Although they are not the only brand to have released sapphire-cased watches, Hublot has become ‘the’ brand when it comes to the industrialised manufacture of such cases, starting with transparent ones that were followed by ones in a myriad of colours (blue, yellow, red) and also cases using their trademarked SAXEM (Sapphire Aluminium oXide and rare Earth Mineral), which is brighter than their sapphire and an alloy that is the mixture of aluminium oxide (the building block of synthetic sapphire) with rare earth minerals such as thulium, holmium and chromium.
Screenshot from the online press conference
At the 2021 LVMH Watch Week press conference Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe launched a new colour in the form of the 45mm sized Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Orange Sapphire, the first sapphire case in this colour. During the Q&A, he was asked if orange was more difficult to achieve than the other colours. His reply was that it was not as difficult as red or blue, but that it had still been a lengthy process.
A new watch with a new colour also comes with a new tourbillon movement – the automatic in-house Calibre MHUB6035. It has a power reserve of 72 hours and has been skeletonised, including the use of clear sapphire, which you can see if you look closely on the dial side. The new calibre features a micro-rotor at 12 o’clock.
Orange is a popular colour for dive watches for legibility reasons, but this is is most emphatically not for the water, unless you’re on a boat. Hublot’s sapphire watches, with their combination of the case, movements, and a whole lot of colour, aren’t for the shy. But even they aren’t your ‘thing’, there is no questioning the achievement of such cases, and with each new colour, the brand shows their commitment not just to new materials but also to experimenting with them.
Coming on a transparent orange lined rubber strap with a titanium deployant, it is limited to fifty pieces and available through Hublot boutiques. The Australian RRP is $235,000.
[Photo credit: Hublot]