Time, Editor's Pick

Four Breakthrough Watches Thanks to their Equally Progressive CEOs


Many a time when we look at the iconic watches of today, we recognise the brand behind it without knowing who gave the design visions and strategy. This not only applies to watches but in fact to other products such as cars, architects or even gadgets just to name a few. Here are a few names who rubber stamped some of the most iconic watches that were released this decade.

Pictured Above: TAG Heuer — TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T Nanograph

2014 was a difficult year for TAG Heuer as its CEO stepped down after taking office in June 2013. Jean-Claude Biver, head of LVMH’s watch business was appointed interim CEO to steady the rocking ship. A few months later at BaselWorld 2015, Jean-Claude Biver presented the new TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 which spots a radically different look to its predecessor. It featured a skeletonised dial that revealed the inner workings of the in-house movement. A year on, the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02 was launched, featuring a chronograph and a flying tourbillon based on the Heuer 01 design. Both watches proved to be a massive hit from the numerous iterations that soon followed such as the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T Nanograph released this year.

Omega — Omega Speedmaster “Speedy Tuesday”

CEO of Omega, Raynald Aeschlimann can be credited for many good works Omega has achieved such as introducing its five-year warranty program in 2018. However, it was the release of the Omega Speedmaster “Speedy Tuesday” in January 2017 that ensured Speedmaster-mania kept burning. #SpeedyTuesday was adopted throughout the world by Speedmaster enthusiasts when it was founded in 2012 by Robert-Jan Broer, celebrating the many editions of the Omega Speedmaster on the second day of the week.

Omega jumped on the opportunity and released the Omega Speedmaster “Speedy Tuesday” available exclusively online. After its resounding success, Omega launched a second edition of the Omega Speedmaster “Speedy Tuesday” dubbed the Ultraman. The two releases kept traction as Omega gradually build up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch this year.

Zenith — Zenith Defy El Primero 21

For a brand which has a rich heritage in watchmaking, fixing something that was not broken was not on the mind of Julien Tornare when he took over the reins of Zenith. Instead, his plan was to continue building on the heritage of the legendary El Primero calibre, which led to the release of the calibre El Primero 9004 housed inside the Zenith Defy El Primero 21. The El Primero 9004 added a layer of complexity to the mechanism, enabling the automatic chronograph to record 1/100th of a second thanks to is ultra-high beat mechanism. It is a breakthrough not only for the Swiss watchmaker but for the watch industry as mechanical chronograph watches couldn’t reach these dizzying heights of timekeeping in the past.

Tudor — Tudor Black Bay Heritage

At a time when Tudor was languishing in the shadows of its illustrious big brother, forgotten by the watchmaking world, CEO of Tudor Philippe Peverelli decided to take the dire situation by the scruff of its neck and developed the Tudor Black Bay Heritage. The vintage inspired dive watch turned out to be a masterstroke as it was the most talked about watch during its presentation at BaselWorld 2012. Since then, the Tudor Black Bay has spawned several iterations over the years, becoming one of the most sought after watches in the process. Peverelli left Tudor in 2016, having joined in 2009 but his legacy is forever solidified thanks to the Black Bay.