The best pieces at this month’s biggest gem event

There’s something fun about a watch fair that coincides with fashion month. The procession of fashion weeks always puts pressure on: what are the trends? Which pieces should I dog-ear for later? How will this inform the way I dress – and act – in just a few short months? New watches, on the other hand, come with much less burden, as was the case at LVMH Watch Week, the fashion conglomerate’s fair for new watches. Trends move glacially in the watch world, and aren’t meant for everyone at once: there’s something comforting about knowing I’ll never own a neon-yellow Hublot made from a transparent sapphire-like material called Saxem.

In that way, I love new unreleased season, which only comes around a few times a year. It’s easy to gobble up all the new stuff at once and then spend the rest of the year digesting it. 2023 has already given us a lot to look at, but here are a few more: my favorite pieces I saw at the event.

Zenith’s Defy Revival

I don’t know what they put in the coffee of watchmakers in 1969, but it was a huge year for the industry. NASA put a man (and the Omega Speedmaster) on the moon, while Zenith introduced the world’s first automatic chronograph. Zenith’s watchmakers were particularly busy that year: they also released the Defy, faithfully resurrected 54 years later. The new version of the Defy hits all the right vintage buttons: the stunning stacked “pyramid” hour markers and the unlike any other bracelet with small openings between the links. The bracelet may be the star feature in my opinion. Its design, known as the “ladder”, was created by legendary bracelet maker Gay Frères, the go-to for the Swiss watch industry’s top players before Rolex absorbed it in 1998. Fortunately, Zenith held on to the exclusive rights to this design and is bringing it back as part of the new old Defy. And then, after all the fine vintage touches, the watch knocks you over the head with the abrupt ruby ​​dial. Perhaps my favorite piece from the entire fair.

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