Formerly known as Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), Watches & Wonders has, over the years, become one of the most significant platforms for interactions between manufacturers and passionate timepiece connoisseurs from across the world. The first watch fair, under the name ‘Watches & Wonders’, was hosted in Hong Kong in 2013; it was organised by the SIHH Exhibitors Committee. Some of the world’s most revered luxury watch brands now take part in the trade gala, the latest edition of which is currently being held in Geneva. Hublot is part of the Watches and Wonders pantheon and it has unveiled stunning novelties at the event. GMT India examines what’s on offer from the brand.
MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde
The brand is recognised for its Big Bang, Classic Fusion and FIFA collaborated timepieces. Other collections are also sought-after. The MP series ‘Masterpiece’ was first unveiled at the Geneva Trade Show in 2011 with MP-01, limited to 100 pieces. Now, we get its thirteenth variation as Hublot has unveiled the MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde (Ref. 913.NX.1170.RX) at the ongoing 2023 Watches and Wonders. It is limited to only 50 pieces.
The 44 mm MP-13 timepiece is encased entirely in brushed titanium and for the first time, brings together two complications — the tourbillon and the retrograde display — in one timepiece. The tourbillon features two axes; it completes a full rotation every minute on one axis and another every 30 seconds on the other. Having two speeds within the same mechanism creates a view that is both hypnotic and technical.
The three variables — double axis, bi-retrograde and four days of power — are typically never seen together as retrograde displays are energy-intensive. The MP-13 timepiece is run by HUB6200, a manual winding movement with 96 hours of power reserve, with the power reserve indicator located at 11 o’clock. Turning the watch over showcases the satin-finished titanium, skeleton caseback, where the individual watch number has been engraved. You can see a titanium oscillating weight as well.
Now let's move on to the other Hublot novelties.
Big Bang Integrated Tourbillon Full Carbon
The Big Bang’s case has been designed to have an integrated bracelet (as opposed to a strap). The luxury timepiece maker has crafted the Big Bang integral in a series of materials. Taking the collection to newer heights, the newly launched Big Bang Integrated Tourbillon Full Carbon (Ref. 455.YS.0170.YS) comes in a 43 mm carbon fibre and texalium case.
This 50-piece limited-edition model comprises two genuine complications: the tourbillon at 6 o’clock and the micro-rotor at 12 o’clock, with the ‘Hublot’ engraving. With the integrated bracelet and the nature of materials used, the timepiece has a monochromatic visual appeal.
The integrated bracelet is made of 100% carbon fibre and is protected by texalium. The crown gets a rubber insert at 3 o’clock and there are two side lugs to protect the case. You can see six iconic functional screws on the bezel and the double sapphire crystal (face and back) with anti-reflective treatment. Turning the watch over showcases the microblasted, black-plated titanium caseback with the engraving of the individual watch number, out of 50, and a tourbillon at 6 o’clock. The movement is the same as that seen in the 2021 sapphire edition: the HUB6035 manufactured automatic movement with 72 hours of power reserve.
Square Bang Unico Sapphire, White Ceramic and Black Magic
At last year’s Watches and Wonders, Hublot launched five variations of its famous square-shaped watch. At the ongoing Watches and Wonders, the Swiss timepiece maker has launched three new versions of the Square Bang — Sapphire (Ref. 821.JX.0120.RT), White Ceramic (Ref. 821.HX.0170.RX) and Black Magic (Ref. 821.CI.0170.RX). The one with the sapphire case is a 250-piece limited-edition watch.
Maintaining the same 42 mm diameter as its predecessor, the new collection gets six screws on the case, accompanied by six screws on the bezel and 4 screws on the side lugs. The watch gets a column wheel at 6 o’clock, with a seconds window at 9 o’clock and a minute window at 3 o’clock with an in-built date window.
Powering the three watches is the in-house MHUB1280 UNICO 2 automatic movement with 72 hours of power reserve. The sapphire model gets a polished sapphire and sapphire crystal caseback, engraving of the individual watch number, out of 250, and an oscillating weight. The black-and-white ceramic variants get microblasted white or black ceramic and sapphire crystal casebacks with oscillating weights.
