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Hublot is reaping great rewards with its focus on material innovations

The Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time-Only in 18K King Gold.

New colour achievements enable the watchmaker to freshen its products continually.

Every year, Hublot comes up with a remarkable number of references that deliver its Big Bang collection in an assortment of colours, dials, and finishes. It demonstrates just how effectively and efficiently Hublot’s marketing and R&D departments function together almost as a whole.

Materials are a highlight this year, and the lightest of materials have been paired with its strongest movements. Hublot’s star movements include the seven-barrelled HUB9011 calibre that powers the MP-11 and the HUB6200 with its large dual-axis tourbillon that equips the MP-13. The latter model was presented in titanium at last year’s Geneva fair, and this year, it returns clad in a new ultra-lightweight outfit.

High Complications

The Hublot MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde Black Carbon.
The Hublot MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde Black Carbon.

The MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde Black Carbon has a case and bezel made of carbon fibre with a thin layer of texalium on the upper surface. Both are composite materials that are woven in thin layers and are complementary in their production. Black-plated titanium inserts are screwed in on the caseback as well as extensions on either side of the case. Hublot is the only watchmaker in the industry that uses texalium. Its fully skeletonised HUB6200 movement occupies the extended case with a large dual-axis tourbillon at 6 o’clock and a two-hand, double-retrograde display in a wide arc over it.

The Hublot MP-11 14-Day Power Reserve in water blue coloured sapphire.
The Hublot MP-11 14-Day Power Reserve in water blue-coloured sapphire.

The MP-11’s HUB9011 movement has seven in-line barrels housed in a long row across the calibre. The statement-making piece for Hublot now comes in a new sapphire crystal case in the colour of a clear blue lake or sky. The movement is interesting for the power transmission from the perpendicular barrels to the horizontal gear train via a helical worm gear (i.e. a screw design). The design of the movement also requires the case to be curved around the barrels, making the machining of the case particularly effortful. The new water blue sapphire has a very great transparency, allowing complete viewing of the movement on all sides.

New Ceramics

The latest Hublot Big Bang Unico chronograph models include two in new ceramic colours of orange and dark green.
The latest Hublot Big Bang Unico chronograph models include two in new ceramic colours of orange and dark green.

The development of ceramics is a combination of luck and experience. The principles are clear: moulded metallic oxides or nitrides under high temperatures and pressures melt and solidify into a lightweight, strong material. Getting coloured ceramics is a matter of finding the right metal compound. It is the finding that takes time.

A closer look the Hublot Big Bang Unico chronograph Orange, with a matching rubber strap.
A closer look at the Hublot Big Bang Unico chronograph Orange, with a matching rubber strap.

Hublot has had quite a bit of luck here, hitting vibrant reds, vivid blues, and even a blinding canary yellow. The two latest colours are used in its Big Bang Unico chronograph watch and are almost polar opposites – bright orange and dark military green in a glossy finish. Limited to 250 pieces each, the watches come with textured rubber straps that match the strong tones of each ceramic.

So far, Hublot appears to be just missing a couple of colours before it can make a rainbow watch (and we’re betting that if it can, it will make one). What’s surprising to us is that it hasn’t yet made a dual or multi-coloured ceramic watch. Red and blue on the case and bezel would be a fine choice, or red and yellow.

The Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only in titanium.
The Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only in titanium.

Just In Time

On the other end of the watchmaking spectrum, Hublot has dropped a slew of time-only watches in the Big Bang line. The new 38mm Big Bang Integrated models are the brand’s answer to the sports luxe trend. They are equipped with modified Sellita SW300 calibres (renamed MHUB1115 by Hublot) with a skeleton tungsten rotor and a uniform material across the watch and bracelet.

The limited edition Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only models in black and blue ceramic.
The limited edition Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only models in black and blue ceramic.

Options include 18K King Gold and grade 5 titanium in a discreet design. The surfaces are vertically brushed, and the chamfers are polished, with two dial variants in sunburst blue or polished black. There are all-ceramic models that are available as well, in blue or black ceramic with the same finishing as the metal-clad models. While the ‘Art of Fusion’ is rather absent from these watches, they are honestly handsome models worth checking out, if a bit heftily priced.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.