Hublot’s mantra is ‘The Art of Fusion’, which usually refers to the unusual materials it uses in its watches. Sometimes those are purely for cosmetics and other times they improve the performance of the watch. In this instance, it’s the former, as Hublot fuses the colour orange with a sapphire crystal case for its new Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Sapphire Orange watch.
Tinting the sapphire case of a watch is not like tinting the back windows of your Ford Focus, you don’t merely add a film of mostly see-through plastic to get a different colour. Instead, you have to fuse other materials into the base material. In this case, Hublot has added titanium and chromium into the blend of sapphire crystal using a sophisticated and secretive process. The colour orange is a world-first for sapphire crystal watches.
The case is large, this is a masculine and overly busy timepiece for rappers and celebrities after all. That means you get a 45mm diameter and a thickness of 15.3mm. The case features all the Big Bang hallmarks with lots of facets, layers, edges, screws, and other parts that look technical in some way. The watch also features Hublot’s signature quick-change system for the strap, which uses a button on the top side of the case and is meant to evoke the seat belt buckle in a sports car.
Inside the watch and on display from all angles sits the brand new calibre MHUB6035, an in-house made skeleton movement featuring an automatic winding system, a tourbillon and not a lot else. It doesn’t have a chronograph like Hublots usually do, and I think it’s all the better for it. You can focus on admiring the lumed orange markers and hands and the branded 22k gold micro-rotor that faces the wearer for the first time. We rarely see micro-rotors on dials of watches these days, it’s a signature of Jorg Hysek’s watches and not a lot else, so it’s nice to see here. The MHUB6035 has a power reserve of 72-hours and a beat rate of 3Hz within the rotating cage of the one-minute tourbillon.
Hublot is one of the main brands people love to hate on, hey, even I do it occasionally. But then again, sometimes Hublot makes a watch which proves it has got the gumption to do crazy high-end watches and do them well. In that regard, I think Hublot has been successful. The watch will cost $169,000 and is limited to 50 examples worldwide.