Thanks to some last-minute magic, I found myself pointed towards Miami for some much-needed warmth and the slew of watch industry shenanigans that was Watches & Wonders Miami. Having missed SIHH this year due to unfortunate timing, this was the prime opportunity to get hands-on with the watches that were launched at the fair. Beyond that, I’ve always found there to be something special about the Miami vibe, and the watch culture and buying habits it brings out. With that on my mind, I rolled into the Hublot boutique in the Miami Design District (where all the W&W chaos was underway) for a look at some quintessentially Miami releases from the brand.
In the US, Miami is a huge market for Hublot. Much like Las Vegas, a combination of wealthy visitors, and the expressive “No Fs Given” mindset of the majority in the area with money to burn, means that being low-key or stealthy is exceptionally uncommon. This isn’t a criticism in the least, as in many ways it’s a refreshing opposition to the cultural stereotypes found in Beverly Hills and West Los Angeles. LA and Beverly Hills can be flashy, but there the resounding sentiment is of sizing one another up. “What are you wearing, what are you driving” and other echoes of “who’s better than who” fall out the window when you land in Miami, and a more inclusive mentality takes its place.
Without tangible data to back this up, I’ve always found that people in the city (and Miami Beach in particular) are too busy eating, drinking and having a good time to be bothered about what others think, or who outranks who in social hierarchy. This fun, energetic vibe is precisely the reason why this is Hublot country, and the boutique’s extensive collection proved that outspoken, interesting and playful watches are just what this market wants. That in mind, here are the three watches that jumped out at me as being “Pure Miami” in the best possible way.
Big Bang Unico White Ceramic 42mm
Bright, white and tastefully sized, this new version of the Big Bang chrono speaks my language, regardless of whether it’s in Miami or the Great White North (Canada). White being so prominent in a tropical climate wardrobe, it works exceptionally well with the Miami vibe. However, even though you might be tempted, I’d avoid going so far as to match it with white sunglasses. Regardless of eyewear choice, the Big Bang in 45mm can be challenging for some wrists, and this scaled-down 42mm version expands the reach of the chronograph significantly.
Big Bang MECA-10 Nicky Jam Ceramic
There are a good number of variations of the MECA-10 out there that are mighty cool in their own right, but before even getting to the vibrant multi-colour strap of this Nicky Jam limited edition, it’s the movement and casing combination that really makes this version sing. You see, in the black ceramic, blue ceramic, titanium, and magic gold versions of the MECA-10 you get a calibre finished in black and silver hues to keep things less flashy. With the King Gold version, you get a matching King Gold calibre that is bright and punchy, but borders on overpowering (depending on your tastes). With this version, the matte black ceramic casing lets the gold calibre do all the talking, though when viewed from the side, the Rastafari colours of its leather strap provide a different bold detail altogether. Given the immense popularity of Nicky Jam and the reggaeton music scene altogether in Miami, it makes quite a bit of sense that one of these pieces would be lurking in the local Hublot boutique.
Big Bang Ferrari Chronograph Unico Carbon Red Ceramic
Being a land of luxe and excess, there is absolutely no shortage of supercars lurking on the streets of Miami, making a Big Bang Ferrari another regionally quintessential selection. I’m especially partial to this version for one key reason — it uses a carbon case that isn’t trying to look like it’s made of carbon. There’s no carbon fibre weave pattern, and no swirling molten lava pattern of forged carbon to be seen. Instead, the carbon runs unidirectionally from the top to the bottom of its case, giving it a much more subtle look that’s closer to a very faint wood grain texture than anything. Of course, you also get a crisp Ferrari red ceramic bezel, safety yellow date window, and a pair of very sneakily tucked away chronograph pushers to boot.