A bang start to the year

With LVMH Watch Week 2022, yet another online event in these last few turbulent years came to an end. A formula to which we have become accustomed by now, that of the Zoom presentations. Fortunately, very soon we will be able to see live the new watches launched in virtual mode. Bulgari, Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith, in fact, have announced quick deliveries and press presentations in local markets. I wonder if, then, some of the ideas we had about the watches seen on video will change or remain the same. For now, I can share the first impressions of myself and the editorial staff of L'Orologio.

The technical and design commitment of Bulgari appears interesting, as it has embarked on the development of a movement that is completely different from its predecessors: one of the smallest mechanical calibres in circulation, just 12.3 mm in diameter and 2.5 mm thick, intended for the company's high jewellery creations.

Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith have been more generous in launching new models. But there were three pieces that caught our attention, united by the fact that they are elegant sports watches with metal bracelets, perfectly in line with the current market trend.

Very well finished, for its price positioning, is TAG Heuer's Aquaracer 200. Ambitious, in terms of design and mechanical equipment, is the Defy by Zenith, a watch destined to compete at the highest end of the market for this type. Against the trend, finally, is the Hublot Integral Time Only. At least against the House's tendency to offer oversize watches, with its 'barely' 40 millimetres in diameter: much appreciated.

As if these novelties were not enough, Audemars Piguet arrived, with the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Royal Oak, which threatened to overshadow LVMH's Watch Week.

Yet the bombshell this week is another. The Kering group is selling the Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin brands to its current management. Against all odds, two heavyweight names in haute horlogerie are becoming independent again.

Dody Giussani

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