MP at Hublot is shorthand for Masterpiece and is the venue where some of the most outlandish designs and daring horological concoctions congregate. The latest member of the MP club is the Hublot Big Bang MP-13, a limited edition of 50 numbered pieces conceived as exclusive collector’s trophies. Housed in an unusual-shaped 44mm brushed titanium case, the mechanical spectacle provided by a double-axis tourbillon and bi-retrograde hours and minutes underscores Hublot’s in-house capabilities as a purveyor of highly complex movements.
The titanium case, which many fans of the brand will identify with the MP-09 Bi-Axial Tourbillon of 2017, measures 44mm and has a thickness of 16.7mm. Decorated with sleek satin-brushed surfaces and polished bevels, the complex case construction case respects specific design codes of the Big Bang with its protective lateral rubber inserts and signature H-shaped functional screws on the bezel, reduced from five to six. The reason there are only five screws is the unusual dip that the bezel performs at 6 o’clock, abandoning its round profile to create more viewing room for the tourbillon. Viewed frontally, the shape of the bezel looks like a skull or a lightbulb.
The well created by the dip in the bezel at 6 o’clock provides a spacious arena for the 3D double-axis tourbillon, a technical feat not many watchmakers can pull off but which Hublot has already mastered with its MP-09 model. This two-speed tourbillon performs a complete rotation every minute on one axis and a 30-second rotation on the second. The tourbillon is skeletonised and suspended with no upper bridge to obstruct the viewing pleasure, and the space surrounding the tourbillon lets light flood the show from both sides.
Bi-retrograde hours & minutes
Arranged like dashboard instruments, the dial of the Hublot Big Bang MP-13 relays the luminous hours and minutes on two separate arching tracks. The minutes are displayed on the outermost black arc and picked out in white, while the cut-out hours are one step down and placed on a sapphire disc hovering above the openworked movement.
Marking the first time Hublot has developed a bi-retrograde movement for the hours and minutes, the display is read from left to right via the skeletonised hour hand and the larger arrow-tipped minutes hand, both luminescent. Given the gas-guzzling nature of bi-retrograde functions, it is highly unusual to see this function combined with a double-axis tourbillon.
Marking the brand’s 13th MP movement produced entirely in-house, manual-winding calibre HUB6200 has 374 components, beats at a frequency of 3Hz and is exposed on both sides. Hublot’s manufacture movement – which the brand suggests might have the longest power reserve of any double-axis tourbillon and bi-retrograde combo on the market – delivers four days or 96 hours of autonomy. The 4-day power reserve indicator with white and red markings and a small lumed hand is visible dial-side, just below the hour track. Setting the watch is easy since the crown at 3 o’clock only has one position and can only be wound in one direction to avoid damage to the movement.
Echoing the black rubber elements on the titanium case, the watch is presented on a black rubber strap.
Availability & Price
The Hublot Big Bang MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Bi-Retrograde is a limited edition of 50 pieces. The price will be EUR 165,000 or USD 158,000. More information at Hublot.com.