Bulgari, Hublot, and TAG Heuer Just Dropped Their New Watches for 2024
LVMH’s horological brands headed to Miami to introduced the year’s freshest models. Here’s a look at the best.
LVMH Watch Week kicked off yesterday in Miami. The annual event, which began in 2019 in Dubai just ahead of the pandemic, has meant the luxury conglomerate is the first in the watch industry to launch new releases. It’s a wise and strategic move for the company to flex its timepieces in a major press moment, while the rest of the industry generally waits until Watches & Wonders in April in Geneva.
“The concept was actually founded by Bulgari, by [Jean] Christophe [Babin],” said Frédéric Arnault, the newly minted CEO of LVMH’s watch division, at a poolside cocktail event at the W Hotel. “Initially, it was to really kickstart the year. It started with three brands from LVMH: Bulgari, Hublot, and Zenith. I’m proud to say it grew over time from how successful it was. It’s a great moment for all of our watch brands. It shows the strength and ambition of the group, LVMH. It is such an important category in the luxury world.”
This year, the event included six brands under the watch division: Bulgari, Daniel Roth, Gérald Genta, Hublot, TAG Heuer, and Zenith. Notably absent were Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co., two of LVMH’s largest brands that carry watches. It’s no secret that watches are a big push at both, particularly Louis Vuitton, but rumor has it that they’ll join next year’s edition. As far as this year’s participants go, the releases were mostly subdued with tweaks to existing models in new dial colors or case materials, such as a new green Hublot Big Bang SAXEM or a new sunray blue dial for the 18-karat yellow gold Octo Finissimo. Others, like the Daniel Roth Tourbillon Souscription timepiece—a tour de force revival of the revered brand—had already been released to the press last year. Nevertheless, the week is more about drumming up a big press moment at the start of the year, ahead of every other watch conglomerate and brand in the industry. And, set against a backdrop of a white-pillared mansion on Miami’s ultra-exclusive Star Island overlooking the city’s turquoise waters glistening beneath the warm sun and 80 degrees in January, it certainly stands apart from the bustling stress of Watches & Wonders in chilly Geneva.
Hublot Big Bang Unico SAXEM Green
Hublot’s well-funded research and development division continues to make good on its commitment to find ways to add new colour to watchmaking’s most high-tech case materials, specifically ceramic and SAXEM, Hublot’s proprietary variation of sapphire crystal. Fans of the exuberantly colorful brand will remember last year’s launch of Sapphire Aluminum oXide and rare Earth Mineral, or SAXEM for short, in neon yellow. It’s a sapphire crystal-like substance that Hublot figured out how to infuse with a combination of minerals to create a fluorescent colour that glows like neon. This year it reappears in green, which is emerging as the year’s hottest color in watches. Like sapphire, SAXEM is transparent, so you can see the movement, the HUB1280 flyback chronograph, through the case side. For contrast, it is openworked and blackened, so the dial contrasts with the green case – calling to mind a popular look in jewellery design, the pairing of green garnet with blackened gold. The difference between sapphire and SAXEM, explains Hublot, is that Sapphire has a trigonal (three-sided) structure, while SAXEM has a cubic (four-sided) form.” Hence the more intense colour, like a gem with more facets. The material does not receive light, but creates the illusion of emitting it. It’s large size – 42mm – enhances the drama. SAXEM was first used in 2019 in a similar shade of emerald green on the Big Bang MP-11. An integrated rubber strap is perfectly matched to the case, as is the green lume on the hands. Hublot will make 100 pieces.
Price: Around$175,000, 100 pieces.
Case Material: SAXEM
Case Size: 42mm x 14.5mm
Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Orlinski
Hublot’s Classic Fusion Orlinski series has had a minimalist and muted aesthetic, with white or black dials and a slightly bolder royal blue ceramic version. This year it has been infused with a renewed sense of colour that doesn’t detract from the artist’s sculptural design so much as transform it. The design is stark and angular, with time only, plus seconds, leaving the faceted dial and bezel to deliver all the drama. This year the drama is in the colour. The Classic Fusion Tourbillon Orlinski appears in scorching-sun yellow or clear-sky blue versions, both infused in ceramic, inching them even closer to the dramatic pop art sculptures created by Hublot’s collaborator on the series, French artist Richard Orlinski. The architectural style of the watch carries over here to the openworked movement, the manually wound HUB6021 tourbillon, with faceted bridges coated in black PVD for the yellow version and silver rhodium for the blue version. There will be 30 pieces of each model.
