Watches and Wonders 2023: Hublot
The Nyon-based manufacture is pulling out all the stops with new tourbillon calibres and innovative materials.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Hublot is literally pushing the envelope on all fronts in contemporary this year, with no less than a dozen product lines demonstrating its mastery of material innovation, finishes, techniques, and aesthetics. We can’t possibly cover all of its novelties here, but here are the standouts from the fair.
Big Bang Integrated Tourbillon Full Carbon
Perhaps no other watch embodies Hublot’s “spirit of fusion” more than the Big Bang Integrated Tourbillon Full Carbon. Tipping the scales at just 68g, its 43mm case and bracelet are crafted from robust carbon fibre and Texalium, a fibreglass-based material with a thin aluminium coating. Machining such high-tech materials is, of course, challenging, but Hublot seems to make light work of it as the excellent finishing from the edges of the case to each link of the bracelet offers supreme wearing comfort.
Also notable is the self-winding HUB6035 Manufacture tourbillon movement, which has an openwork back plate that hat-tips the interwoven nature of the case and bracelet materials. Limited to 50 pieces, it retails at S$178,100.
MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde
Speaking of tourbillon movements, Hublot is adding another– the HUB6200 – to its ever-growing stable of in-house movements. Debuting in the MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde, the manual-winding movement is the first for the brand to combine a double-axis tourbillon with bi-retrograde displays for hours and minutes. Arguably one of the most readable in the MP series, the retrograde indications ensure that the hands do not obstruct the view of the gravity-defying mechanism at any time of the day. Of course, the extraordinarily shaped sapphire crystal doesn’t hurt, either. Considering the power-hungry complications of the watch, it’s remarkable that it maintains a four-day power reserve. Clad in a 44mm titanium case and paired with a rubber strap, it is limited to 50 pieces and retails at S$222,700.
Square Bang Unico
If the number of new Square Bang Unico references this year is any indication, Hublot has another winner in its hands. Launched just last year, it is well on its way to becoming a full-fledged collection with a slew of new executions.
The Sapphire version (S$133,600), limited to 250 pieces, is the undisputed star here with a clear case made of sapphire crystal. However, eight diamond-studded variants in titanium (from S$42,900), King Gold (from S$71,100), and white gold (from S$108,400) threatens to steal its shine.
On the other hand, the white or black high-tech ceramic iterations (S$37,000 each) are great daily wear options.
Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski
The fourth collaboration in six years between Hublot and Richard Orlinski sees the French artist’s signature folds appearing on the Classic Fusion Chronograph. While we’re certain that more flamboyant variants are already in the works, we appreciate that this is perhaps one of the purest expressions of the two icons’ design ethos. The sculptor’s origami-like style is faithfully rendered in a 41mm micro-blasted titanium case, while the glossy black dial bears faceted markers subtly mirror the angles. Equipped with the self-winding HUB1153 chronograph movement, it comes with a black rubber strap (S$20,700) or a matching bracelet (S$25,700).
As mentioned, this is just a sampling of what Hublot has to offer. Take our word for it; there are a lot more – from time-only to fully blinged-out models – which we will cover in due time.
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