January 27, 2023
LVMH, the world’s largest luxury group, has for the last few years made it a point to release brand-new watches in early January. 2023 was no different with LVMH group brands Bulgari, Hublot, TAG Heuer, and Zenith introducing wristwatch novelties (the entirety of which can be read about on aBlogtoWatch). “LVMH Watch Week” (as the time is referred to) is not the only time during the year when the participating brands will release new watches. In just a few months at Watches & Wonders 2023 there will be more new watches (including Bulgari’s men’s watches for the year), along with other product release points across the year.
2023 is particularly important for TAG Heuer as it marks the 60th anniversary of the Carrera, but many of those celebration models will wait until later. TAG Heuer did however release one of the most robust collections of new watches from all the LVMH brands this January. Best of all TAG Heuer focused on both traditional mechanical watches as well as various forms of modern electronic pieces. Bulgari introduced a series of high-jewelry timepieces mainly for women, and is keeping true to its trend of focusing lavish, Italian-themed aesthetics.
Zenith and Hublot offered strong collections which also remain true to their ongoing product and marketing strategies. Both brands come out with something new, as well as a new twist on something old. Color, bold lines, exotic materials, and skeletonized mechanics are all features of new Zenith and Hublot timepieces. With that said, brands also came out with at least one smaller, simpler model that can be enjoyed on both male and female wrists. Moods at LVMH were great given that global sales are strong despite global economic outlooks, and we looking forward to seeing what they will release next.
Below, check out aBlogtoWatch Editors’ list of their favorite new products from LVMH Watch Week 2023:
In 2023, LVMH continues to focus on making watches that appeal to a broad range of consumers. Whether you’re looking for a high-luxury status watch or a good-looking humble wrist instrument, LMVH brands, from Hublot to TAG Heuer, have something for everyone in the new year. TAG Heuer’s Connected Smartwatches continue to be a growing segment, and it is very positive to see the brand investing as much as possible in the software side of the experience. The Solargraph version of the Aquaracer is also a strong product, even though it will have mostly niche appeal. We also see that, absent any major new model families, the brands continue to impress with a degree of novelty and freshness that we’ve come to expect from LVMH. – Ariel Adams
2023 may well be the “Year of the Skeleton” for LVMH. This year’s LVMH Watch Week saw a slew of dynamic cutaway designs from TAG Heuer and Hublot, but the best-executed skeleton of the group is arguably the Zenith Defy Skyline Skeleton. Not only does this build on the white-hot launch of the integrated-bracelet Defy Skyline from 2022, this 41mm-wide design offers a nigh-on perfect balance between legibility and visual spectacle. On the wrist, it’s as easy to read as the standard Defy Skyline, while opening up the design to showcase elements like aggressive blacked-out bridges and a striking iridescent green escape wheel. The skeleton layout itself deftly revives the brand’s classic four-pointed star motif for a balanced, symmetrical feel, and even improves on the symmetry of the standard model by relocating the conversation-starting 10-second subdial to 6 o’clock. In short, this is a bold and sporting design with enough on-wrist presence to truly compete with the hype kings of integrated horology, but an $11,000 USD price tag places it in far more affordable territory than many rivals. – Sean Lorentzen
While I enjoyed quite a few of the new releases from this year’s LVMH Watch Week, my hands-down favorite was the Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon SAXEM. Up until this release, my all-time favorite Hublot watches were the ones with cases made from yellow sapphire, and this new model is everything that I love about the brand’s yellow sapphire watches, just turned up a notch and taken one step further. Swapping out a chronograph for a tourbillon with a micro-rotor, and opting for SAXEM over synthetic sapphire in order to achieve brighter and more vivid color, this is a watch that simply makes me happy and speaks to my inner child. The neon yellow SAXEM case offers a wild and lurid hue that looks like someone took a highlighter and a glow stick, cracked them open, and then dumped them into an extra large glass of Mountain Dew. I’ve loved this bizarre and unnatural color ever since I was a little kid, and absolutely none of its novelty has worn off now that I am an adult. Additionally, despite being one of Hublot’s most expensive models, the Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon SAXEM doesn’t have the slightest whiff of precious metals or gemstones anywhere on it, which makes it all the more of an interesting and unusual flex. That said, with an official retail price of $211,000 USD, this is a watch that costs as much as a supercar or even a down payment on a house, and it, therefore, exists purely within the aspirational realm for me. However, just knowing that there are 50 of these insane neon yellow timepieces out there in the wild brings a smile to my face. – Ripley Sellers