Price: Around $143,000 pieces
Case Material: Ceramic
Case Size: 45mm x 10.6mm
Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System Titaniu
Hublot is a young brand, founded in 1980, compared to most top Swiss watch brands, which were founded about 100 years earlier. It therefore has a singular claim to post-modern watchmaking and design, free from the shackles of upholding the classical traditions of watchmaking. It has proposed instead to take watchmaking into the future. Its masterpiece line, or MP, thus has one goal: to reinvent existing complications. The MP-10, the brand’s tenth MP takes on the tourbillon. It has no dial, no hands and no oscillating weight (even though it’s automatic). The 592-component movement was five years in development and works on a system of aluminum rollers and a vertical winding system. Time is read from top to bottom on four constantly rotating displays: Hours on top, followed by minutes, a red/green power reserve disk, and lastly seconds, rotating on the 60-second tourbillon. The seconds take prominence over the tourbillon, since the escapement is angled at 35 degrees and thus largely out of sight. In case there is any misunderstanding about which functions are where, each is spelled out on bridges above or below each index. The case is made of two pieces – a middle and a back – in micro-blasted titanium, with a sapphire crystal wrapped on three inclined planes on three axes. Hublot has a patent pending for this configuration, its most complex to date. The rotor is not a rotor at all, since it doesn’t rotate. It works on a verticalised weight principle with two blocks of white gold that move up and down, winding the movement bidirectionally. Shock absorbers prevent them from colliding at each end. The system, which delivers 48 hours of power reserve, is also pending a patent pending. There are two crowns, neither of which rests in the traditional 3 o’clock position. The massive crown at 12 o’clock winds the watch. Time is set using a second crown nestled on the caseback side “to preserve the fluidity of the design,” explains the Hublot release.
Price: Around $400,000, 50 pieces
Case Material: Titanium
Case Size: 54.1mm x 41.5mm x 22.4mm
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Jewellery
As a modern brand, Hublot has always had an uninhibited sense of the jewellery watch, more red-carpet bling than aristocratic classicism. This year’s Big Bang Jewelry collection includes a can’t-miss-it Rainbow model – the first of Hublot’s signature multi-colored sapphire pieces to appear in the barrel-cased Spirit of Big Bang collection. There are two versions, one in steel and the other in King Gold, Hublot’s proprietary warm red gold alloy. Each set with 493 multi-colored gems. Likewise, there are both steel and King Gold versions of the new Spirit of Big Bang Full Pavé showstoppers. Each is fully set with diamonds on the bezel, case, and dial, with a whopping 479 brilliant-cut gems totaling just over 2 carats. Hublot has even calculated the number of facets which adds up to: 27,782 per watch, with each of those facets reflecting light like a klieg light. They are accompanied by black or white rubber straps.
Steel Full Pave: around $52,400
King Gold Full Pave: around $70,012
Steel Rainbow: around$110,200
King Gold Rainbow: $120,000
Case Material: King Gold, steel
Case Size: 32mm x 11.10mm
Bulgari Octo Finissimo
If these two models look familiar, that’s because they were officially launched in the U.S. market last year, but now Bulgari is announcing a global offering. The steel model with the Tuscan copper dial remains the same as the model that was initially released stateside last year in a limited run of 50. The 18-carat yellow gold model, however now comes dressed in a blue sunray dial. Its 2023 release in the U.S. came with a chocolate brown dial.There’s nothing groundbreaking here. This model has already done enough trailblazing—the Octo Finissimo has set eight world records. The steel model is the most appealing with the coolness of the metal paired with the soft warmth of copper, but while yellow gold might seem rather bold on a watch with such a wide bracelet it’s not as overpowering as you might assume in person. A female Bulgari representative who was wearing the piece on her wrist at LVMH Watch Week made a compelling case for the yellow gold version, while also proving that even at 40 mm, this watch’s ergonomics somehow make the sizing work even on smaller wrists.
Price: Around $68,912 in Yellow Gold and $20,143 in Steel
Case Material: 18-karat Yellow Gold or Steel
Case Size: 40 mm x 6.4 mm
The Lucea collection is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, so Bulgari naturally had to bring an ultra-special model to the table. The most striking new Lucea is the rich malachite dial version which was made with scraps of the stone material leftover from other watch models in the Bulgari manufacture. Instead of throwing away the tiny fragments, the company put them to use in a beautiful marquetry compilation. The varying hues of green create an arresting pattern accented by brilliant-cut diamond hour markers and encircled by a bezel adorned with 56 diamonds. The malachite pairs nicely with the two-tone case and bracelet in steel and 18-carat rose gold, as well as the ruby crystal crown protector. It is, by far, the most outstanding Lucea release of the year (so far).
