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Watch brands that have developed iconic cases face the unique challenge of breaking new ground while remaining true to their aesthetic. The ones that make it work have mastered the art of playing unique—even extravagant—variations on a timeless theme.

luxury l_big-bang-blue-cannes-gj-m5451-1-1 Big Bang blue Cannes Photo: Modern Luxury

Hublot is nearly synonymous with its sprawling “Big Bang” collection, housed in a case that enters its second decade with no signs of slowing down. After several high-profile collaborations with famous names in the athletic and artistic world, Hublot released two Big Bang limited editions this summer. The Big Bang Blue was inspired by the Blue Grotto of Capri, its vibrant shade hinting at an endless summer and marking a new Hublot boutique in the Mediterranean.

luxury AudemarsPiaget Gold from Audemars Piaget Photo: Modern Luxury

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the women’s Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet debuted the Royal Oak Frosted Gold, a shimmering confection unlike anything else on the market. Created in collaboration with jewelry designer Carolina Bucci, the watch boasts several thousand minuscule indentations on the surface of its case and bracelet, creating a visual effect like sunlight on the ocean’s countless ripples. As modern as it looks, this method—called the Florentine technique—is an ancient one, requiring only a diamond-tipped tool. Despite its apparent simplicity, this technique required months to perfect, enveloping the timepiece in texture while maintaining its signature Royal Oak heritage.

luxury atelier_reverso_electric_blue_dial Atelier reverso electric blue dial Photo: Modern Luxury

Created to protect the timepiece’s delicate crystal during rough-and-tumble polo games (all those swinging mallets!), Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso case has evolved into a showcase for sophisticated movements, unconventional materials and unparalleled opportunities for customization. A few unique pieces have even featured miniature paintings on the reverse dial! Jaeger-LeCoultre has been leaning into the customizable aspect of the Reverso of late, offering dials in electric blue, military green marble and tiger’s eye, with the option of matching strap.