LVMH is a luxury goods conglomerate based in Paris which represents prestigious French, Swiss, and Italian watch brands. This company commands the largest share of the luxury goods market, as of this article’s writing in 2018.
LVMH formed in 1987, merging fashion company Louis Vuitton, champagne house Moët & Chandon, and cognac maker Hennessy. Hence, the full name of the group is LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE.
Under the leadership of CEO Bernard Arnault, the company has continued to grow rapidly. Arnault runs the group with a decentralized model which emphasizes maximizing creative control given to each brand’s designers.
Therefore, manufacturing is tightly controlled, but significant portions of assembly are done by hand, including the movements of LVMH’s higher-range watches.
Continue reading below to learn about LVMH’s subsidiary watch brands.
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LVMH manages some of the watch industry’s most innovative and relevant high-end brands on the market today. Keep reading to learn about this foremost luxury goods’ provider’s impressive watch portfolio.
BVLGARI, sometimes rendered as Bulgari, is a Rome-based jeweler and watchmaker owned by LVMH since 2011. While BVLGARI’s jewelry and womens’ watches are often intricately textured, its luxury mens’ watches are often relatively understated.
The men’s watch collections often feature very thin case dimensions, which push the limits of mechanical movement technology. At the very highest end, BVLGARI offers grand complication watches. These feature multiple complications: for example, a minute repeater, grande and petite sonnerie, and perpetual calendar in a single watch.
Other, less common functions appear in some of BVLGARI’s most exclusive watch models. Because of the company’s Italian heritage, many of these pay homage to the fine arts of Italy. For example, their Commedia Dell’arte series features animated automatons in the guises of archetypal Italian theatre characters.
Chaumet is a fine jeweller and luxury watchmaker, founded in 1780, and part of LVMH since 1999. The brand’s biggest markets are France and Japan, but they are also gaining popularity in China, selling watches there since 2006.
The watches are designed in Paris, but their movements are made in the Swiss workshops of watch division Chaumet Horlogerie. Because it is also a jeweler, the company is known for exquisitely ornate mechanism, dials, and details in its watches.
Chaumet has occasionally participated in special projects with other watch brands. This is because, in these cases, other high-end watchmakers sought the jeweler’s special gem-setting expertise.
Consequently, other well-reputed watchmakers have watch lines created with Chaumet decoration and detailing, such as Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 1925 Art Deco watch. Patek-Philippe has also collaborated with Chaumet in a similar fashion.
Signature symbols of the Maison Chaumet include the bee, and a slight blue tone used in their screws and crystals. Therefore, these symbols appear in the brand’s highest-end watches, such as their watch “Attrape-moi.”
This prestigious fashion house has been producing wristwatches since 1975. Dior designs its watches in its Paris design studios, and builds them in its Swiss La Chaux-de-Fonds workshops.
Dior’s watch division is an etablisseur which uses movements from both ETA and fellow LVMH firm Zenith. Zenith began to develop movements for Dior in 2004, such as the “Irréductible,” “Inversé,” “Elite,” “691,” and others.
Although Dior primarily makes women’s watches, it has a few men’s collections, which are decidedly distinct in aesthetic. For example, the Dior Chiffre Rouge, currently the main men’s collection, has a rugged, slightly sporty design. Its black-and-brushed steel color scheme is striking yet subdued.
In contrast, the brand’s women’s watches go for an elegant, ethereal look and feel. They come inlaid with delicate panes of mother-of-pearl and jewels cut into triangles and baguettes, set in intricate patterns.
Watches from Dior are available both with and without complications, such as a chronograph function or a moon phase indicator.
FENDI is an Italian fashion house which joined LVMH in 2001, and has since then been growing its watch division. In 2014, FENDI acquired Taramax S.A, the Neuchâtel-based Swiss watchmaker it had been collaborating with until then.
These watches carry the youthful flair of the Italian house’s style philosophy. Quirky designs are offered alongside more practical ones, and the watches use both quartz and automatic mechanical movements. Chronograph functionality is available on FENDI quartz watches, for instance, in the Momento Fendi lines.
Started in 1936, Fred Paris, also styled as FRED, is a jeweler and watchmaker under LVMH since 1996.
