Hublot Baselworld 2018
Swiss avant-garde watch manufacturer Hublot once again lived up to its reputation for variety at this year’s Baselworld, debuting its latest advances in cutting-edge material technologies, whilst also continuing to capitalise on its collaborative partnerships in a diverse range of genres. Skeleton dials, limited editions and multiple appearances from the in-house Unico chronograph movement have all emerged as key themes for this year.
For your reading (and viewing) pleasure, we’ve put together a comprehensive selection of the Hublot novelties that really turned our heads this year. Please enjoy what follows, and as always, if any model in particular catches your eye, get in touch with us to discuss availability and purchase options.
Big Bang Unico Red Magic 45mm (500-piece limited edition)
This is a first for the watch industry – vivid colours in ceramic are something many brands have been chasing for some time. The stumbling block however was that the fragile pigments of vivid colours are prone to burning during the heating process for making ceramic, which is why we haven’t seen a polished red ceramic case before. Until now that is. Known for its mastery over materials, Hublot was not one to shy away from the challenge. After four years of research and testing, the ‘impossible’ has been achieved.
The patented process produces an incredibly dense and extremely resilient material, and now that Hublot has mastered it, the brand has plans to release more colours. The Unico Red Magic (411.cf.8513.rx) is powered by Hublot’s in-house HUB1242 automatic flyback calibre, with column-wheel and double clutch, and a 72-hour power reserve (on show through the open case back). $33,800.
Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski 45mm
Two new colours – 18k King Gold and All Black (micro-blasted ceramic) – both limited to 200 pieces each, are the latest additions to the recent design partnership with bestselling contemporary French artist, Richard Orlinski.
Designed by the sculptor in the same way he produces his works, a mirror-polished, facet style is applied to the case, bezel, hands, indexes, chronograph pushers and crown, playing with angles and reflections. The dial has been cast in sapphire crystal. Both variants are worn on a black smooth rubber strap. Pricing is $48,700 for the 18ct King Gold version (525.OX.018.RX.ORL18) and $24,300 for the All-Black variant (525.NX.0170.RX.1704.ORL18).
Big Bang Sang Bleu 45mm (and 39mm)
Another successful collaboration, these time-only wristwatches were designed by the UK-based creative agency lead by Swiss creative director/ tattoo artist, Maxime Plescia-Büchi. The engraved case, bezel shape and dial architecture are formed from geometry quintessential to Sang Bleu designs – drawing on the perfect proportions outlined by da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. Time is cleverly indicated without the use of hands. Instead, the three-dimensional superposition of three rhodium-plated skeleton octagonal discs – with Super-LumiNova-filled tips on the two outer discs – act as pointers to hours and minutes (the numerals for which were created by Plescia-Büchi’s type design company, Swiss Typeface).
New additions to the collection in 2018 include Titanium White (415.NX.2027.VR.MXM18) and Titanium Blue (415.NX.7179.VR.MXM18), each limited to 200 pieces and starting at $24,300, and Steel Pavé in a 39mm case (465.SS.1117.VR.1704.MXM18) for $28,400. The latter is adorned with a total of 276 diamonds. Each variant comes with a strap made from black rubber and calf leather, embossed with a continuation of the geometric design. The motifs of the dial also extend to the rear of the case where the self-winding movement (HUB1213 or HUB1710) is on display – the silhouette of the oscillating weight features the triangular codes of the Sang Bleu logo. The concept is an ephemeral tattoo you can wear on your wrist – even for those bold enough for the real thing.
Big Bang Unico TMT Carbon Gold 45mm (100-piece limited edition)
This wristwatch pays tribute to Hublot Ambassador and twelve-time, five division undefeated boxing world champion, Floyd “Money” Mayweather – sporting the logo of Mayweather’s lifestyle brand “The Money Team”. In 2017, Mayweather sealed his 50-0 unsurpassed ring record by defeating Conor McGregor. He wore a special pair of black and gold shorts specifically designed for the event by Fight Label Director, Sophie Whittam (featuring the word “HUBLOT” across the waistband). The iconic shorts were the inspiration for the Unico TMT.
The Carbon Gold case is a unique composite where 18k gold powder has been manually inserted into the carbon fibre layers before being compressed. Gold features extensively throughout the matte black skeleton dial, with the prominent TMT logo at 12 o’clock in studded Las Vegas-style. A strap in black calf leather enhanced with python and gold studs transposes the design of the famous waistband, and the sapphire case back bears an inscription of the second word that appeared on the shorts, TBE (“The Best Ever”). Beneath, the manufacture HUB1242 chronograph movement can again be seen at work. $36,500 (411.QX.1180.PR.TMT18).
Big Bang Unico World Poker Tour All Black 45mm (188-piece limited edition)
Similar to its partnership with FIFA, Hublot also plays Official Timekeeper and Official Watch provider to the internationally televised World Poker Tour® (WPT®). This year, Hublot releases a second Limited Edition Unico World Poker Tour with a design once again inspired by, you guessed it, Poker. Two of the Big Bang signature (black-plated titanium) H-shaped screws are missing to accommodate the four French suits embossed onto the polished and micro-sandblasted black ceramic bezel – whose finish matches the rest of the case – while lucky number eight stands out in rubies on the dial. It’s worth noting that the highlights, hands and hour bars use the rare red Super-LumiNova (complimented by the contrasting stitching on the strap).
The Unico World Poker Tour All Black (411.CX.1113.LR.WPT17) features sapphire crystals on both sides, with the WPT® logo stamped on the rear side. The HUB1242 chronograph is at work here too – it’s worth noting that Hublot designed the Unico manufacture movement unconventionally by moving many of the moving parts traditionally found at the back of the movement, and placing them on the front, so that you don’t need to take your wristwatch off to marvel at the inner workings (they’re visible through the Matt Black skeleton dial). $31,100.
Big Bang Unico Frosted Carbon 45mm & Big Bang One Click Frosted Carbon Diamonds 39mm (100-piece limited edition)
For noting the time in snowcapped alpine settings, Hublot has created a his-and-her pairing with an Alps-oriented theme. The first being this larger chronograph (powered by a HUB1242) with frosted carbon fibre case and bezel. The Matt Ice Blue skeleton dial features a mountain peak in the 9 o’clock counter and (snow) white Super-LumiNova throughout.
To keep your wrist warm, the cuff-style strap is a combination of black rubber and ice blue sheepskin completed with sheep’s wool. An additional (interchangeable) black rubber and vintage ice blue calf strap is also included. $32,400 (411.QK.7170.VR.ALP18).
To complete the matching pair, ladies get their own version. This time-only model keeps to the theme with the case and strap(s) matching to the larger chronograph, and white Super-LumiNova is still used in the hour and minute hands.
However, her model features 42 (1.00 ct.) diamonds set into the bezel, and another 11 (0.35 ct.) diamonds set as indexes on the satin-finished ice blue sunray dial – for all hours except 3 o’clock, where the date appears through an aperture. $28,400 (465.QK.7170.VR.1204.ALP18).