A mini movie of whooshing watches accompanied by a hardcore electronic soundtrack reminiscent of Depeche Mode in their early days welcomes visitors to the Hublot lounge at Watches & Wonders watch fair in Geneva.
As a photograph of French football superstar Kylian Mbappe wearing a jewelled Hublot Square Bang Unico smiles down on an expectant group of watch fans, chief product and purchasing officer Raphael Nussbaumer introduces a series of new watches that bring the blockbuster bling for which the brand is famous.
The star of the show for Hublot this year is the MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde, one of only 50 pieces priced at AED 600,000
A riff on the giant 50mm MP-09 released in 2017, the new more manageable 44mm piece features a tourbillon with two axes. Made entirely in-house, the Tourbillon completes a full rotation every minute on one axis and every 30 seconds on the other and watching the mechanism operate on two speeds is a captivating sight. Making the tourbillon both skeletonised and suspended, meanwhile, gives it a feeling of weightlessness.
This complex tourbillon would be enough for most watchmakers, but Hublot rarely does things by halves. The second complication is the bi-retrograde part of the watch that refers to the hour and minute hands that move on their own scale and jump back to their starting position once their trajectory is completed.
Made from satin-brushed grade 5 titanium and fitted with a sporty black strap, the new manual winding MP-13 has a power reserve of 96 hours with 374 components beavering away inside. The drooping bezel at 6 o’clock is certainly an eye catching feature but may not be to everyone’s liking.
It’s a big, bold, brash watch at 16.7mm thick and yet the MP-13 is more ergonomic than its 2017 ancestor. Hitting Hublot boutiques in May, the exciting and highly complex MP-13 is the latest release from the MP series that Hublot began in 2011. And in case you’re wondering, MP stands for masterpiece, which this watch most certainly is.