February 8, 2021
by Carol Besler
LVMH dropped its 2021 collections last week in a series of Zoom presentations, and one of the many highlights was the colorful assortment of watches for women from Hublot and Bulgari. Hublot’s Big Bang One-Click 33mm, Spirit of Big Bang Beige, Integral Ceramic, and One-Click Rainbow, along with Bulgari’s stunning Diva’s Dream Peacock collection, made a big statement about something these two brands have in common: a fearless affinity for color.
Hublot’s Big Bang One-Click 33mm extends the model’s color palette by adding 10 new straps, which, because of a really simple interchangeable bracelet system, can be swapped out by releasing a button under the lugs. New hues include navy blue, light blue, pink, orange, red, green, yellow, slate blue-black, and white. The 33mm case size is in line with the emerging trend toward slightly smaller cases for women, and it seems just right. It can be either stainless steel or King gold, with or without diamonds on the bezel, lugs, and case. Prices range from $12,500 to $29,400, and each strap costs $455.
Cases on the Integral Ceramic are a little bigger, at 42mm, but the new tone-on-tone ceramic on the integrated case and bracelet is definitely going to appeal to women. New hues include grey, white, and navy blue. The new Spirit of Big Bang Beige ceramic model tones things down a bit, with a 39mm beige case that is refreshingly tonneau-shaped. The bezel is either 18k King gold or titanium and set with 50 diamonds. The matching strap is a fusion of beige alligator and white rubber. The ceramic case and titanium bezel version is priced at $19,900 and the ceramic with gold bezel is priced at $24,100.
Finally, Hublot’s One-Click Rainbow 39mm collection follows an ongoing trend in watches that are set with a rainbow assortment of colored gems — something that is also a trend in jewelry. The bezels are set with baguette-cut gems, and dials and cases are set with round ones, including amethyst, ruby, blue topaz, and tsavorite garnet, as well as yellow, pink, orange, and blue sapphire. Priced at $69,500.
Bulgari assures us that no peacocks were plucked or harmed in the making of its new Diva’s Dream Peacock collection, and that’s kind of a relief. Peacocks shed their tail feathers naturally every fall, and workers at peafowl farms simply pick them up off the ground. The feathers grow back every year. Peacocks are not raised for their meat or eggs, and they can live for 35 years, so in a way, they’re more like pets than livestock. “It’s a sustainable activity,” says Antoine Pin, the head of Bulgari’s watch division.
The dial of the Divas’ Dream Peacock Dischi is made of feather marquetry, with each individual feather pressed, trimmed, cut, and then pieced together, mosaic-style and glued to the dial. Two feather-set disks move separately to indicate hours and minutes – hours by a round diamond on the center disk, and minutes by a pear-cut diamond on the outer disk. They are driven by the in-house caliber BVL 308 Dischi automatic. The case is connected to a deep blue alligator strap at each end by fan-shaped lugs centrally set with diamonds. The watch is set with 440 diamonds and 25 sapphires. It is a limited series of 50 pieces, priced at $68,000.
The Peacock Tourbillon Lumière is the masterpiece of the trio, set with peacock feathers in fan-shaped, diamond-crowned sections on the bridges of an open-worked dial that takes six weeks to create. Needless to say, this is a limited edition (10 pieces). The gold dial is laser cut using a cloisonné technique, but the spaces are filled with peacock feathers instead of enamel. Only the iridescent part of each feather is used. The 37mm case is 18k rose gold, and the bezel and lugs are set with brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 1.89 carats. It contains the BVL 208 tourbillon movement and is priced at $143,000.
The dial of the Divas’ Dream Peacock Diamonds is arranged to resemble a peacock by using champlevé enamel in translucent colors similar to a peacock’s plumage. It takes 20 hours to apply the 14 colors used on each dial, and some of the fan-shaped sections of gold are set with diamonds. The background is mother-of-pearl. The shape is repeated in the diamond-set links of the bracelet, which are screwed together as a high jewelry bracelet would be. The watch is set with a total of 1,452 (7.56 carats) of brilliant-cut diamonds. It is powered by the Bulgari automatic caliber BVL 191, and priced at $99,000.