A Year In Review: Hublot

by Matt Clymo

Our next brand we’re looking at for our Year In Review is Hublot. The polarising brand for many has had a big year, and no matter what you think of them, they’ve brought out some amazing pieces!

Hublot never ceases to amaze us. They’re a brand that is not afraid to push the boundaries and try new things with designs, styles and movements. They also like a collab or two! And this year for the brand headed up by Ricardo Guadalupe has been a big one, from LVMH Watch Week in January where we saw some space-age materials in their Big Bang to saving the Rhinos in Africa to the Women’s World Cup in Australia where our own ChampsG caught up with Ricardo himself. Let’s take a look…

Starting in January, Hublot released several pieces just in time for LVMH Watch Week. First up we have the Big Bang Unico and One Click Cheval Blan Randehli – a collaboration with Cheval Blanc: a group of luxury art-inspired resorts across the world, located in some of the most idyllic locations – From Paris to the French Alps, St. Tropez, West Indies and the Maldives. The Cheval Blanc Randehli is inspired by the Cheval Blanc resort in the Maldives and used their colour palette to design the watch and what you get is a blend of beige, browns and yellow.

Still at LVMH Watch Week, Hublot teamed up with South African cricketer, Kevin Pietersen to launch the Big Bang Unico SORAI (Save Our Rhinos Africa India) where parts of the proceeds of the limited 100 pieces go to saving the Rhinos. With African inspired colours of the sunset and even a small Rhino on the subdial at 9 o’clock, it looked like a piece you’d take on safari and helping a great cause.

This followed closely with the Big Bang Tourbillon Neon Yellow SAXEM. Hublot went all out on this piece, and yes it’s neon yellow, but it’s made from space-age material that took three years to develop and manufacture to get the perfect translucent properties and colour. Not only this, Hublot added an automatic winding tourbillon at 6 o’clock and made the movement fully skeletonised – floating on sapphire plates and bridges.

The Big Bang Tourbillon Yellow Neon SAXEM

Capping off LVMH Watch Week, Hublot went back to its roots with the Classic Fusion Original collection. It’s the watch that started it all for Hublot, and they honored Carlo Crocco’s original design elements but in three sizes (33mm, 38mm and 42mm) and three materials – Titanium, Black Magic and Yellow Gold. They were faithful recreations of the 1980 piece and deliver something for both men and women and for all occasions.

2023 saw Hublot’s collaboration with artist and designer, Takashi Murakami solidify with two collaborations across the year. The first was a set of 13 Classic Fusion watches matched with 13 NFTs. Something of a first for the watch industry and a unique concept in watch buying where you could purchase the watches only IF you had purchased or traded in the year prior’s NFT Takashi Murakami collaboration. The second was just last month, where Hublot and Takashi Murakami brought out a full Sapphire Central Tourbillon Floral Timepiece. While not everyone will want to wear a clear flower on their wrist, the sheer engineering and design ingenuity in this piece is stunning, and pure Takashi Murakami in style.

Watches & Wonders 2023 wasn’t as big for Hublot as LVMH Watch Week was, but they did bring out several pieces of note. They extended their Square Bang Unico Collection with three new variants in Black Magic, White Ceramic, and clear Sapphire. They also collaborated with renowned French artist Richard Orlinski and brought out the Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski – a piece that blends the style of the Classic Fusion with the angled geometric shapes typical of Richard Orlinski.

This year the European Summer gave us some great launches and some blue watches. Hublot released the Big Bang Unico Sky Blue in blue and white ceramic. A light-wearing summer piece in a quite wearable 42mm size.

Testing out the Big Bang Unico Sky Blue

At their European summer Launch in Cannes, Hublot brought out a new French Riveria-inspired Big Bang Unico unveiled at the exclusive Villa Cap Estel. The Hublot Big Bang Unico Azur in a 42mm deep blue micro-beaded ceramic case epitomised the French Riviera and with either the blue rubber or white fabric strap, would look the part sailing on a yacht on the Côte d’Azure.

The 42mm Bug Bang Unico Azure

This year, we also saw a few more Big Bangs hit the boutiques. From the very green Big Bang Unico Nespresso edition, with straps made from recycled Nespresso capsules and coffee grounds to the Big Bang’s 18th Birthday Full Magic Gold limited to 200 pieces and made from Hublot’s proprietary scratch-proof Magic Gold. We’ve not been game to test this out, but we’ll take the brand’s word for it!.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup was held out here in Australia and New Zealand (but mostly Australia) and Hublot Loves Football, being the timing sponsor for the FIFA Women’s and Men’s World Cup, not to mention the UEFA Leagues and the English Premier League. Watch Advice Founder, ChampsG was invited to the Semi Finals of the Women’s World Cup between Australia and England and prior to the match, had a sit-down talk with Hublot CEO, Ricardo Guadalupe about the brand, football and everything in between.

Hublot backed up the World Cup releasing their very first special edition watch for the Premier League. The Classic Fusion Chronograph Premier League Edition in purple was a first for the brand and with only 100 pieces worldwide, is sure to be a hit with football fans the world over.

The Classic Fusion Chronograph Premier League Edition

Finishing the year strong with their collaborations and pushing the design boundaries, Hublot released the Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A. A collaboration with Dr Samuel Ross, Hublot have been working for three years together on the engineering process of designing a brand new watch, from the case to crown, the bezel, the dial, and finally the strap. The Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A has been worked from the ground up, to create something never seen before. Made from micro-blasted polished Titanium and featuring a unique honeycomb structure as well as Hublot’s Manufacture HUB6035 tourbillon movement, it’s both art and science rolled into one watch.

Interestingly, this article doesn’t cover all the releases and initiatives Hublot unveiled this year, and as said at the start, it was a big year for the brand. Next year promises to be even bigger, which is backed up by CEO, Ricardo Guadalupe:

“We want to demonstrate that Hublot is a real manufacturer; we are verticalised and integrated. We have a project to build our third manufacturer, and this will be the biggest one for Hublot. This particular manufacturer will be dedicated to assembling all our movements in watches. We want to be part of the top brands in the industry, and for us to do that, we need to showcase our expertise in movement, design, and materials. So exciting times ahead for Hublot.”

Bring on 2024, Hublot…

You may also like

Copyright 2024 Watch Advice Pty Ltd. ACN: 633 660 992. All Right Reserved.