Case Material: Steel and 18-karat Rose Gold
Case Size: 33 mm x 9.6 mm
La Fabrique du Temps X Gérald Genta Manufacture Calibre GG-001
Forty years after famed watch designer Gérald Genta first defied the highly traditional watch industry by putting Mickey Mouse on a watch dial, La Fabrique du Temps is resurrecting this playful design as it relaunches the brand. And for those of you who scoff at the idea of a Disney-themed timepiece, kindly consider the type of watch we’re talking about: The new GG-001 is no simple time-only piece, but a minute repeater with a jump hour and retrograde minutes display developed by the horological illuminati at La Fabrique du Temps itself. Housed in a 32.4mm case that measures just 6.91mm thick, it has an impressive 80-hour power reserve and a beautiful dial graved by everyone’s favourite mouse: At 3 o’clock is a magnified jump-hour window, while Mickey’s left arm serves as the minute hand along a retrograde track running along the dial’s periphery. Playful yet subtle, this creative integration of multiple complications is an impressive feat of watchmaking — one that will be appreciated by both die-hard “watch nerds” and those whose taste runs more toward compelling aesthetics. (Not to mention by Disney fans everywhere!)
Case Material: Platinum
Case Size: 40 mm
La Fabrique du Temps X Daniel Roth Tourbillon Souscription
Since 2000, the Daniel Roth brand has been owned by Bulgari, which was itself acquired by LVMH in 2011. Now, the eponymous maison founded by the famed French-born watchmaker has been revived with the involvement of La Fabrique du Temps, the LVMH-owned movement manufacture founded by star horologists Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini. The first product to see the light of day will certainly delight Daniel Roth fans: The new Tourbillon Souscription is an homage to the ref. 2187/C187, Roth’s first model. Housed in the watchmaker’s famed double-ellipse case, it takes inspiration from the designs of 18th/19th-century watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, with exquisite finishing and the integration of remarkable complications. Extremely limited in production, the new timepiece features a solid-gold guilloché dial, a new in-house movement, and an impressively thin case depth of just 9.2mm. With its visible tourbillon cage and retrograde display, it’s truly a piece of horological art, and bodes well for the reconstitution of this important marque.
Case Material: 18K yellow gold
Case Size: 38.6mm
TAG Heuer Plasma Diamant
Just when you think the cutting edge of tool watch design means a tourbillon in your chronograph, TAG Heuer hits you with one of these: A sports watch positively encrusted in diamonds like the bottom of a caïque off the coast of Paros. The new TAG Heuer Carrera Date Plasma Diamant is merely the latest in a series of timepieces featuring lab-grown diamonds, whose uniform colour is achieved via a Chemical Vapor Deposition technology that the brand calls “Plasma.” In this instance, rather than set diamonds throughout the case of a larger 44mm watch such that of as last year’s Carrera Plasma Diamond d’Avant Garde, TAG Heuer has taken its 36mm, time-only version of the Carrera and jazzed it up: Fashioned from white gold, it features a 2.9-carat polycrystalline dial with baguette-cut diamond indices; a yellow gold TAG Heuer shield logo; and a 1.3-carat yellow diamond crown. The interplay between the case material, sparkling dial, and bright pops of yellow is striking without being gaudy — a difficult feat to achieve with this many precious stones.
Case Material: White gold
Case Size: 36mm
TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon
Launching alongside the aforementioned “Dato” model is a similarly teal-colored Carrera Chronograph in Tourbillon form, with a dual-register chronograph layout accompanied by Abraham-Louis Brguet’s famed invention visible at 6 o’clock. Developed by the famed French watchmaker in the early 19th century, the tourbillon is a horological device that places the movement’s escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage, which helps negate the effects of gravity on a pocket watch movement. Nowadays, the inclusion of a tourbillon is a way for a watch company to show its expertise in movement construction, which TAG Heuer does here to good effect. Joined by 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph totalizers and easily visible beneath a curving “glassbox” sapphire crystal, the tourbillon in question is part of the TAG Heuer Calibre TH20-09 movement, which features bi-directional winding and a high level of finishing. Housed in a 42mm stainless steel “glassbox” Carrera case and paired to a black alligator leather strap, the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon is a high-end riff on a beloved sports watch.
