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Hublot’s latest watch is “polarising, powerful and positive”

Words by Rob Chilton

The unique Big Bang Tourbillon Only Watch will be auctioned for charity

Since 2005, more than Euro 70 million has been raised by the sale of unique watches from the world’s best watchmakers to fund research tackling Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Hublot has participated since day one and, this year, presents a piece that ties into the charity’s signature colour.

Orange details are found throughout the piece

The 2021 edition – the ninth from Hublot – is the Big Bang Tourbillon Only Watch with a translucent case cut from sapphire. Orange is found on the bezel display, as well as the hour and minute hands, and numerals in Superluminova. The sapphire dial reveals the mechanics of the self-winding tourbillon movement, MHUB6035, that the brand unveiled in January and features three sapphire bridges: a barrel bridge, an automatic bridge and a tourbillon barrette. The piece comes with two straps, one transparent and another in orange. Engraved on the sapphire back cover is ‘Pièce Unique’ and the Only Watch logo.

The Only Watch logo appears on the caseback

Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe calls the watch, “a complex, polarising piece, which is simultaneously powerful, positive and inspiring.” It will be auctioned in November by Christie’s to raise money for charity. The 54-strong watch collection will be on display at Christie’s in DIFC, Dubai from September 30 to October 3. EDGAR spoke to the watchmakers at Hublot to discover the difficulties of making this unique 45mm piece.

The 45mm watch comes in a transparent presentation box

When creating the Only Watch, is the process the same as when creating any other piece, or does the charitable aspect of the watch affect the creative vision?

The process is the same for a watch linked to a charitable partnership – the objective is always to have a unique and dedicated product. Our new material, orange sapphire – a world premiere that was unveiled at the beginning of the year during the LVMH Watch Week – allowed us to make the immediate link with the frame colours of Only Watch in 2021. The fact of combining for the first time a transparent sapphire case with a bezel in orange coloured sapphire connects the model to our idea of ​​fusion of innovation, material and colours.

Why is it so difficult to create the orange on the bezel?

Synthetic sapphire colours are very complicated to obtain, it takes several months of tests with different oxides to obtain a stable and repeatable colour.

Can you explain in simple terms how the orange colour is achieved?

It is a mixture of the materials Cr (Chrome), Ti (Titanium), Ne (Neon). The combination is quite complicated to realise, and obviously, we can’t give more details on how this is achieved.

The movement features three bridges

Ricardo Guadalupe says the Only Watch is “positive, powerful and inspiring.” How does the Only Watch transmit those feelings?

The unique piece Hublot created for Only Watch will help to raise funds for the research for trying to find a cure to a disease. Thanks to the Maison’s knowledge in materials, Hublot can offer a unique piece for the auction that fully represents the brand’s DNA, of being always first, unique and different. This is definitively something inspiring, powerful and positive.

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