Angular cases, decorative movements, and a grand appearance: With these concepts, Hublot is riding the wave to success. The Swiss manufacturer offers impressive 45 mm luxury watches with distinctive designs and gold alloys produced in-house.
Most notably, their Big Bang model has achieved cult status. The brand's watches range from impressive 45 mm gold cases with complicated movements, to the cheerful Big Bang Tutti Frutti series. By Hublot standards, the Classic Fusion series is somewhat simpler, while the MP collection looks like it belongs in a science fiction film. The Spirit of Big Bang series distinguishes itself by its watches with tonneau cases.
Intricate Calibers in the Big Bang
Hublot offers more than 50 different models in its flagship Big Bang collection. The watches in the series tend to be a bit bulky, and therefore slightly heavier. Most of the watches feature sapphire glass on both sides of their cases, which provides a glimpse of the elaborate movement within. The Big Bang Unico series offers a large selection of watches with 45 mm diameter cases. The series' movement is the result of four years of development and consists of 330 individually hand-assembled pieces. Furthermore, it was designed so that a variety of complications can be added. For example, certain Unico models can be fitted with a Flyback chronograph or a GMT function. For lovers of more intricate movements, the HUB6016 has a tourbillon and a power reserve that lasts five days. A tourbillon is a delicate and round rotating cage that minimizes gravity's effect on the movement. This results in higher precision and is a characteristic of particularly intricate mechanical watches. The cost of a Big Bang with a tourbillon and red gold case reaches into the six-figure range.
A special material called King Gold is used for some of the Big Bang Unico cases. This material is 18-karat red gold mixed with platinum and a higher percentage of copper. The alloy doesn't oxidize and is characterized by its intense red color, which stays vibrant for years. In-house gold alloys are currently popular in the world of luxury watchmaking: Omega
created and uses its own Sedna gold in many models, another red gold mixture.
A Magical Mixture of Gold and Ceramic
Hublot is also venturing into uncharted territory with their Magic Gold. Unlike other gold alloys that are made by adding other metals, Magic Gold is a mixture of ceramic and liquid gold. The result is the first scratch-resistant 18-karat gold alloy in the world. As its name suggests, the Unico Titanium has a 45 mm titanium case. Metal isn't your only choice, however: Carbon fibers are used for the Big Bang Unico Carbon's case and bezel. For the Unico Black Magic, Hublot uses yet another modern material: black ceramic, which is particularly scratch resistant. There are also watches in the series which feature a combination of these materials - for example, a case made of King Gold or titanium with a ceramic band. The bejeweled versions are especially eye-catching: Multiple Big Bang versions are adorned with some 350 1.18-karat diamonds on both the bezel and dial. The Jeans model brings a more casual look to the table with its blue jean dial and its strap made of both rubber and blue jean with gray stitching. The 41 mm models of the Big Bang's Pop Art and Tutti Frutti series feature colorful designs with pink, turquoise, and orange hues. The smallest Big Bang watches, the 38 MM series, have three hands, a 38 mm case diameter, and were designed with women in mind.
If you think the Big Bang's design is unique, the MP collection goes even further. It's perfect for the eccentric watch lover, and the MP-05 watch looks like something straight out of a secret project in a laboratory. The case is pear-shaped, measures 46 mm in diameter, and is available in either titanium or polished sapphire crystal. Instead of hands, the MP-05 utilizes multiple cylinders with numbers on them. The power reserve indicator is located on the right, while the hours and minutes are on the left. The seconds display is located below them, and the manual winding caliber with its vertical tourbillon is visible in the middle. The true eye-catching part of this watch, however, is its 11 barrels – most watches only have one or two barrels. The number of barrels in a timepiece is closely tied to how long the power reserve is. Thus, the MP-05 can run for 50 days before it needs to be rewound, an impressive feat for a wristwatch.
A Collaboration with Ferrari
Hublot collaborated with the well-known Italian sports car company Ferrari for the development of the MP-05, earning the watch its second name, LaFerrari, and inspiring its motor-like design. Winding the watch is also reminiscent of car racing: Unlike most watches, the crown does not need to be wound in order to recharge the barrel. Instead, a self-winding pistol that resembles the tools used for changing tires in the pit lane during car races is included with purchase and used to wind the watch. There are also similarities in the pricing: there is little difference between a nice Ferrari Maranello and an MP-05.
The Head of Formula 1 for Hublot
This watch manufacturer has connections to car racing that go beyond just Ferrari. Bernie Ecclestone, the chief executive of Formula 1, always sports a Hublot. He was once violently mugged for one of the watches in his collection: Four men attacked him, beat him severely, and ran off with the timepiece. Shortly thereafter, Hublot and Ecclestone collaborated on a strange advertising campaign. The advertisement featured Ecclestone with his bruised face and the tagline, “See what people will do for a Hublot.”
Simple: The Classic Fusion
The Classic Fusion series offers a more conventional design when compared to the MP series. The models with diameters of 45, 42, 38, and 33 mm have three hands with center seconds and a date display. By Hublot standards, these variants on the Classic Fusion are downright purist. Its distinguishing element is its bezel, held in place by six decorative screws. Other versions include a chronograph caliber, moon phase indicator, or power reserve indicator. The Ultra-Thin models feature the same case as the Classic Fusion models, but are extra flat. The caliber HUB1300.4 has a power reserve of 90 hours and a second subdial at the seven o’clock position – quite an unusual placement in a watch. An alternative to the Classic Fusion is the Bulgari Diagono
The Alternatives: King Power and Spirit of Big Bang
Hublot reached deep into their treasure chest for the King Power Unico White Pavé. The 48 mm titanium case and the bezel have enough space for more than 400 diamonds. Design-wise, the King Power collection doesn't diverge too far from the Big Bang. In addition to titanium, ceramic and King Gold are two other case materials used in this series. The Spirit of Big Bang collection also uses these materials and can be considered a tonneau offshoot of the Big Bang series. The Spirit model is powered by the caliber HUB4700, an automatic chronograph movement with a power reserve of 50 hours. The watch is skeletonized, meaning its movement is visible underneath the dial.
Hublot produces its watches in Nyon, a city near Geneva. Italian Carlo Crocco founded the company in 1980 and introduced the first wristwatch in the world that had a natural rubber band at the watch trade show Baselworld. However, Crocco had been developing watches long before that: His first watch was designed back in 1967. In 2004, Jean-Claude Biver left Omega and became the CEO of Hublot. One year later, Hublot was the recipient of countless awards from the watchmaking industry for their then-new series, the Big Bang. In 2008, the luxury goods concern LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE
bought Hublot from Carlo Crocco. TAG Heuer
also belongs to LVMH.
Hublot produces their luxury watches in a unique, personalized style. Their designs feature their own in-house calibers and range from modern to futuristic. Stainless steel cases are rare for these pieces. Hublot sets itself apart from other manufacturers by using more precious materials such as the yellow gold/ceramic mix Magic Gold. Expect to pay at least four figures for a Hublot, though many models will cost much more. Thus, a Hublot watch is a definite status symbol recognizable by fans and experts at first glance.