First revealed almost exactly a year ago, the original 2011 Hublot Oceanographic 4000 model (refs. 731.NX.1190.RX & 731.QX.1140.RX) was essentially a very expensive tool watch for extreme diving. Not sure how successful was the model in terms of sales considering that you can find a similarly specced tool from a German watchmaker for a fraction of the price, but, lo and behold, the Swiss-based maker of ultra-luxury watches presents a much more expensive version of the model. Crafted from their trademarked King Gold alloy of rose gold and platinum, the new Hublot Oceanographic 4000 King Gold White (Ref. 731.OE.21.80.RW) will possibly cost like a small submarine.
Judging by the look of it, the new timekeeper differs from the first model only with the choice of materials.
The black rubber was replaced for flashier white and the visible titanium parts were swapped for a lot more expensive King Gold alloy.
Although the exact composition of the alloy remains completely secret, it is said that Hublot takes some 18-carat rose gold and adds to the mix at least 5 per cent of platinum, which gives the metal its signature deep hue.
The Hublot Caliber HUB 1401 automatic movement, which is based on the time-proven ETA Valjoux 7750 and is good for the standard 42 hours after being fully wound, is still there.
Judging by their press release, the screw-down case back, screws and some other components of the body are still crafted from titanium in order to make this giant feel a little bit lighter on a wrist.
Yes, at 48 millimeters in diameter, the watch is really big, not to say intimidating in its prominence.
While the original Oceanographic 4000 was designed to be worn with heavy diving suits and operated with gloved hands and thus looked more or less okay given its ‘professional’ status, this model is clearly supposed to be worn with more casual clothing, which poses somewhat of a problem for people that have even a rudimentary good taste.
However, it may be of liking to the kind of people that happily brandish their gold-plated Kalashnikovs while sitting in their custom-made Rolls-Royce limos decorated with precious Persian carpets.
Judging by the pictures that seem to be not photos, but rather computer renderings of the piece, Hublot is still not quite sure whether it is plausible to actually start making the watch.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Hublot Oceanographic 4000 King Gold White (Ref. 731.OE.21.80.RW) Automatic diving watch specification
Price: $46,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber HUB1401 (base ETA Valjoux 7750), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 23
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: Satin finished, bevelled and polished bridges
Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date
Case material: King Gold and white rubber inserts
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: King Power
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 48.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: White, matte
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: King Gold, luminous
Water resistance: 4000 meters (tested to 5000 meters)
Strap: White rubber or White rubber with white Nomex with tongue buckle in King Gold 18-carat alloy
Case back: Screw-down