The watches are finished either on transparent, structured rubber straps or white-and-black or black, structured rubber straps with titanium deployant buckle clasps or white or black ceramic and black-plated titanium deployant buckle clasps.
The list is certainly not over — let’s check out the next Hublot novelties.
Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski
Hublot’s association with French artist Richard Orlinski began in 2017 and there was no looking back. Celebrating their unshakeable bond, Hublot has now launched two new versions — Orlinski titanium (Ref. 549.NI.1270.RX.ORL23) and full titanium (Ref. 549.NI.1270.NI.ORL23) as a 500-piece limited-edition collection.
This non-diamond collection has a 12-sided bezel, made of microblasted and polished titanium, with six visible screws. The black dial gets trapezoidal hour markers with a 30-minute subdial at 9 o’clock and an hours dial at 3 o’ clock. The chronograph gets two pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock to start and restart the function. Both variants also come with date windows at 6 o’clock.
Powering both variants is the Calibre HUB1153 self-winding movement with 42 hours of power reserve. Turning the watches over reveals the skeleton casebacks, each with six visible screws and four screws on the lugs. Each caseback has ‘Limited Edition’, ‘Orlinski’, and the individual watch number engraved on it. The ‘Hublot’ logo is engraved on the titanium oscillating weight. The watches are finished either on black, smooth rubber, stainless steel straps with deployant buckle clasps or on microblasted titanium bracelets with titanium deployant buckle clasps.
Square Bang Unico
Setting the tone for the collection is the transparent dial, which Hublot likes to flaunt. At the ongoing Watches and Wonders, Hublot has unveiled eight new variations. At the first level, the bezel is set with 44 white diamonds, totalling 1.9 carats: titanium diamonds (Ref. 821.NX.0170.RX.1204) and King Gold diamonds (Ref. 821.OX.0180.RX.1204).
The second level is a more jewelled version wherein the case is also paved with 138 white diamonds, totalling 3.3 carats. You can get titanium pavé (Ref. 821.NX.0170.RX.1604) and King Gold pavé (Ref. 821.OX.0180.RX.1604).
The third level moves very clearly towards a piece of jewellery. This composition is, therefore, called ‘Jewellery’: titanium jewellery (Ref. 821.NX.0170.RX.0904) and King Gold jewellery (Ref. 821.OX.0180.RX.0904). The bezel is adorned with 50 baguette diamonds. The case, set with 94 diamonds, brings up the number of diamonds to 144.
The fourth level scales newer heights. Here is a piece of ‘high jewellery’, which signals a very clear shift in dimension, compared with the previous versions. In all, 285 diamonds adorn the case, with both the bezel and the dial entirely set in diamonds, achieving a total of almost 18 carats — White Gold high jewellery (Ref. 821.WX.9017.LR.9904) and King Gold high jewellery (821.OX.9018.LR.9904) are indeed showstoppers.
The dial in this collection gets hour markers in the same material as that of the case, a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock and an hour sundial at 3 o’ clock with an inbuilt date window. The chronograph gets two pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock to start and restart the function, and a column wheel at 6 o’clock. Powering these eight watches is the in-house HUB1280 Unico self-winding movement with 72 hours of power reserve.
Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Black Ceramic Rainbow
The smiling is quite significant to Japanese culture, and in his fourth association with Hublot, Takashi Murakami has introduced thirteen new NFT watches at Watches and Wonders 2023.
The 45mm, black ceramic watch has 12 petals of the flower form a perfect gradient of rubies, sapphires, amethysts, tsavorites and topaz. The remaining 12 models each represent one of the petals from the master flower. The second step will let collectors have a period of one year during which they can trade the twelve NFTs on the OpenSea platform. From April 2024, when this period ends, the collector who has managed to collect all 12 of the new unique NFTs will be eligible to purchase the thirteenth and most sought-after watch: the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Black Ceramic Rainbow.
Powering the watch is the Unico Manufacture automatic movement with a 72 hour power reserve. The spinning flower moves very elegantly like an automatic rotor and is mounted on ball bearings.