LVMH Watch Week 2024 Stuns The World With Surprising New Moves. Here’s 5 Highlights.

The LVMH watch division now boasts new leadership and more brands, which the group used to showcase the depth and breadth of its watchmaking prowess.
by Andre Frois

Photos: Daniel Roth, Gérald Genta

This year, LVMH founder Bernard Arnault has established himself as the biggest kahuna of luxury goods. The sector has been frigid ever since the crypto boom- and COVID lockdown-induced spending died down, but when Arnault and LVMH reported above-forecast sales for 2023 and declared the decision to hike its dividends, the move sent LVMH’s share price soaring by 12 per cent.

Made on January 26, this announcement also lifted the share prices of brands like Christian Dior, Hermes, Kering, and Prada. Most importantly, it captured the world’s attention before LVMH Watch Week 2024, held from January 28 to February 1.

While Arnault’s five children all work in his conglomerate, this watch show casts the spotlight on Jean Arnault, who is director of watches at LVMH, and his older brother Frederic Arnault, who was the former CEO of Tag Heuer and recently named CEO of the LVMH watch division. Julien Tornare, credited for Zenith’s recent resurgence, then stepped into the Tag Heuer CEO position, with his vacated role assumed by Benoit de Clerck from Panerai.

The LVMH Watch Week presented its most exciting line-up with refreshed leadership and sky-high ambitions. Here are the highlights.

1. Daniel Roth and Gérald Genta

Gérald Genta Mickey Mouse Minute Repeater. (Photo: Gérald Genta)

The big difference between last year’s LVMH Watch Week held in Singapore and this year’s edition in Miami, Florida, was the addition of legendary brands Daniel Roth and Gérald Genta. Acquired by LVMH less than a year ago, they are now engineered by La Fabrique du Temps, an atelier founded by elite watchmakers Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini and subsequently bought over by LVMH in 2011.

This acquisition culminated in Louis Vuitton winning two awards at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2021, watchmaking’s equivalent of the Grammys.

To fete the 10th anniversary of charity auction Only Watch, the 40th anniversary of Genta and Disney’s collaboration, and also Disney’s centenary, La Fabrique du Temps created the Gérald Genta Mickey Mouse Minute Repeater. This unique 40mm creation has a window at the 3 o’clock position that shows the jumping hour, while Mickey’s hand is a retrograde pointer that indicates the minutes.

This chiming watch’s light-hearted dial is completely cloisonné enamelled by hand, and its eight-sided white gold case pays tribute to the late Genta and the iconic octagonal watches he designed, such as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus.

LVMH Watch Week 2024

Daniel Roth Tourbillon Souscription. (Photo: Daniel Roth)

Based on the first Daniel Roth watch of 1989, named the Tourbillon ref. 2187/C187, the yellow gold Daniel Roth Tourbillon Souscription is as true as tribute relaunch timepieces get. This 20-piece limited edition has the same length and breadth as the original — 38.6mm by 35.5mm — but is made 2mm thinner and paired with more ergonomic lugs.

It sports the double-ellipse case synonymous with Roth, while its Clous de Paris guilloche dial was crafted in the venerable Kari Voutilainen’s workshop, just like Daniel Roth watches of old. Powered by the entirely hand-finished Calibre DR00, it features blued seconds hands situated atop its one-minute tourbillon.

La Fabrique du Temps had sought out Roth for his input during this model’s creation, which is available on a subscription basis, just like when Roth owned the brand, which means interested parties will need to pay a deposit first and a balance later on.

2. Hublot

LVMH Watch Week 2024

Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM. (Photo: Hublot)

New launches like the Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM (Sapphire Aluminum Oxide and Rare Earth Mineral) with flyback chronograph function, Hublot Spirit of Big Bang 32mm Jewellery, and Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Orlinski with radiant yellow and serene sky blue ceramic cases, featured head-turning designs that collectors have come to closely associate with Hublot.

However, the Hublot brand comprises more than just exotic case materials, intricate skeletonisation and Genta-style bezel screws.