The brand’s aesthetic is playfully colorful while remaining simple enough to avoid being ostentatious, and features sailing or marine-themed elements. This is because the company’s founder, Fred Samuel, was a sailing enthusiast. Hence, FRED watches often feature bands and case decorations fashioned after rigging cable, but made from precious metals.
Founded in 1980, Hublot is known for its “fusion” watches made of unconventional material combinations and for elaborate design collaborations. Based in Nyon, Switzerland, the brand joined LVMH in 2008.
Hublot develops specially-engineered materials for its luxury watches, including blended rubbers and its unique, scratch-resistant “Magic Gold” alloy. The company pioneered high-end watches with rubber straps, which quickly caught on. As a result, many other high-end watchmakers soon followed suit and likewise began offering rubber bracelets.
Radically eye-catching designs define this watchmaker’s vision, resulting in models which include recreations of sculptures, automotive engines, and athletes’ silhouettes. Much of Hublot’s burst of seemingly boundless creativity came as a result of Jean-Claude Biver’s time as CEO.
Due to his great success with Hublot, after his time as CEO of Hublot, Biver became the President of LVMH’s Watch Division.
Bearing the name of its founder and lead designer, Marc Jacobs is an American fashion label under LVMH. This rapidly-growing brand makes watches in collaboration with American company Fossil. Although Marc Jacobs offers men’s watches from time to time, women’s watches make up the majority of the company’s collections.
Marc Jacobs watches use quartz movements and come with basic or chronograph functions and also, more recently, hybrid smartwatch features. The Marc Jacobs Connected line, for example, offers basic smartwatch functionality, including notifications, step counting, and media controls.
Known for most of its history as simply Heuer, TAG Heuer is a Swiss watchmaker which started in 1860. Heuer merged with Techniques d’Avant Garde, or TAG Group, in 1985, and became part of LVMH in 1999.
In the mid-20th century, TAG Heuer distinguished itself with accurate, high-quality stopwatches and speciality timing equipment. Therefore, the brand is known for its frequent motorsports partnerships, and for providing high-end functions in relatively affordable, quality watches.
At the time of this article’s writing, TAG Heuer offered the lowest-priced watch featuring a Swiss-made tourbillon, at around $16,000. As a tourbillon is such a complex and demanding component to make, this shows the company’s passion for affordable luxury.
Zenith is a Le Locle, Switzerland based watch company with a long reputation for refinement and exceptional mechanical precision.
Founded in 1865, the brand has earned thousands of chronometry prizes for precision, more than any other individual brand. Zenith entered the LVMH watch portfolio in 1999.
During the quartz crisis, Zenith nearly lost its famed mechanical movement production department while owned by Zenith Radio Corporation.
Because the Swiss industry lost so much business to companies manufacturing quartz watches, Zenith Radio Corporation wanted drastic action.
This parent company had ordered all materials and equipment used for mechanical movements to be destroyed and sold as scrap. This was because Zenith Radio intended to switch Zenith exclusively to quartz watch manufacturing.
Luckily for the company and the Swiss watchmaking industry, department head Charles Vermot hid away as much as he could. And so, thanks to Vermot, many of the brand’s classic and recognizable watch models can continue to be built today.
To read more about Zenith’s history, past and present models, and famous users, read our article on the brand.
Watches by Louis Vuitton bring together high-end luxury watchmaking with the brand’s renowned fashion. Louis Vuitton’s watch division incorporates LVMH acquisitions: La Fabrique du Temps and Leman Cadrans, which employ many veteran watchmakers. La Fabrique Du Temps specializes in movements, while Leman Cadran is known for its dials.
While Louis Vuitton has only three watch collections, the company periodically updates each with new features, functions, and variations.
The largest collection is Tambour, which includes chronographs, GMT watches, and smart watches. Next, the Voyager series includes a GMT function on every model. Finally, the Escale displays 24 time zones simultaneously.
Both the Tambour and Escale series have “Spin Time” versions, in which each hour marker is a rotating cube. The cube displays the hour’s number on one side, and when that hour comes, the cube faces upwards.
Learn More About Watches
We hope you enjoyed reading this general overview of LVMH’s luxury watch houses. If you’d like to read the official websites of LVMH’s brands, visit the official website.
Otherwise, to read watch reviews, in-depth brand histories, and other quality watch guides and information, visit our main watch page.