‘Black’ is a term that has come to denote the best in luxury. Anyone who has either accidentally, and I’m looking at myself here, or intentionally ordered an Uber Black knows that to be true. Hublot’s All Black event, to mark 10 years since the first All Black model was released, and showcasing all the ensuing models in a glistening volcanic rock display centrepiece, did not challenge the modern logic that when it comes to luxury, and to taxis, black is better than platinum.
Hublot has never done things by halves. When the brand chooses ambassadors, they choose the fittest, the fastest (of all time) and the foxiest (hello Bar, if you’re reading). When they present at Baselworld, it’s in a towering booth with eye-popping visuals cascading down every surface, crafty watch podiums that seem unprotected until you try swiping one, and a seemingly endless supply of Chairman Mr Biver’s homemade cheese inside.
The same pattern holds for Hublot events, which in recent history have included a sunny day on Sydney Harbour, with the same Mr Biver and our very own Michael Clarke and an intimate night with one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world.
As an opener, let’s just say the Hublot All Black event at Sydney’s Carriageworks managed to raise an already very high bar. Guests entered one of the cavernous Carriageworks buildings, where train carriages were built from the late 19th century, to be snapped against the Hublot wall, and then ushered down a long, smoke-filled corridor with strobing lights. The ante chamber was the central watch showcase, lit dramatically by several bright spots, which illuminated every follicle of old mate (and founder of Beard Season) Jimmy Niggles’ spectacular beard. We discussed the lack of slow time in modern life, and a potential collaboration that will help everyone get more of it. Stay tuned.
Canapés and champagne were served ahead of a stirring speech by Australia/New Zealand brand manager Joel Ruiz who reiterated the message that while many brands now offer all black watches, Hublot “was the first”.
Following his call to arms, music that would be well suited to a Game of Thrones fight scenes swelled and another door slid back to reveal a vast dining room with candlelit tables and glittering cutlery. The table allocation gods (aka Joel, muchas gracias) must have been shining on me this night, as my tablemates included Jennifer Hawkins, the ever-youthful Tom Waterhouse and wife Hoda Vakili, Hublot PR boss Emma Van Haandel (of EVH) and, across the way, Kris Smith, who once shared his watch obsession with all of you in an open letter.
Toasts were led by Clarkey, and, in true medieval form, shapely bottles of Hennessy cognac appeared, to be supped on straight from the bottle by much of the motley crew described above.
Festivities stretched late into the night, and in the case of the All Black event, it can be confirmed that it is darkest before the dawn. The only question for watch lovers now is, how will Hublot top the pinnacle of the mountain so far: the All Black Sapphire model? Have they got any blacker?