Hublot begins the year with a bit of a bang, unveiling some audacious models that push the boundaries of materials, elevate the art of gem setting, and a limited edition that supports African wildlife whilst looking the part of a modern Hublot. LVMH Watch Week proved to be a taster for things to come, and the models below are what we think are the best in show from this bold brand.
Big Bang Unico SORAI
Since 2019, Hublot has supported Save Our Rhinos Africa India (SORAI for short). Founded by Kevin Pietersen, a former English test cricketer and Hublot ambassador, the organisation plays an important role in the conservation of the rhinoceros, the number of which has dwindled by 90% over the last decade. Despite the ban on the trade of rhino horn, poachers continue to hunt the animal in the pursuit of opportunistic profit – the price of which is worth more per kilogram than gold. Proceeds of this model will go to supporting projects aimed at protecting the rhinoceros, including new technologies to prevent poaching, raising awareness and providing funding for more active ranger personnel on the ground to protect these animals.
The watch itself is executed in the colour scheme of sunset, representing the heightened danger of nightfall. The gradient of colour from yellow, orange, pink and purple represent the daybreak where the sun is a symbol of hope of a new dawn. Its 44mm case is crafted from grey ceramic that echoes the colouring of the rhinoceros, featuring polished and brushed surfaces.
The watch comes with two strap options, a grey fabric with velcro fastening, or a black, purple and orange camouflage design that echo the colours of sunset and sunrise.
Within its grey ceramic case beats the Unico manufacture movement with chronograph, date, automatic winding and a 72 hour power reserve.
This watch is limited to 100 pieces worldwide, and proceeds will go to SORAI to support rhinoceros conservation efforts.
Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic SAXEM Yellow Neon
Looking to space for inspiration, the sapphire case of the Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic SAXEM Yellow Neon appears to glow from within, with an intense fluorescent colouring. Utilised in high-performance lasers and in satellites, SAXEM stands for Sapphire Aluminium Oxide and Rare Earth Material. In essence, it is a form of sapphire (hence the use of Aluminium Oxide) with the inclusion of rare earth elements such as thulium and holmium as well as chromium.
The crystalline structure of SAXEM allows for colouring to be intense, no matter the viewing angle, whilst ensuring stability in the manufacturing process whilst it is being shaped. This was first seen in use by Hublot in 2019 for the Big Bang MP-11, and it has taken 3 years to perfect this material for its transparency and its resistance.
Powering this watch is the HUB6035 self-winding Manufacture calibre with Tourbillon. Interestingly, the watch is wound by a micro-rotor, specifically chosen to exhibit the movement from both sides of the case – a full rotor automatic would have greatly obscured the view.
This watch is limited to 50 pieces worldwide, a fitting number for such an alluring and haunting piece.
Big Bang Integrated King Gold Rainbow and Time Only King Gold Rainbow
What is watchmaking where you can’t have fun with the craft of gem setting? Both of these watches are a veritable explosion of colour, each set with over 800 gemstones – ruby, amethyst, blue topaz, tsavorites as well as an entire colour spectrum of sapphires (pink, orange, blue and yellow).
Both case and bracelet are crafted from Hublot’s King Gold, offering a warmer tone than traditional rose gold, and is also impervious to colour change over time. These two watches are the perfect fusion of modernity, the watchmaker’s craft and especially, the artistry of the jeweler who must match the colour gradient of the gemstones perfectly to create a perfect rainbow across bezel, case and bracelet.
The Big Bang Integrated King Gold Rainbow houses a Unico manufacture chronograph movement boasting a 72 hour power reserve, and the Big Bang Integrated Time Only King Gold Rainbow is also self-winding, with a power reserve of 50 hours.
Hublot continues to remind us that they are one of the most forward thinking and modern watch brands in the industry, pushing the boundaries of what can be done in materials science, the fusion of tradition and modernity, as well as supporting noble and worthy causes around the world.