Hublot MP-10. (Photo: Hublot)

Taking centre stage at this year’s show was the Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System Titanium, which is the latest addition to the brand’s MP range used to showcase the brand’s finesse in building complicated avant-garde movements.

Instead of an oscillating weight, the MP-10 is wound by a pair of white-gold weights that slide vertically along the flanks of this watch. Comprising 592 components and limited to 50 examples, the watch indicates the hours, minutes, power reserve and seconds on four rotating drums.

3. Zenith

Zenith Triple Calendar Chronograph in silvery “panda” (black and white). (Photo: Zenith)

It bears repeating that Zenith and its fabled El Primero movements played a major role in saving the mechanical watchmaking industry during the Quartz Crisis by supplying highly accurate movements to horology’s biggest names.

The domed and bezel-less Triple Calendar Chronograph is one of Zenith’s most vaunted classics. The latest iteration is the 38mm Zenith Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar, an ode to the A386 El Primero from 1969.

This tricompax chronograph has day, date, month, and moon phase displays and is available in three colourway variations — silvery “panda”, slate grey, and olive green. Its 1/10th of a second chronograph is driven by the El Primero 3610 calibre, which beats at a frequency of 5Hz.

LVMH Watch Week 2024

Zenith Chronomaster Sport in rose gold. (Photo: Zenith)

The even more eye-catching Zenith Chronomaster Sport is powered by the El Primero 3610 and has two variants. The stainless steel rendition has a green ceramic bezel, while the rose gold version has a bezel decorated with baguette-cut white diamonds, black spinels, and grey and blue sapphires, along with a meteorite dial in Widmanstatten pattern.

4. Bulgari

LVMH Watch Week 2024

Bulgari Octo Finissimo in yellow gold with blue sunray dial. (Photo: Bulgari)

A decade-long series that set numerous records in ultra-thinness and challenged Bulgari watchmakers to create innovative movements, which the brand would file patents for, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo introduced a yellow gold version with a blue sunray dial and a Tuscan copper version with a salmon dial at LVMH Watch Week 2024.

Just 6.4mm in thickness, these timepieces are powered by the in-house BVL 138 calibre that packs an impressive 60-hour power reserve.

Bulgari Bulgari x Lisa. (Photo: Bulgari)

Another watch designed by Gerald Genta, the Bulgari Bulgari, was originally a digital display watch that was highly sought after in the 70s and 80s. The newly launched models include an edelweiss-motif creation designed in collaboration with brand ambassador Lisa of Blackpink and come in various sizes and materials.

5. Tag Heuer

LVMH Watch Week 2024

Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon. (Photo: Tag Heuer)

In 2023, Tag Heuer celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Carrera watch by recreating the “Glassbox” Carrera, a nickname that refers to this watch’s raised sapphire dome. Paying homage to the 1968 Carrera 45 Dato, the 2024 Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph and Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon arrived at LVMH Watch Week 2024 in teal green.

They honour the Carrera rally and Tag Heuer’s shared racing heritage and were engineered by award-winning movements creator Carole Forestier-Kasapi, who currently serves as Tag Heuer’s movements director.

Tag Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph. (Photo: Tag Heuer)

The Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph is another unmistakable icon that made its triumphant return, this time in 34mm and with five different dial variants, including mother-of-pearl, Polar Blue, and classic blue.

Water resistant to a depth of its namesake 200m, this latest iteration of the Aquaracer is powered by the calibre TH50-01 that harnesses solar energy to store up to 10 months of power reserve.

Tag Heuer white gold Carrera Date Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde with yellow diamonds. (Photo: Tag Heuer)

As early as 2022, Tag Heuer under Frédéric Arnault had begun experimenting with lab-grown diamonds. Glistening endeavours unveiled last year included the 36mm Tag Heuer Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde and 44mm Tag Heuer Carrera Plasma Tourbillon, each whimsically set with numerous lab-grown diamonds.

This year’s 36mm Tag Heuer white gold Carrera Date Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde, which is driven by the Tag Calibre 7 movement, introduces lab-grown yellow diamonds — a 1.4-carat gem on the logo and a crown cut from a single 1.3-carat stone — on a polycrystalline dial.

This story originally published on The Peak Singapore.


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