The Swiss watchmaking brand Hublot has recently presented its first serious diving watch. Their new Hublot King Power Oceanographic 4000 Automatic (refs. 731.NX.1190.RX & 731.QX.1140.RX) looks like the first Hublot timekeeper that can be described not as an expensive accessory, but a real tool. Well, I have a feeling that it will still be very expensive.
While their previous divers were essentially the same sporty (whatever that means) Big Bang watches with added rotating bezels with the diver’s scale on them, the new timekeeper really means business (while still preserving the general shape of the King Power series.)
First of all, at impressive 48 millimeters in diameter, it is not big. It is huge. It is massive like Titanic or maybe even like the iceberg that sunk it.
Also, designed to withstand enormous, frightening pressure of water 4000 meters down under (it is around 400 kilograms per square centimeter there, even nuclear subs can’t reach such depth without their ultra-strong hulls being crushed like an empty can of soda,) the watch is equipped with an extra-thick 6.5 mm sapphire crystal on the front and a screw-down titanium case-back on the rear.
The case itself is also made of titanium, a material that offers great strength at pretty much low density, which makes it much lighter than a similarly sized watch made of stainless steel.
As you can see on the photos, the watch is equipped with a fixed bezel (it somehow reminds me of Linde Werdelin semiskeletonized watches) with the diving scale transferred to a unidirectionally rotating bezel flange.
The flange is operated with an oversized bespoke crown, which is conveniently placed at 2 o’clock.
The device is protected from the environment with a specially designed crown guard (this one looks very familiar to crown guards used by Panerai.)
Another crown, which is used for winding and setting the HUB 1401 automatic movement, is placed at 4 o’clock. Besides being quite comfortable for operating the timepiece, the position of the crown also looks like a very convenient placement that ensures that the part won’t suddenly bite the back of your hand.
The inevitable helium escape valve is not visible on the photos, but, trust me, it is there.
Placed at 10 o’clock, it allows helium to escape the timekeeper’s body during the decompression procedure without the thick sapphire crystal spectacularly popping out of the case.
According to the Swiss watchmaker, the new Hublot King Power Oceanographic 4000 will be delivered with a choice of two straps: a more civilian “Town,” which is made of black rubber, and a more hard-core “Diver,” which is basically a blend of rubber and nylon.
Significantly longer than the “Town,” the “Diver” was designed for the watch to be worn with a diving suit up to 8 mm thick.
Both straps feature two tongue and buckle fastening.
There is still no info regarding the Oceanographic’s price and availability.
As for the first, I am most certain that the MSRP will be frighteningly high.
As for the second, I can make a guess that the watch will arrive to Hublot boutiques around the world before the end of this summer.
Beware, though: the titanium version will be issued as a limited edition of 1000 pieces, while an even more expensive (and even more high-tech) Oceanographic 4000 All Black, which is made of carbon fiber, will be limited to only 500 pieces.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Hublot King Power Oceanographic 4000 specification (Refs. 731.NX.1190.RX and 731.QX.1140.RX)
Price: $22,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber HUB 1401, 23 jewels, 180 components, Glucydur hairspring, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Satin-finished, bevelled and polished bridges, black PVD screws
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case and Bezel material: Titanium or Black carbon fiber
Crown material: Titanium
Bezel shape: Round
Size: 48.00 mm
Hour markers: Facetted, applied, luminous
Hands: Facetted, luminous, sandblasted
Water resistance: 4000 meters (tested to 5000 meters)
Strap: Black rubber of Rubber/Nylon combination
Crystal: Sapphire, 6.50 mm thick
Back: Screw-down in titanium, solid