Price: around $36,4300
Case Material: Stainless steel
Case Size: 42mm
TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph
Jack Heuer, great-grandson of company founder Edouard Heuer, launched his famous racing chronograph in 1963, naming it after the Carrera Panamericana, a notoriously dangerous road race that took place in Mexico in the early 1950s. (And which also inspired the nickname of a certain Porsche.) Since then, the Carrera has taken on many guises, receiving a complete refresh in the form of the (still relatively new) “Glassbox” references launched in 2023 — just in time for the model’s 60th anniversary. This year, TAG Heuer is reviving a perennial fan favorite in the form of a new “Dato” model, which features a single, 30-minute chronograph totalizer at 9 o’clock and a date window at 9 o’clock. Hearkening back to a moderately rare Carrera variant from 1968, the new chrono marks the first time this unique date arrangement has appeared within the “Glassbox” case, which measures 39mm and features a curved inner flange housing a 1/5th-second track, all of which is enveloped by a gently curving “glassbox” crystal. With its striking, teal green dial and pared-down aesthetic, it’s sure to bridge the gap between fans of vintage Heuer and more casual watch buyers.
Price: Around $9,900
Case Material: Stainless steel
Case Size: 39mm
Zenith Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar
Most watch brands, when they announce the re-issue of a vintage design, are quick to include a note that while the design may be true to the original, the watch now contains a modern, in-house movement. In Zenith’s case, the movement was already there. The high-frequency El Primero calibre contained in the new Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar is a direct evolution of the one designed in 1969. In fact, the original El Primero movement was designed to accommodate triple calendar and moon phase functions right from the very beginning. Zenith made a small series of 25 prototypes in 1970 as a proof of concept, but since the chronograph was more popular, the triple calendar wasn’t produced commercially until later in the 1970s. The homage version is a tribute to the original movement, and its design is true to the signature A386 chronograph case design from 1969. The dial architecture mirrors the chronograph design codes – from a distance, you might have to do a second take to notice the Triple Calendar is not a chronograph-only. Days of the week and months are displayed in subtle windows above the east/west subdials – with small seconds at 9 o’clock and 60-second counter at 3 o’clock. The date window is in the traditional El Primero position at 4:30, and the moonphase display is incorporated right into the chronograph’s 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock. The El Primero 3610, runs at 36,000 vph to deliver a true 1/10th of a second chronograph function. Even with the addition of the complete calendar, it has a power reserve of approximately 60 hours. There are two regular versions, one with a sporty silvery-white panda opaline dial with black counters and 1/100th of a second scale, and an opaline slate-gray dial with silvery-white counters and scale that is directly inspired by the small series of El Primero triple calendar prototypes from 1970. A third, boutique-only variant has a sunburst olive-green dial. All have rose gold-tone applied baton markers and hands, to match the polished rose gold moon.
Prices: Around $21,055 for steel with metal bracelet (including boutique edition) and around $8,847 for steel with calfskin strap (including boutique edition)
Case Material: Stainless steel
Case Size: 38mm
Zenith Chronomaster Sport
Having perfected the El Primero movement over the past 55 years, Zenith is now ready to have a little fun with the design of its flagship chronograph – but not so much that it obliterates the signature look. Two new versions include a first-ever gem-set Chronomaster Sport and an all-green model with a first-ever green ceramic bezel. Both models retain the signature tri-colour subdials of the Chronomaster in the familiar shades of gray and blue. The background dial of the green version is lacquered green to match the ceramic bezel and there’s a green FKM rubber strap to switch out the steel bracelet. The green is a vibrant, almost neon colour that is emerging as a strong watch colour, and it works surprisingly well with the tri-colour subdials. On the jewelled Chronomaster Sport, Zenith leans in even closer to the tri-colour aesthetic by setting the bezel with baguette-cut gems to match the subdials. There are white diamonds, black spinels (which read dark grey), and grey and blue sapphires. The dial is meteorite in the so-called “Windmanstätten” pattern (with long mineral crystals in geometric patterns), treated in a warm golden colour that matches the 18k rose gold case and bracelet. It’s a very dressy version of the Chronomaster Sport that dovetails with the ongoing trend toward dressing up sports watches and sporting up dress watches, which often cry out for definition: are sporty dress or dressy sport watches? The tri-colour chronograph registers, pump pushers, and El Primero 3600 movement tend to emphasise the sporty side of this one, but the precious gems and gold case elevate the watch to somewhere well beyond the race track. It’s your call.
Prices: Around $16,999 for Chronomaster Sport Green on bracelet; TBC for Chronomaster Sport Green on rubber strap and around $149,000for 18k rose gold Chronomaster Sport (boutique only)
Case Material: Chronomaster Sport Green, stainless steel; Chronomaster Sport 18-carat rose gold
Case Size: 41mm
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