LVMH Watch Week: Hublot revitalises a classic and introduces some bold evolutionsD.C. Hannay
- Hublot is kicking off 2023 with a big bang, debuting a brightly hued tourbillon in an exotic new material.
- An OG classic makes its return, now in new case materials and a wide range of size choices.
- A bold new chronograph looks and does good, created to benefit endangered wildlife.
LVMH Watch Week is upon us, and Hublot is once again making big waves with their bold designs and as a leader in the use of innovative materials. And this year’s releases are more eye-catching than ever, as you’ll see in a moment.
Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon SAXEM
We start things off with a big bang, quite literally, with the retina-searing visual intensity that is the Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon SAXEM. Hublot are pioneers in the use of man-made sapphire within the watch industry, but this new model is something else entirely. The material is notoriously difficult to colour, each shade requiring its own elemental cocktail to achieve that perfect hue, so when Hublot decided to tackle this particular fluorescent yellow, they were working with a blank sheet of paper. After three years of research, the solution turned out to be a blend dubbed “SAXEM”, which stands for Sapphire Aluminium oXide and rare Earth Mineral, used in the aerospace field. The result is a previously unseen tone of acid yellow that seems to glow from within, and offers greater resistance, polish and brilliance than previous man-made sapphires. The fully polished 44mm case and bezel has a vivid presence unlike anything the brand has presented before, offering a striking contrast to the polished, micro-blasted titanium bezel screws and crown.
Not merely a pretty face, the Yellow Neon SAXEM is also a showcase for Hublot’s movement prowess, utilising the in-house HUB6035 automatic calibre. This skeletonised reference boasts a tourbillon at 6 o’clock that seems to float in midair, due to the sapphire bridges that frame these visual fireworks. The movement also features a micro-rotor, and manages a 72-hour power reserve to boot. Completing the package, the Yellow Neon SAXEM comes equipped with a matching textured yellow rubber strap (with a titanium deployant buckle) that utilises Hublot’s One Click system for toolless strap changes. Limited to 50 pieces worldwide, the price is CHF200,000.
|Model||Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon SAXEM|
|Case Dimensions||44mm (D) x 14.40mm (T)|
|Movement||HUB6035 automatic micro-rotor tourbillon|
|Power Reserve||72 hours|
|Availability||TBA, limited to 50|
Classic Fusion Original
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been more than 40 years since Hublot burst onto the horological scene. The 36mm original made its debut in 1980, forever changing how we think about luxury watches (“A gold watch on rubber? Sacrilege!”), and this year, the Classic Fusion Original is now available in three different case sizes and three materials as well. Radical upon its introduction, the porthole-like original is downright understated when compared to some of Hublot’s offerings, but with everything ‘80s back in vogue in the watch world, now is the perfect time for this throwback. Buyers can choose from yellow gold, titanium, or black ceramic cases, sized at 33, 38, or 42mm in diameter. Things are kept simple on the dial, which is a stark, stylish black lacquer featuring just the logo and wordmark, eschewing dial markers of any kind. The movements are the same in the 38 and 42mm models, the MHUB1110 (Sellita base) automatic time and date calibre (visible through a sapphire caseback), with the 33mm model receiving a quartz movement. All models feature a smooth black rubber strap, with matching gold, titanium, or ceramic/titanium deployant clasps.
