At the Baselworld 2011 trade show Hublot, a brand that is known for its radical approach to conspicuous consumption, has presented a somewhat unexpected take on the concept of invisible opulence. I am talking about the ultra-luxury Hublot Big Bang Black Caviar (Ref. 346.CX.1800.BR): a high-jewelry piece that has every square millimeter of its surface paved with glossy black ceramic blocks.
Hublot has already established itself as an authority when it comes to bold-looking, salivation-inspiring high-tech ultra-luxury timepieces. Recently, the brand has teamed up with the famous Greengo nightclub (located in Gstaad, Switzerland, the iconic establishment that has just celebrated its four decades in business is a part of the Gstaad Palace Hotel that is known among particularly wealthy fans of the local ski resort for its plush apartments and especially friendly hosts) to offer this limited-edition Big Bang 44mm Greengo Bang (Ref. 301.CI.1170.GR.GGG10) chronograph. While offering nothing particularly new in terms of design, the sporty timepiece still looks impressive with its green-and-black (or vice versa) color scheme.
Hublot has recently presented a new Big Bang 38 mm collection equipped with a Sellita SW300-based HUB 1110 automatic movement. There is also a more practical -albeit not as *ahem* classy- “Swiss Made” quartz caliber. The HUB 1110 is a very basic mechanism that is only slightly refinished and fine-tuned above the basic specs to meet stricter standards of the ultra-luxury segment. Yet, you may still want to consider acting fast if you are interested in this gadget. Luxury wristwatches featuring self-winding movements (instead of, you know, quartz) are rare species in this niche and, something tells me, the collection won’t stay in production for long.
With the limited-edition 2010 King Power Ayrton Senna (ref. 719.QM.1729.NR.AES10), Hublot celebrates the 50th anniversary of the legendary Formula 1 driver and 3-times F1 world champion Ayrton Senna da Silva who died at the wheel of his car sixteen years ago at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix race. As usual, the ultra-luxury chronograph arrives in a ridiculously huge case that combines ultra-lightweight carbon fiber, scratch-resistant ceramics, and not so much good taste.
Hublot, one of the youngest (and the most daring) ultra-luxury watchmaking brands, has introduced yet another iteration of its top-selling Big Bang collection of sporty chronographs. The 2010 Big Bang Gold Chronograph (ref. 301.PX.1180.RX) comes in a generous 44.5-mm case made of brushed 18-karat red gold.
While the 2009 Gold King Power Foudroyante Chronograph (ref. 715.PX.1128.RX) doesn’t look particularly new (which is a pity, since Hublot 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.