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The Millennium Watch Book
Hublot - MP-05 Laferrari

Hublot MP-05 Laferrari

A Monster of a Machine*

MP stands for Master Piece. The fifth in this series of highly creative works by Hublot pushed back many boundaries, those of the tourbillon included. When it came out in 2013, the calibre had more components than any other previously designed by the brand.

The MP-05 is a tourbillon of superlatives – so much so that at its launch at Baselworld 2013, Hublot was spoilt for choice as to how to present it: the ultimate collaboration with Ferrari? The most complex movement ever developed in-house? The largest power reserve ever for a tourbillon? All of these could apply, but the most compelling argument for the lucky few who’ve had the opportunity has quite simply been the opportunity to wear the timepiece on one’s wrist. The MP-05 LaFerrari is impressive, commands respect and dazzles all-comers with its workings and the design of its case, which unabashedly draws inspiration from the Ferrari’s mid engine. It was the first time that a staggering total of 11 barrels had been arranged one above the other at the heart of a calibre, resulting in a vertical suspended tourbillon.

MP-05 Laferrari

Laferrari © Hublot

From Maranello to Nyon 

In 2013, the partnership between Hublot and Ferrari was in its heyday. Hublot’s stand at Baselworld was flanked by impressive cars sporting the prancing horse. The Maranello-based firm had recently unveiled its F70 model, known as LaFerrari, at the Geneva Motor Show: the most powerful street legal Ferrari ever produced at that time, packing 800 horsepower under the bonnet. Not to be outdone, Hublot felt it simply had to offer its own outstanding Master Piece: the MP-05. With 637 components, a custom-designed case, and a movement shaped to follow its every contour, fifty MP-05s were made to match the fifty cars of its automotive alter ego. The two brands worked closely together to produce the watch. The movement features an unusual display including a vertical small seconds display to the fore, in the form of an aluminium cylinder attached to the cage of the suspended tourbillon.

Two central Players

The tourbillon in question is singular in more ways than one. For one thing, it is considerably larger than average, with a 14.5mm diameter cage. Then, too, it is vertical. And last but by no means least, it is perfectly aligned with the 11 barrels. The location is both unusual and clever: right from first sight, this design choice sends the message that tourbillon and barrels reign together over the movement. Form and function merge into a single whole. The MP-05 and the F70 both align their power source beneath a very similar transparent cover.

MP-05 Laferrari

Laferrari © Hublot

In terms of performance, the MP-05 boasts a 50-day power reserve, a world record for a manual-winding tourbillon wristwatch. No fewer than 108 jewels are required to make the 637 components interact smoothly. The 50 timepieces were made available for sale progressively, from 2013 onwards. After this three-year micro-production run came to an end, Hublot unveiled its MP-05 LaFerrari Sapphire in 2016. The three-dimensional sapphire frame offers a breath-taking view of the movement’s architecture. It comprises seven components fashioned out of seven blocks of sapphire crystal, requiring over 600 hours of work. The highly complex construction of the case posed an additional challenge that called for 18 months of development: cut from sapphire using 3D machining, it weighs in at just 53.5 grammes. Only 20 MP-05 LaFerrari Sapphire watches were made. 

*This year GMT Magazine and WorldTempus have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years of the Tourbillon in  The Millennium Watch Book - Tourbillons, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book - Tourbillons is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English.


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The brand

From the outset, Hublot has embodied design and innovation that differ markedly from the established watchmaking order. With the impetus provided by Jean-Claude Biver, by 2004 these values had already become the basis of a new DNA, leading the brand, which is currently headed by Ricardo Guadalupe - its CEO since 2012, to develop particularly audacious timepieces – most of them with a highly-developed sporting aspect.

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