Hublot lives large, with sizable watches, significant innovations and major ambitions. This year’s Watches and Wonders kept the Swiss brand’s reputation intact with new timepieces and a new movement that proves less is not always more when it comes to watches. The 44mm MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde, for example, features the HUB6200—the first movement from Hublot that combines a double-axis tourbillon with bi-retrograde displays for hours and minutes.
As its name suggests, the tourbillon (at 6 o’clock) features two axes: It completes a full rotation every minute on one axis and every 30 seconds on the other. Skeletonized and devoid of the upper bridge, its architecture allows light to pass through the uniquely shaped anti-reflective sapphire crystal without obstruction.
The manual winding movement has an admirable power reserve of at least four days, or 96 hours, and this was apparently no easy feat, since the combination double axis and bi-retrograde is energy intensive. The hour hand engagingly skips instantly from one hour to the next, while the minute hand moves steadily from left to right. The power reserve indicator is at 11 o’clock on the matte black dial. The HUB6200 is the 13th MP movement produced in-house.
The watch’s 44 mm satin-finished titanium case has a thickness of 16.7mm and features water resistance to 3 ATM. Its bezel combines satin finishing and polished titanium, while the solid caseback is satin-finished titanium. Each watch is fitted on a lined black rubber strap with a titanium deployant buckle. Just 50 pieces—each priced at $158,000—are available.
Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis 5 Days Power Reserve
Also in the MP line, the just-released 49mm MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis 5 Days Power Reserve is all about ingenuity and vibrant color, and here the watch is rendered in white, red/orange and violet 3D carbon. There is also a Rainbow version, which, as its name indicates, boasts all of the colors of the rainbow.
Each watch is powered by the manually wound HUB9009.H1.RA.B movement with a 5-day power reserve (about 120 hours) drives the bi-axial tourbillon, which makes one complete rotation per minute on the first axis and a second rotation every 30 seconds on the second axis. The tourbillon is at 6 o’clock.
Besides its solid mechanics, an important part of this story is the case construction, which is designed to reproduce the effect of colored gems using carbon and composites instead of stones. The apparently complex process reproduces the natural variations in color of gemstones on the case, using thin pieces of carbon fiber that are woven across the length, width, and height and embedded in resin before polishing to a smooth finish. The resulting 3D carbon case is water resistant to 30m.
Rubber straps in coordinating hues, white, orange, and violet, intensify the overall effect of the case colors. There are just eight pieces per shade, and each watch is priced at $200,000. The Rainbow version sells for $211,000. The orange variation is my favorite.