With a very unique design and water-resistant for up to 100 metres, this steel model houses an Elite automatic movement and an attractive dial decorated with a beautiful grey or blue gradation—a third version has a white mother-of-pearl dial—and sprinkled with small stars to depict the beauty of the twilight sky. To this somewhat dreamlike picture, the Defy Midnight adds, on certain references, the precious twinkling of a diamond-set bezel, but also—whatever the variation—a particularly intuitive and fast system of interchangeable bracelets. The watch comes with a set of three straps in different colours and materials (satin and rubber-lined leather) and an additional folding clasp.
El Primero A384, the famous “ladder” type steel bracelet designed by Gay Frères in 1969 is making a big comeback.
Zenith also thought of men who are unconditional fans of vintage style with a new version of the A384 Revival model in steel which, it should be remembered, is the aesthetically perfect reissue of the original legendary El Primero chronograph launched in 1969. This 2020 edition goes even further in its fidelity to the historic instrument by sporting an original “ladder” type metal bracelet with widely spaced links in the centre, hence its name. This characteristic and exclusive bracelet was created at that time by the famous Gay Frères company for the Zenith’s future sports icon.