In my initial news article announcing the TAG Heuer Monza Flyback Chronometer, I mentioned that the Monza name signals a paradigm shift every time it reappears in TAG Heuer’s stable, and that initial assessment stands firm. This is a technically impressive, stylistically wild leap forward for the TAG Heuer brand, with an impressive blend of futuristic spectacle and retro throwback visual cues. As with several other LVMH Watch Week 2023 launches, this is a thoughtfully arranged and impressively legible skeleton design, and the COSC-certified in-house flyback chronograph movement is every bit as dramatic as the exterior. All in all, it’s a technical and aesthetic step forward for TAG Heuer as a whole, but one that pays homage to some of its raciest heritage. At $13,850 USD, it’s certainly near the top of TAG Heuer’s market segment, but this is a far cry from a run-of-the-mill chronograph. – Sean Lorentzen
Subtle and restrained. These are two words that you will never use to describe Hublot’s Big Bang Integrated Time Only King Gold Rainbow (or its slightly larger, equally bedazzled chronograph sibling). The brand is no stranger to gem-set watches, having created a number of iterations over the last five years. But what stands out about this particular piece is the sheer volume of gemstones on display: 924, to be exact. The luxuriously warm King Gold case of the Time Only is set with 176 gemstones, including sapphire, ruby, amethyst, blue topaz, and tsavorite, with 748 more on the matching bracelet. Even more impressive is how smoothly the gradient of color transitions as you follow the tapered bracelet to the clasp; the jewels cycle through each hue of the rainbow in a gentle, colorful glissando. To set so many stones so precisely, and with such consistency in color, makes this piece more of an exercise in haute joaillerie than anything else, and it’s an audaciously bold one at that. This is not a watch for the meek — but then again, what Hublot is? – Ed Rhee
Watch industry trends shifts ever so slightly every year, and one of the most popular trends of late has been the integrated bracelet watch. Trickling out of the hype-driven craze around select models from prestigious brands is an insatiable demand for this type of watch. Now it seems every brand has created its own line to get a slice of the pie. While some enthusiasts are tired of the concept, it looks as if the integrated bracelet is here to stay as a staple in many catalogs. However, as these kinds of watches have become increasingly ubiquitous, there have been few that are designed for those with smaller wrists. Most integrated bracelet watches inherently wear larger than their dimensions may indicate due to the bracelet sticking out much further, resulting in a standard size (roughly 40mm) watch being too large for some.
The 36mm Zenith Defy Skyline presents the aggressively futuristic angular design in a compact package that results in a stunning yet unassuming package on the wrist. While most of the debut 36mm options cater to women with sunburst mint and lilac dials (and gem-set bezels), the blue dial is the cream of the crop. Granted, the smaller cases are accompanied by the Elite 670 movement, which is a little less exciting than the larger model. But it forgoes the controversial 1/10th-second subdial and makes it a fantastic everyday watch. While a retail price of $8,500 USD is nothing to scoff at, it is considerably less than other mid-sized integrated bracelet watches available from luxury brands and one of my favorite releases from LVMH Watch Week 2023. – Jake Witkin
Amidst the sparkling gems of Bulgari, the striking color of Hublot, and the skeleton dials of Zenith, it was the more restrained TAG Heuer Aquaracer 200 Solargraph that stood out for me at this year’s LVMH Watch Week. On top of the rapid-charging solar movement that can run for a day on just two minutes of charge, the watch is made of rugged sandblasted titanium and offered in the ideally sized 40mm Aquaracer case (which I have long considered one of the best dive cases on the market). At $3,050 USD, the new Solargraph isn’t cheap (it’s actually more expensive than the automatic Aquaracer 200), but next to six-figure Hublots and seven-figure Bulgaris, this is a budget pick that offers watch enthusiasts with slightly deeper pockets a truly compelling option for a beater. It’s not without its shortcomings; it lacks a lumed bezel and doesn’t have the newest Aquaracer clasp seen on the 300 models, so I’ll be excited to see how these fare once they start hitting people’s wrists. – Mike Razak