Haute Horology

Exquisite mechanical movements, experiments in colour, classics revisited and impeccable execution; following on from LVMH Watch Week, here’s a taste of 2023’s hottest timepiece trends.

What’s ticking in the watch world?
Coming ahead of this month’s Watches and Wonders, investors in the know looked to LVMH’s Watch Week for their first glimpse of what’s in store when it comes to the latest watch trends. The world leader in luxury, the LVMH Group was founded in 1987 and today comprises 75 exceptional Maisons across wines and spirits, fashion and leather goods, perfumes and cosmetics, and watches and jewellery. At January’s event in Singapore, LVMH watch brands TAG Heuer, Zenith, Bulgari and Hublot showcased their latest designs, setting the tone for the year to come. We take a look at some of the highlights.

Bulgari-2023_Serpenti-Tubogas-InfinityThe serpentine silhouette of the Serpenti Tubogas Infinity is reflected in the diamonds that snake up the rose gold bracelet



Underlining the brand’s roots in jewellery design, this year’s dazzling collection highlights the concept of time as a jewel, with gem-set watches taking centre stage.

Slim and elegant, in the Diva’s Dream collection (from £35,900), mobile petals featuring brilliantly coloured topazes, tanzanites, amethysts, tourmalines, rubies and diamonds are set in rose gold around a pearly face, designed to flutter, impelled by the movement of the wrist. Meanwhile, the Diva’s Dream Mosaica (POA) models feature spectacular bejewelled faces and diamond encrusted bracelets crafted by Bulgari’s master goldsmiths.

The irresistible Serpenti designs (from £4,620) play on the talisman-like allure of the snake, curving elegantly around the wrist like a bracelet. In this year’s model, Serpenti Tubogas Infinity (£61,000), diamonds continue the serpentine silhouette all the way from the watch case to the bracelet. The double twirl rose gold bracelet is set with 172 diamonds, while 262 diamonds pave the dial and 44 are set around the dial. Truly spectacular.


Tag Heuer Flyback Chronometer

The new special edition is made of ultra light weight and resistant carbon



Since 1860, watchmaking pioneer TAG Heuer has been blending technological innovations, high-precision timing and cutting-edge designs to create products whose performance continues to shape the passing of time. And 2023 is a year of classics celebrated.

The iconic Carrera reaches its 60th anniversary this year, and the milestone is marked with the release of the Carrera Chronograph 60th Anniversary edition (£5,600) in a limited release of just 600 pieces. A faithful reinterpretation of the original, it features a striking ‘panda’ dial and a perforated black calfskin leather racing strap with pin buckle. Functional and elegant, it looks as good now as it did in 1963.

The Monza is another classic revisited for 2023 in the Flyback Chronometer (£11,450). A contemporary tribute to the link between the company and competitive motor sport, the watch offers a chronograph, a tachymeter scale which indicates average speed for a 1-kilometer or 1-mile distance, and a pulsometer. In an eye-catching, ultra lightweight forged carbon case, it features a striking black skeleton dial and smoked blue sapphire crystal subdials offer a view of the internal movement, echoing the piece’s mechanical roots.


Zenith DEFY Extreme Glacier

Chalcedony, a crystalline semitranslucent stone is used for the face of the DEFY Extreme Glacier



The focus for this Swiss brand was on its integrated-bracelet sports watches, in particular, some very chic new iterations of the DEFY range. The DEFY Extreme Glacier (£23,100) is a particular highlight – one of only a handful of chronographs that can measure up to 1/100th of a second. With an ice blue dial made from precisely cut and polished chalcedony, it is set in a sleek titanium case, and is limited to only 50 pieces, each unique thanks to natural variations in the chalcedony. Blurring the lines between precision watchmaking and sculptural, wearable art, this watch was directly inspired by the barren frozen landscapes referenced in its name.

Last year’s DEFY Skyline has also been updated for 2023, retaining the multi-faceted face, but now coming in a more feminine 36mm case with a choice of bright pink or mint green dial (£7,500). And the DEFY Skyline Skeleton (£9,700) offers a view of the internal mechanical movements. The open dial comes in black or blue and has been designed in a striking four-pointed star shape. With its geometrical silhouette, the Skyline Skeleton has a pleasingly edgy, architectural aesthetic.


Hubolt Big Bang Integrated

A unique skeletonized design displays the Big Bang Integrated’s column wheel mechanism through the dial side of the watch



For its first ever watch, Hublot daringly combined gold with a rubber strap in a sporty case, with a design inspired by a ship’s porthole (‘Hublot’ in French). Thus the art of fusion was born. The brand’s guiding principle is to strive to be first, to be unique, to be different, and this year’s watches certainly do that.

Continuing Hublot’s exploration of SAXEM – an alloy of sapphire, aluminium oxide and rare earth minerals that is used in the manufacture of satellites and lasers – the Big Bang Tourbillon (£182,000) is a powerful, bright neon yellow colour which almost seems to glow from the inside. And it comes in a limited edition of just 50 watches.

Equally colourful are two new gem-set Big Bang models made from King Gold, an alloy containing platinum that offers a warmer colour. Rubies, pink sapphires, amethysts, blue sapphires, blue topazes, tsavorites, yellow sapphires and orange sapphires, each with their own unique hue, create a magical rainbow effect on the bracelet, bezel and dial – there are 174 gemstones in total for the Big Bang Integrated (£146,000) and 176 gemstones for the Big Bang Time Only (£137,000), and the bracelet for each piece features 768 and 748 set gemstones respectively. A feast for the eyes.