|Model||Classic Fusion Original|
|Case Dimensions||33mm (D) x 8.5mm (T)
38mm (D) x 9.85mm (T)
42mm (D) x 10mm (T)
|Case Material||Titanium, Black Magic (ceramic), or Yellow Gold|
|Crystal(s)||Sapphire crystal and exhibition caseback|
|Bracelet/Strap||Black rubber with deployant clasp|
38mm, 42mm: MHUB1110 automatic (Sellita-based)
|Power Reserve||33mm: 3-5 years
38mm, 42mm: Approx. 42 hours
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds, date|
|Price||33mm: US$6,500 (Titanium), US$7,300 (Black Magic), US$17,800 (Yellow Gold)
38mm: US$7,900 (Titanium), US$8,500 (Black Magic), US$20,500 (Yellow Gold)
42mm: US$8,200 (Titanium), US$10,000 (Black Magic), US$24,100 (Yellow Gold)
Big Bang Unico Cheval Blanc Randheli/Big Bang One Click Cheval Blanc Randheli
Two watches created in partnership with LVMH’s Cheval Blanc hotel resort in the Maldives, the Cheval Blanc Randheli, make for a novel-looking pair. And an elite one: the Big Bang Unico Cheval Blanc Randheli chronograph and Big Bang One Click Cheval Blanc Randheli are available exclusively at the resort, and limited to 25 pieces for each model. You’re already in a holiday mood, so why not pick up a luxury timepiece as a souvenir? Both models sport a relaxed, casual vibe with satin-finished cases and sunny yellow ceramic bezels, and feature an ocean-ready water resistance of 100 metres, although you might want to swap out that grey alligator strap for the included lined rubber one. The 42mm Unico flyback column wheel chrono version features a matte chocolate and see-through dial, as well as the HUB1280 self-winding movement, good for 72 hours of power.
The 39mm One Click is the time and date version utilising the MHUB1710 (Zenith base) movement, and sports 11 brilliant-cut diamond markers on its chocolate sunray dial. The warm colours and casual demeanor of both models make for a look that’s very much at ease, and what says luxury holiday more than that?
|Model||Big Bang Unico Cheval Blanc Randheli/Big Bang One Click Cheval Blanc Randheli|
|Case Dimensions||42mm (D) x 14.5mm (T)/39mm (D) x 12.55mm (T)|
|Case Material||Titanium, ceramic/Stainless steel, ceramic|
|Dial||Skeletonised/Sunray brown with diamonds|
|Bracelet/Strap||Alligator, additional rubber strap|
|Movement||HUB1280 automatic chronograph/MHUB1710 automatic|
|Power Reserve||72 hours/50 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds, date, flyback chronograph/Hours, minutes, seconds, date|
|Availability||Exclusively at Cheval Blanc Randheli, limited to 25 each model|
Big Bang Unico SORAI
Cutting a striking figure is the bold new Big Bang Unico SORAI (Save Our Rhinos Africa India), which besides having tons of visual impact, was created to benefit one of the world’s most endangered species (and the second largest land mammal), the rhino. Rhinos are still killed by poachers for their horns’ supposed medicinal properties, and their population has seen a reduction of 90% over the last 10 years, so the crisis is very real.
The watch features a 44mm rhino grey ceramic case in the familiar Big Bang Unico chrono configuration, with a striking dial that showcases a rhino in the 9 o’clock subdial. The skeletonised and matte grey dial is rendered with gradient markers that fade from orange to purple, evoking the colours of the sunset. The watch is powered by the column wheel flyback MHUB1280 chrono movement, which offers a 72 hour power reserve, and two straps are included, a grey fabric and a rubber/fabric sunset camo version, both featuring ceramic closures.
|Model||Big Bang Unico SORAI|
|Case Dimensions||44mm (D) x 14.5mm (T)|
|Case Material||Grey ceramic|
|Bracelet/Strap||Grey fabric, sunset camo rubber and fabric|
|Movement||HUB1280 automatic chronograph|
|Power Reserve||72 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds, date, flyback chronograph|
|Availability||TBA, limited to 100 pieces|
Big Bang Integrated Time Only King Gold Rainbow/Big Bang Integrated King Gold Rainbow
The integrated luxury sports watch remains a white-hot presence on the industry stage, so the only thing that could make it even hotter is the addition of rainbow gems. Hublot’s done just that with their new Integrated King Gold Rainbow models, the Time Only and their flyback chrono model.
