Featuring soccer, fusion materials and complications, 2014 will be an eclectic year for Hublot, with the dynamic Nyon-based brand displaying the breadth of its knowhow and its commitment to sport.
Indeed, 2014 will above all be a soccer year, with the long-awaited World Cup in Brazil. For the occasion, Hublot is unveiling a particularly distinctive model which will also be the official watch for the event: the Big Bang Unico Chrono Bi-Retrograde.
The watch is built to embody the world of football. Triggering the chronograph sets the chrono seconds and minutes hands moving clockwise along a 45-minute arc corresponding to one half of a soccer match, plus an extra time zone of 15 minutes for a maximum of one hour.
Two buttons on each side of the crown provide stop and reset functions. The button at 2 o’clock also indicates which of the four possible periods are on display: first half, half time, second half or extra time, indicated by a central window at 12 o’clock. The paradoxical thing about this watch is that the time display itself has been relegated to 6 o’clock – a location usually reserved for the chronograph. Naturally, the piece comes in yellow and green, Brazil’s national colours. Just one hundred gold and two hundred carbon fibre watches will be produced.
Fine watchmaking, the Fusion way
With Key of time, Anticythère, LaFerrari, and so on, Hublot is already highly active in the field of complications. Even so, 2014, marks a clear turning-point for the brand, which is bringing out no fewer than five models featuring various levels of sophistication.
First of all, there’s the Classic Fusion with an 8-day power reserve. This is a first for Hublot. The challenge resides not just in creating a new reference, but above all in presenting a movement that’s one of the slimmest of this type – a mere 4.4 mm thick. This has resulted in a very bold stylistic approach: in spite of it being so thin, the watch still features its large 45 mm case. The overall effect delivers a really contemporary, authentic timepiece, beating at the gentle rhythm of 21,600 vibrations per hour.
Next up, Hublot is unveiling new tourbillons, with four models on offer. The first is a fresh interpretation of the now famous Skull. At first this appears to resemble the watch that is already part of the collection, but in fact a large number of changes have been made: in addition to the tourbillon, these relate to its bridges and plate, which have been fashioned in 3D: instead of being flat, the bridges are shaped in relief in a laser machining phase. This technique provides a three-dimensional finish which is quite rare in watchmaking: most bridges are flat.
As well as its tourbillon, the second model stands out because of its dial, made from Osmium. As far as we know at present, this is the rarest metal on earth, belonging to the platinum family. In its compact, crystal form, it becomes stable in air. Osmium crystallises at its melting point – 3,033 °C. The dial produced in this manner is offset by a very sober 45 mm black ceramic case.
The third model will feature the same technical characteristics, but with dials in stained glass – another material that is little used in watchmaking. Hublot is set to present a number of variations on this theme in due time.
The fourth and final new model marks Hublot’s return to the field of the Minute Repeater Tourbillon, where the brand already created quite a stir in 2010. This new 45 mm model will feature two chimes, qualifying the watch as a ‘Cathedral’. The timepiece features a rare 5-day power reserve and is waterproof to a depth of 30 metres. It will be available in two versions, in titanium or King Gold – Hublot gold with 5% added platinum.