“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

Hublot: Baselworld Big Bangs

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Just as everywhere in life, when purchasing your next watch, there are safe choices and others bending to the extremes. Hublot as a brand is not for everyone; their collections are laser-targeted to distinct groups of self-aware individuals.

We went to see Hublot’s novelties at BASELWORLD – their booth is already a messenger of the above. The company has released new models in all their collections. The fruits of co-operation with Ferrari received the greatest attention at the show. The Masterpiece MP-05 “LaFerrari” 50 pcs limited edition has been developed parallel with Ferrari’s similarly named car and was revealed within the framework of BASELWORLD. The movement of the engine-looking watch is built with 637 components and with the help of the 11 barrels it operates roughly 50 days long with one full winding.

The Big Bang is probably the most well-known collection of the firm. Introduced earlier, but first time for me to hold in my hands were the Big Bang Ferrari All Black and the Big Bang Ferrari King Gold Carbon versions. The unmistakably Hublot shape gets the spirit of the fast and furious from the carbon fibre bezel and the Black Schedoni leather strap with red stitching. Earlier in March Hublot announced the cooperation with Depeche Mode – the end result is rather interesting. The rugged surface of the watch has the Microblasted Black Ceramic bezel and “Clous Pyramide” decoration – the pattern extends to the strap – and the skeleton matte black dial are bulls-eye.

The true novelties of the Big Bang introduced at BASELWORLD are however the Big Bang Unico, the Big Bang Carbon Bezel Baguette and the Big Bang Caviar Red Gold / Steel Diamonds. Three and a half years ago Hublot opened the Nyon manufacture to produce in-house movements. Unico, the column wheel flyback 4Hz 72 hour chronograph movement has been entirely developed by the company. The Big Bang Unico is the first to receive the new movement. The Big Bang Carbon Bezel Baguette models are ornamented with diamonds, sapphires, rubies and tsavorites- and if you ask me the watch has been designed for tough chicks. I really like the idea of mixing carbon fibre with gems on a very masculine shape. The Big Bang Black Caviar has been one of the brand’s bestseller since 2011. They presented the Big Bang Caviar Red Gold and the Big Bang Caviar Steel versions, both with or without diamonds on the bezel. The good thing is that one can dive down to 100 meters and stay there for 42 hours with one wind.

Hublot presented the Antikythera SunMoon timepiece as the fusion of antiquity and modernity. The unique 20-piece collection contains a miniature version of the Antikythera Mechanism, which is considered to be the first astronomical calculator from the 2nd century BC and that the company reproduced in 4 small, but exact pieces last year (the first is on display at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris, the second at the National Museum of Athens, the third is held by Hublot and the fourth will be sold at a unique auction in 2014).

The Classic Fusion product line was enriched with a jewel-watch, the Classic Fusion Haute Joallerie One Million. The watch received the silhouette of the Skeleton Tourbillion, but was encrusted with 1185 baguette diamonds on the 18k white gold case, the bezel and the dial. The gems originating from Yakutsk in Eastern Siberia were cut in 4100 hours. The watch is limited to 8 pieces.

Hublot Watch Academy

Lee Siegelson noted during our conversation (article coming soon!) that what he particularly values is not the final piece itself, but the process that created it. While the object is always visible and more or less obvious, the process in its entirety or its key steps is usually kept secret. The know-how of taking another successful step towards perfection is the most valuable for all Houses.

Discovering the process of watchmaking is what Hublot was offering on its stand at BASELWORLD. The Hublot Watch Academy is a new initiative from the brand to let the everyday users of mechanical watches understand how such complicated structures are built. They do this by sitting you down to the workbench with tools and instructions to disassemble and remount a watch. The idea is not to train watchmakers, but to invite the playful visitors to an exciting discovery in the world of Lilliput, while explaining the main stations of the watchmaking process.

Watchmaker Boris Kuijper taught us the very basics of his profession and we took a few baby steps. He has been working in the industry for decades and beyond the ultimate patience he possesses to handle miniature objects he has the same patience for rookies. In the Hublot Watch Academy one has the chance to reassemble the HublotUnico movement and mount it in the case. While learning the main parts of a timepiece, you get the excitement of actually creating a working mechanical watch. Of course, you’ll become a professional watchmaker just as the staffs of cosmetic stalls become dermatologists, when they put on the white uniform. But the game is excellent and you not only learn how your beloved watches beat inside, but you will respect the art of this profession even more.

I truly advise you to take part in one of the upcoming classes!


Photo credits: Hublot, Loupiosity.com.
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