If the purpose of January’s LVMH Watch Week was for the quartet of participating brands to kick off 2023 with a bang, then Zenith was happy to provide the fireworks – welcoming in the new year with one rocket in particular.
Three weeks after Bernard Arnault, LVMH’s co-founder, chairman and CEO, supplanted Elon Musk as the world’s wealthiest man, the watch division of the luxury behemoth – made up of Bulgari, Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith – rolled into Singapore’s Capella Resort for LVMH Watch Week 2023. It was the fourth time the brands have exhibited together exclusively under the LVMH umbrella, and only the second outing to be held in person, for obvious reasons, since Dubai hosted the inaugural show in 2020.
In a villa within the leafy island resort, Zenith used the three-day event – ‘Week’ has a better ring to it, you have to admit – to bolster its Defy collection with 10 new references. As well as six new Skylines with vibrant dials and slimmed-down 36mm cases, in came two skeletonised versions of the original 41mm Skyline, and the hefty 45mm Extreme Glacier, a bruiser of a piece with a bezel made from semi-translucent stone. Yet, for sheer good looks, and everyday wrist appeal, we turn your attention to the Defy Skyline Boutique Edition.
It’s worth remembering that the Defy Skyline was only launched a little over 12 months ago. Within that time, the integrated sports watch has gathered quite the momentum. Indeed, according to Zenith CEO Julien Tornare, “In just one year, the Skyline has become one of our most in-demand lines.”
This year’s Boutique Edition features the same 41mm steel case and 12-sided bezel as the original. However, the latest edition features one of the most beguiling watch dials we wager you’ll see this year (you’ll have to trust us when we say the images on this page don’t do it justice). As with the new 36mm versions, the dial of the Boutique Edition has been engraved with hundreds of tiny, four-pointed stars, an emblem used extensively by Zenith in the past.
What’s so special about this reference? Well, whereas the dials of the smaller Skylines feature just one colour – choose between blue, green or pink – the anthracite grey dial of the Boutique Edition contrasts with stars stamped and then plated with rose gold. The effect is magic. And there’s more good news.
It used to be that watch brands would tease their entire collections for the year ahead at one of the industry’s two main trade shows – Geneva’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (now Watches & Wonders) and (the now-defunct) Baselworld. The watches themselves didn’t hit the market for several months. Not anymore. The watch industry, in that respect, has followed the fashion world. Much of what’s presented on the horologic ‘catwalk’ today is available in-store, or online, as soon as it’s revealed.
“During Covid-19, we realised that what’s best is to have the stock available immediately,” Tornare told Luxury London. “The watches we showed in Singapore went on sale the day they were announced. That created more buzz, more sales. Sometimes you talk a lot about a product and people forget about it six months later.”
The Defy Skyline Boutique Edition isn’t so easy to forget.