While the 2009 Hublot Gold King Power Foudroyante Chronograph (ref. 715.PX.1128.RX) doesn’t look particularly new (which is a pity, since the Swiss-based brand doesn’t have a lot of ‘history’ to fall back to and constantly faces the same they-all-look-alike problem as Panerai), it still projects an impressive ‘mojo’ glow around its rose gold body. It isn’t even the usual 18-karat rose gold alloy: it’s a lot more interesting material that is proprietary for the Swiss-based brand. To make the case, they used a lot tougher gold-based ceramic material instead.
With the new Gold King Power foudroyante chronograph the young aspiring Swiss watchmaker keeps digging its multimillion-dollar bonanza, which is, of course, their Big Bang series of watches. First unveiled five years ago, the series proved a great success among the enthusiasts with limited editions selling at a premium like pancakes on a hot day.
With this particular model, Hublot introduces a new material, which will probably be widely used in the future. Called “King Gold”, this is a new red gold alloy developed specifically for the Swiss company.
Being touted as “tougher” than normal gold, it probably involves some sort of ceramic and may well be a close relative of the Cermet composite material, which is particularly resistant to wear.
Just like most models in the Big Bang range, the Hublot Gold King Power features the highly appealing combination of metal and black rubber, including black rubber molding on its bezel with six trademark H-shaped screws, as well as crown and push-pieces also sporting this material.
The foudroyante (aka “jumping” or “split-seconds”) chronograph sub-dial at 9 o’clock makes the watch look even sportier, although I never particularly liked this complication: it somehow makes me feel like going into an epileptic seizure.
The Gold King Power is, err, powered by the new Caliber HUB 4144 self-winding movement, which is developed together with La Joux-Perret S.A. manufacture (and I have a strong feeling that the movement is at least a cousin of the HUB 8952 split seconds caliber that La Joux-Perret created for their another split-seconds chronograph) that has strongly established as a provider of choice when it comes to complicated movements that some “expensive” brands can’t make for themselves.
Previously known as Jaquet, this company also delivers its in-house calibers to the Swiss watchmaking brands like Corum, Harry Winston, TAG Heuer, Franck Muller, the Italian-based Panerai, and other respectable watchmakers.
I guess it is going to be a hit, even despite the current economic turmoil. And, because the model’s production is limited to only 500 units, you will have a hard time talking the AD into selling this one with a discount.
The only thing that may scare some people off is that the case is not just large: equipped with relatively long lugs that increase its overall length to more than 55 millimeters and measuring almost intimidating 18 millimeters from top to bottom (something in the ballpark of professional-grade divers rated for pressures ten times higher than this model that is only good for petty -but still practical- 100 meters of water resistance,) it may not be as comfortable to wear daily, especially with formal attire. But, well, this is something that should be expected when you are shopping for such a gargantuan watch that officially measures 48 millimeters in diameter.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Hublot Gold King Power foudroyante chronograph (ref. 715.PX.1128.RX) specification
Price: $47,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber HUB 4144, automatic, Swiss Made
Complications: Foudroyante chronograph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Proprietary “King Gold” composite
Size: 48.00 mm
Case height: 16.00 mm
Dial: Matt black and gold-plated micro-blasted sub-dials and flange; applied gold-plated markers; black SuperLuminova transfers
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Adjustable jointed black rubber strap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective coating on interior and exterior sides