Both models are fully gem-set with nearly 1,000 stones each, including their integrated solid King Gold bracelets. King Gold is a proprietary Hublot alloy that adds platinum to the mix, and offers a warmer colour to standard 18K yellow gold. With the full pave treatment of ruby, amethyst, blue topaz, tsavorite, and a host of coloured sapphires, trust me, your wrist will not go unnoticed. The 42mm Big Bang Integrated King Gold Rainbow has a black skeletonised dial with rainbow markers, offering a good view of the MHUB1280 autowinding column wheel flyback chrono movement. The Big Bang Integrated Time Only King Gold Rainbow sports a similar dial, showcasing the MHUB1710 calibre, and features a date window at 6. Both watches also offer a view of the movement from behind with a sapphire caseback. Another thing both watches are? A-list baller, and you can rest assured they’ll show up on more than a few bold-faced names’ wrists in the near future.
|Model||Big Bang Integrated Time Only King Gold Rainbow/Big Bang Integrated King Gold Rainbow|
|Case Dimensions||40mm (D) x 9.25mm (T)/42mm (D) x 13.45mm (T)|
|Case Material||King Gold, gem set|
|Bracelet/Strap||King Gold, gem set|
|Movement||MHUB1710 automatic/HUB1280 automatic chronograph|
|Power Reserve||50 hours/72 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds, date/Hours, minutes, seconds, date, flyback chronograph|
Big Bang One Click Sapphire Diamonds 39mm
If you’re still looking to dazzle, but in classic noir fashion, this is the perfect little black dress accessory. The limited-to-200 Big Bang One Click Sapphire Diamonds 39mm is textbook understated luxe, with a clear sapphire 39mm case, and stealthy black movement components peeking through the skeletonised dial and caseback.
Some 42 round diamonds ring the bezel, and provide brilliant contrast with the black dial accents and rubber strap. And for all its luxurious trappings, the watch manages 100 metres of water resistance, so if you happen to feel a fountain-jumping moment coming on, by all means, give in.
|Model||Big Bang One Click Sapphire Diamonds 39mm|
|Case Dimensions||39mm (D) x 12.55mm (T)|
|Case Material||Sapphire, diamond bezel|
|Power Reserve||50 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds, date|
|Availability||TBA, limited to 200 pieces|
Classic Fusion Gold Crystal
The new Classic Fusion Gold Crystal offers a sleek glammed-out twist on the black ceramic Classic Fusion Original, with the addition of genuine gold flakes set into the inky black dial and then lacquered. It’s an unusual treatment, but a striking one that showcases the reflections of the gold differently every time you look, depending on how the light hits the frond-like patterns.
Black and gold is a timeless combination, and the 42mm brushed ceramic case and H-screwed bezel offer a stealthy contrast to the dial. An alligator and rubber strap completes a look that’s decadent and refined all at once.
|Model||Classic Fusion Gold Crystal|
|Case Dimensions||42mm (D) x 11.35mm (T)|
|Case Material||Black ceramic|
|Dial||Black and gold flake|
|Bracelet/Strap||Black alligator and rubber|
|Power Reserve||42 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds|
Spirit Of Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve
The tonneau-cased Spirit Of Big Bang lineup receives two new limited-to-50 editions, one in black and blue carbon composite, the other in vivid purple sapphire. The Spirit Of Big Bang models have always had a commanding wrist presence, made even more so in these new cases.
Both feature striking skeletonised dials, and are powered by a hand-wound MHUB6020 tourbillon movement that offers a five-day power reserve. Keeping with the trademark Hublot look, they both come on complementing rubber straps with folding buckles. If you’ve got the wrist real estate to pull off their 42mm-wide case dimensions, you might as well go full Hublot, because if the Spirit Of Big Bang is on your shortlist, you’re obviously no wallflower, so why should your watch be?
|Model||Spirit Of Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve|
|Case Dimensions||(Carbon) 42mm (D) x 13mm (T)/(Sapphire) 42mm (D) x 15.30mm (T)|
|Case Material||Black and blue carbon/Purple sapphire|
|Bracelet/Strap||Blue rubber/Purple rubber|
|Movement||MHUB6020 handwound tourbillon|
|Power Reserve||5 days|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, power reserve|
|Availability||TBA, limited to 50 each model|