With the new Masterpiece Collection Hublot expands its product line beyond the numerous iteration of the Bang collection (that, let’s face it, already starts to look sort of boring and predictable, while their ‘experiments’ with exotic materials inspire nothing but yawns.) Finally adding a tonneau-shaped case with an interesting high-tech finish and a barrel-shaped movement that, hopefully, will become a base for many new in-house calibers, the Swiss-based brand makes a bold claim as a serious High Horology establishment. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, meet the new limited-edition MP-01 Masterpiece Flyback Chronograph (ref. 901.NX.0129.RX): a thing that is going to blow your minds!
Soon to be revealed in flesh at the upcoming SIHH 2011 trade show, the gadget is still not available for hands-on reviews, but Hublot has already sent out a bunch of press releases regarding (among a number of their other new offerings to which we will get back to as soon as possible) their new member of the Masterpiece Collection. Being the most interesting example of modern industrial design -both visually and from the technological perspective-, it wasn’t difficult to select this new Hublot MP-01 Masterpiece Chronograph as the first subject for a brief (what I prefer to call ‘initial impressions’) overview here.
As usual, the press release is rather brief and precise information regarding the timekeeper (including minimum suggested price) is vague at best, but it is known that the new Hublot MP-01 will be powered by their own Caliber HUB5100 column-wheel hand-wound chronograph movement. Being a ‘monopusher’, the mechanism allows for easier operation of its chronograph function allowing you to start, stop and reset the chrono using a single ergonomically-shaped push-piece.
Featuring tonneau-shaped design, the movement is built on 43 jewels and comprises 384 parts.
The three-barrel layout of the movement allows for a healthy power reserve of 10 days (240 hours) with a special power reserve indicator visible through the MP-01’s transparent case back cover.
The titanium case with its skeletonized bezel looks like it was inspired by Richard Mille.
However, the MP-01 shows the brand’s DNA with the side inserts made of black resin and a signature oversized crown with a red chronograph pusher.
As you can see in the photos, the MP-01’s open-worked dial shows a standard tri-compax layout with two chronograph totalizers for seconds and minutes placed at 2 and 10 o’clock respectively and a subsidiary seconds sub-dial located at 6 o’clock.
For some reason, the skeletonized sword-shaped hour and minute hands come without any lume on them, which will make the watch practically unusable in darkness.
However, with so many cell phones and tablet PCs around us, that is not going to pose a serious problem.
Hublot plans to limit the MP-01’s production to only 100 numbered pieces, which is sort of predictable considering that each timepiece will cost close to $100,000 USD*.
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Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
* UPDATE ON PRICING: Yes, the 901.NX.0129.RX will retail for USD 96,000 that will probably make the supplies last longer than usual but will also shut-out many die-hard collectors from getting one of these rugged beauties.
Hublot MP-01 Masterpiece Chronograph (ref. 901.NX.0129.RX) specification
Price: $96,000 USD (MSRP)
Movement: Hand-wound, caliber HUB5100, in-house, 43 jewels, 384 parts, tonneau-shaped, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
Power reserve: 240 hours (10 days)
Bezel: Titanium with sapphire inlays
Dimensions: 48.00 mm x 52.00 mm
Hands: Titanium, openworked
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black rubber
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective