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LVMH Watch Week
Hublot - The Big Reckoning

Hublot The Big Reckoning

Hublot’s 2022 offerings at LVMH Watch Week are top-tier — but that shouldn’t surprise anyone…

It’s hard to remember a time when we didn’t look forward to new launches from Hublot in January. Even before LVMH Watch Week was established in 2020, the brand was exhibiting at the Hotel Kempinski (now the Fairmont) in Geneva, concurrently with the other major watch salon at the time, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. Watch salons come and watch salons go, but the allure of the Big Bang remains, and so every January we dedicate a day to the new watches of Hublot. Today is that day.

While most people will look elsewhere when asked to pick a highlight from Hublot’s LVMH Watch Week 2022 launches, I’m heading straight for the yellow-gold models for their undeniable 1980s vibe. Hublot was founded at the beginning of that decade, which makes us generational peers, so trust me when I say there is nothing that suits a 1980s baby better than a gold-and-black outfit. Within this retro-tastic posse, we have six chronographs drawn from the Classic Fusion, Big Bang and Spirit of Big Bang collections. The Classic Fusion Chronograph represents this throwback aesthetic in the purest sense, but the Big Bang Integral models (available in a variety of diamond settings) shows us how the gold-and-black pairing easily fits with contemporary tastes.

LVMH Watch Week 2022

The new launches of Hublot, in yellow gold © Hublot

Yellow gold also makes a very welcome appearance in the new series of smaller, slimmer Big Bang Integral Time Only, with 40mm case diameter and 9.25mm case thickness. When the Big Bang Integral was launched two years ago, at the very first LVMH Watch Week, I observed to Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe that the most surprising thing about the integrated bracelet was how it didn’t look like a recent introduction. It looked like it belonged, like it had always been part of the Big Bang. Another challenge that has been squarely met is making the highly sculptural bracelet look elegant and comfortable on a reduced case size — something that’s much harder than it sounds.

LVMH Watch Week 2022

Big Bang Integral 40mm © Hublot

This is the second year in a row that Hublot has released a technically impressive orange watch during LVMH Watch Week, and I’m starting to think it’s because they know how much we need a strong dose of vitamin C at this time of the year. While last year’s Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Orange Sapphire showcased its material innovation using the visual language of transparency, this year’s Big Bang Unico Golf Orange Carbon dazzles using complex textures and mechanical creativity.

LVMH Watch Week 2022

Big Bang Unico Golf Orange Carbon © Hublot

Besides the design cues that tie the watch indelibly to golf (such as the perforated bi-material strap that is surely inspired by golf gloves), the module fitted to the sturdy in-house Unico movement is also dedicated to the sport. It is a golf stroke counter, and let me tell you, that double-digit totaliser at 6 o’clock is stressful as hell for people with terrible short game (like me). The Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf was introduced five years ago in 2017, and has been intimidating people into improving their game ever since. The eye-catching orange hue even helps to keeps you honest, since someone in your flight will always be looking at it, ensuring you won’t be able to get away with any creative scorekeeping.

Bright shades abound in the remaining new Hublot watches, such as the Big Bang One Click (33mm, 39mm and 42mm) models with colourful new straps. Standing out amongst the selection is a Zeitgeisty strap that is very close to the Pantone Colour of the Year 2022 (which Pantone describes as “red-violet infused blue” and which normal people describe as “purple”).

LVMH Watch Week 2022

Big Bang One Click © Hublot

The Sang Bleu watches have always been highly popular — and are in fact a personal favourite of mine — and these three new models (made in Hublot’s proprietary Magic Gold composite, green ceramic and black ceramic) have solidified that position. The arcane geometric designs of Maxime Plescia-Buchi’s, combined with the permanence of tattoo art and now the extreme durability of ceramic — these are timepieces that transcend time.

LVMH Watch Week 2022

Big Bang Unico Sang Bleu II in Magic Gold © Hublot

Here’s where I state unequivocably that I have no patience for people who think Hublot’s success is just about marketing and sports partnerships. These people obviously haven’t been paying attention. Looking at the sheer volume of creative output the brand has produced over the last decade (the limit of my personal experience in the watch industry, which makes it the only timeframe I feel qualified to opine on), it’s clear that Hublot has outpaced most, if not all of the other brands in its category of mainstream sports luxe. Which other brand has brought as many innovative materials to the market? As many genuinely interesting watches and concepts?

I’m not going to make any predictions about 2022, because that is a perilous activity, but I can say one thing for sure — 2022 is the year I start insisting that people give Hublot the credit that they’re due. Even so-called watch geeks. Especially so-called watch geeks. Because they should know better.

 

Lecture 1 Comment(s)

2 February 2022
Yves Bouchard
bonjour suzanne, Le problème n'est pas de reconnaître la qualité intrinsèque de la marque. L'avant-gardisme hublot croisé à la puissante mécanique de zenith est une excellente combinaison de qualité. Le problème est de tenter d'associer cette qualité au prix demandé par le manufacturier. Exemple la nouvelle integral time only titane à $USD 17,800 vs sa cousine Zenith defy classic titane à $USD7,900. jamais je ne croirai qu'il y a pour $USD9,900 de finition raffinée entre les deux modèles! je serais le 1ier à désirer une time only, si seulement hublot retombait sur terre au niveau prix.

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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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