AYES ON DUBAI
World of Watches|Spring 2020
AYES ON DUBAI
The first crop of novelties of 2020 are also the only ones to benefit from a major fair, backed by the resources of an important watchmaking group. This story covers a few key highlights from Bvlgari and Zenith, as well as a surprise from TAG Heuer
JONATHAN HO

LVMH’s Watch Week in Dubai took the place in January, which for the first time in more than a decade, happened to not coincide with any Swiss watch fairs. (At press time, this is the only watch fair that went ahead in 2020, with both Watches & Wonders and BaselWorld cancelling their shows. For those looking for fair coverage and attendant novelties, this story is it in this issue – Ed). It is decidedly a more relaxed atmosphere in Dubai but still a serious one.

In his opening remarks, Bvlgari CEO Jean Christophe Babin noted that LVMH decided to hold its own watch exhibition in the first month of 2020 because it was important for its retailers to know early in the year what the novelties are going to be and for crucial watch media to plan editorial coverage for major highlights and novelties of the brands. It was not difficult to convince sister brands, Zenith, and Hublot to participate in the LVMH Watch Week (our coverage of Hublot news from this fair has been integrated into our story on bracelets this issue – Ed).

Though participating but not exhibiting at LVMH Watch Week, TAG Heuer celebrated the occasion of their 160th birthday with a re-edition of the Heuer Carrera chronograph with a special Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition. Shown only to selected media, the newest chronograph is inspired by the original Carrera “2447S” monochrome silver-dial watch of the early 1960s. The TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition (pictured right) is not a remake of the original Carrera 2447S but it shares many of the same elements. This includes such standouts as a monochrome silver-coloured dial, polished case and pushers, and three chronograph counters with concentric circles.

That said, Babin was cautious in his choice of words, highlighting that the watch week was not a BaselWorld replacement as the brands are contractually bound to participate in BaselWorld 2020. Rather, there were major concerns amongst brand partners and retailers that the mid-year dates of BaselWorld were an unnecessary complication on order and sales plans for the fiscal year. Needless to say, LVMH will decide as a group whether to continue participation in BaselWorld 2021 (which appears moot for the moment considering 2020’s edition has been postponed to January 2021).

For the moment, it appears that the perceived benefit of quality over quantity, at least in terms of brand experience, appears overwhelmingly positive. With more than 900 attendees and 150 crucial publications who “shape watch buying opinions”, joining the top 100 retailers representing 80% of the LVMH watch business, LVMH’s inaugural watch week was off to a good start.

BVLGARI SERPENTI SEDUTTORI TOURBILLON

The Roman Jeweller of Time’s iconic Serpenti, a distinctive dress-sized timepiece, returns with a complication rarely seen in the diminutive dimensions of a serpent-head. The Bvlgari Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon reveals the finest expression of time for the watchmaker and jeweller.

The Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon is an evolution of the Serpenti, combining Swiss watchmaking know-how with the exquisite savoir-faire of Italian jewellery making, premiering the smallest tourbillon on the market. It is the feminine ying to the Octo Finissimo Ultra-Thin tourbillon’s yang.

Adapting technical considerations and horological constraints to suit Bvlgari’s expression of refined feminine aesthetics is a truly rare tourbillon watch for women – it is also rare and notable for other reasons. The BVL150 Calibre was created as a shaped movement to fit the unique-to-Bvlgari Serpenti-shaped case. The small Serpenti specific Haute Horlogerie movement is rhodium-plated, and then hand-decorated with Côtes de Genève, perlage, and bevelling.

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Spring 2020