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LVMH Group’s TAG Heuer, Hublot, Bvlgari, and Zenith the Latest to Leave Baselworld Show

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LVMH Group has become the last big player to join the exodus from Baselworld, taking with it TAG Heuer, Hublot, Bvlgari and Zenith.

It’s been a hard week for Baselworld organizers MCH Group, to say the least.

With the surprise withdrawal of Rolex and some of the largest names in the Swiss watchmaking industry earlier this week from the rescheduled 2021 Baselworld, this new blow from the LVMH Group may be the final nail in the coffin for what was once the world’s largest and longest-running watch and jewelry show.

A bustling Baselworld in years gone by. Credit: Baselworld

Bvlgari had already withdrawn officially from the 2020 event in February citing the COVID-19 as its main concern however the most recent decision made in conjunction with parent company LVMH Group signaled the end for all future plans with Baselworld.

LVMH Group’s official statement regarding their decision sums it up succinctly:

“The Swiss watch Manufactures of the LVMH Group, including the LVMH Watchmaking Division (TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith) and the House of Bvlgari, have taken note of the departure of Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe, Chanel and Chopard from the Baselworld show scheduled for January 2021. Within this context of clearly weakened representation of the Swiss watch industry and hence inevitably lower participation, it appears clear to the brands composing the Division and to the House of Bvlgari that they must also withdraw in order to preserve their image and their relations with their clients as well with the media. They will therefore not be taking part in the 2021 edition of Baselworld.

The four Maisons are examining various potential event formats corresponding to the need to present their strategic directions and new products to their commercial partners – as well as to the international press – next year. The LVMH Watchmaking Division on the one hand, and Bvlgari on the other, will decide on their plans in the coming weeks, according to their respective objectives.”

Commenting on their departure from Baselworld, Stéphane Bianchi, CEO of Watchmaking Division LVMH, said: “We are sorry to have to leave this over 100-year-old Baselworld event, to which our maisons have been consistently loyal. It is nonetheless clear that we must respond quickly and make other arrangements. We are facing an opportunity to reinvent the format and content of one of the key moments of our watchmaking year, which presented both a major commercial challenge and a lever of influence for our brands. With this in mind, we will do our utmost to be present alongside the other prestigious maisons that will gather in Geneva in April 2021 and thereby meet the requirements of our partners and clients while offering them an unrivalled experience.”

Likewise, the CEO of Bvlgari Group, Jean-Christophe Babin agreed and also expressed enthusiasm towards new opportunities saying, “Grouping the entire Swiss watch industry in a single location, Geneva – the historical capital of watchmaking – and around a single date is a major opportunity to at last revive a sector that all too many divisions and divergent interests have weakened, compared to the rest of the luxury sector in which Bulgari is active and that is making much faster progress. We are looking forward to going to Geneva in April 2021, even though we still need to define the terms of our participation, which we will specify in the coming weeks. We are also delighted not to have to make up for the lack of institutional watch shows, which in 2020 forced us to take tactical initiatives that were necessary in the short term but undesirable in the medium term.”

Bvlgari “Octo Finissimo” and “Serpenti Seduttori” collections revealed at Baselworld 2019. Credit: Bvlgari

While no further information has been given regarding specifics as to whether the brands will be joining the new show being held by Rolex at Geneva Palexpo alongside Watches & Wonders in April 2021 or planning their own event, it is clear that decisions will be made independently by both LVMH Watchmaking Division (TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith) and Bvlgari based on their individual interests.

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New Breitling Top Time Deus Limited Edition Revealed

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Breitling has joined forces with Australian moto/surf lifestyle brand Deus Ex Machina to create the new retro-styled Top Time Deus Limited Edition watch.
The new Breitling Top Time Deus Limited Edition. Credit: Breitling
The new Breitling Top Time Deus Limited Edition. Credit: Breitling

Watchmaker Breitling has joined forces with Australian moto/surf lifestyle brand Deus Ex Machina to create the new Top Time Deus Limited Edition, a retro-themed chronograph inspired by Breitling’s 1960’s Top Time design.

Made for today's "young and active professionals". Credit: Breitling
Made for today’s “young and active professionals”. Credit: Breitling

Originally marketed to “young and active professionals” in the 1960s, Breitling’s Top Time was introduced by Willy Breitling, who wanted a youthful design and something sportier than the dress watches of the day. Now almost half a century later, the same remains true of the Top Time design, and with the latest collaboration between Breitling and Deus Ex Machina, those “young and active professionals” look like surfers, bikers, boarders, and backpackers inspired by the open roads and a thirst for adventure.

Breitling Top Time Deus Limited Edition Lifestyle Dark
Powered by Breitling’s Caliber 23, offering a 48-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bhp beat rate. Credit: Breitling

This time around, the new Breitling Top Time features a 41mm polished stainless steel case on a brown calfskin leather racing strap with a yellow underside. It continues the retro feel with a cream dial signaling the collaboration with a small “Deus” logo in black below the Top Time text and two “squircle” (square + circle) shaped black chronograph counters in the middle, one with a red hand and one with an orange hand.

If you look closely, you’ll also notice Deus Ex Machina’s slogan “In Benzin Veritas” (“in gasoline, truth” or more loosely “in petrol we trust”) inscribed in the black tachymeter bezel around the outside of the dial. A block of orange and yellow also breaks the black at 3 PM and gives it an almost fuel gauge feel.

Look closely and you'll notice the lightning bolt seconds hand and "In benzin veritas". Credit: Breitling
Look closely and you’ll notice the lightning bolt seconds hand and “In benzin veritas”. Credit: Breitling

Another very subtle playful element is the red lightning bolt-shaped central chronograph seconds hand, which the observer at first glance may miss but appears recognizable upon closer inspection.

On the case back, an engraving of Deus Creative director Carby Tuckwell on a retro-looking motorcycle features in the center, with other markings to signify the limited-edition collaboration between Breitling and Deus.

Sketch of Deus Ex Machina creative director Carby Tuckwell featured on the case back. Credit: Breitling
Sketch of Deus Ex Machina creative director Carby Tuckwell featured on the case back. Credit: Breitling

The Breitling Top Time Deus is priced at US$4,990 and is limited to 1,500 models. It is currently available exclusively online and will be available through authorized dealers in late March 2021.

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TAG Heuer & Porsche Officially Join Forces In New Partnership

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TAG Heuer and Porsche have made it official with a new partnership that will see the brands collaborate on a range of joint projects in the future, starting with the new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph watch.
The new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Watch. Credit: TAG Heuer
The new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Watch. Credit: TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer and Porsche have recently announced a new partnership based on their shared love of motorsports and racing, which will begin with the TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph release.

While TAG Heuer and Porsche have long crossed paths over the years in various “friend of a friend” circumstances and even shared the name “Carrera” in both automotive and watch models (thanks to the inspiration of the 1950’s Carrera Panamericana road race), this is the first time they’ve made it official.

Porsche detailing on bezel and signature red, black and grey colors. Credit: TAG Heuer
Porsche detailing on bezel and signature red, black and grey colors. Credit: TAG Heuer

The new partnership will see TAG Heuer and Porsche collaborate on a range of joint projects focused on their shared commitment to speed and precision sports, including Formula E, FIA World Endurance Championship, the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup, golf, and tennis.

The automotive kind of "Carrera". Credit: Porsche/TAG Heuer
The automotive kind of “Carrera”. Credit: Porsche/TAG Heuer

Commenting on the new partnership, new TAG Heuer CEO Frédéric Arnault noted, “TAG Heuer and Porsche have common history and values, of course, but more importantly, we share an attitude. Like Porsche, we are disruptors at heart, always in pursuit of high performance. With this alliance, TAG Heuer and Porsche finally come together officially after decades of close encounters and will create unmatched experiences and products for customers and fans that are passionate about both our brands and what we stand for.”

To kick off the partnership, the brands have created the new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph special edition, powered by TAG Heuer’s Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic with a power reserve of 80 hours.

TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition with Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic. Credit: TAG Heuer
TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition with Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic. Credit: TAG Heuer

The watch utilizes a 44mm steel polished case with the tachymeter scale engraved on the ceramic bezel and features Porsche’s red, black and grey colors and either a black calf leather strap with hand stitching, reminiscent of Porsche’s upholstery or a steel H-shape bracelet.

Available with calf leather or polished steel bracelet. Credit: TAG Heuer
Available with calf leather or polished steel bracelet. Credit: TAG Heuer

The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition 44mm Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic is priced at USD$5,850 and is available online at TAG Heuer.

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H Moser Delivers Final Upgrade of $30,800 Swiss Alp “Smart Watch”

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H Moser is closing out production of their tongue-in-cheek Swiss Alp Watch with one last edition – the “Final Upgrade” with a Vantablack® dial.
The new H Moser Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade. Credit: H Moser & Cie
The new H Moser Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade. Credit: H Moser & Cie

In 2016 Swiss watchmaker H Moser & Cie introduced the world to their very own “smartwatch,” the Swiss Alp Watch, which for all intents and purposes, LOOKED like the ever-popular Apple watch but was powered mechanically.

Smart watch at the front, all mechanical at the back. Credit: H Moser & Cie
Smart watch at the front, all mechanical at the back. Credit: H Moser & Cie

Just over five years later, H Moser & Cie have unveiled their “Final Upgrade,” which was inspired by a customer of the brand and will bring the tongue-in-cheek concept to a close.

“This idea was conceived by a customer and friend of the brand, a true enthusiast and fan of the Swiss Alp Watch collection. He came to visit us with an extremely precise design, and we immediately wanted to create this model, perfectly in line with our philosophy, with a touch of humour and a hint of provocation”, says Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie.

Unmarked dial in Vantablack with black DLC coating on the steel case. Credit: H Moser & Cie
Unmarked dial in Vantablack with black DLC coating on the steel case. Credit: H Moser & Cie

Featuring an unmarked ultra-black dial (created with Vantablack® – the blackest material produced artificially that barely reflects light), H Moser has included a seconds subdial made to represent the spinning/loading icon associated with most Mac products (but thankfully not the colorful spinning wheel of death).

The Swill Alp Watch Final Upgrade is housed in a 38.2mm steel case similar in size to the Apple Watch 6 series and is coated in black DLC with blackened hands and a black alligator leather strap to tie the whole concept together.

Powered by the manually winding HMC 324 movement. Credit: H Moser & Cie
Powered by the manually winding HMC 324 movement. Credit: H Moser & Cie

Powered by its 100% Swiss manufactured HMC 324 manual wind movement, the Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade has a minimum power reserve of 96 hours and, with its mechanical heart, will most likely outlive any smartwatch of its same birth year.

Limited to 50 pieces, the Swiss Alp Final Upgrade is priced at USD$30,800 and available from h-moser.com

H Moser Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade Vantablack Reflection

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