I was given an hour with the Hublot Masterpiece collection recently – these uncommon pieces were traveling through Kuala Lumpur as part of the Journey Through Time exhibition. These three pieces represent a significant and welcome departure from the staple line of Big Bang offerings and their myriad variants; however tastes and preferences will of course be personal. Hublot has gathered a team of watchmakers called the “confrere horlogere”, specifically to develop highly complicated pieces in small series. Please note that the watches photographed were non-functioning prototypes, so I am unable to comment on the running and usability of the pieces.
The first piece in the line is the MP-01, a mono pusher chronograph with 10 days’ power reserve, displayed on a subdial through the case back. The case itself is highly reminiscent of Richard Mille, though this case has numerous extra sapphire apertures in the front. The movement caliber HUB5100 has 384 components and 43 jewels. It definitely wears large, and isn’t for the small of wrist.
Piece number two is ‘La Cle du Temps’ (the Key of Time), MP-02. It has a second crown that allows the wearer to adjust the running speed of the watch display, indicated on the dial – 1/4x speed for moments you want to savor, and 4x speed for boring meetings. The intermediate position returns the hands to normal time. It also houses a vertical flying tourbillon at 6’o clock; for some reason this reminded me of the Concord C1 Quantum Gravity, although it’s not so much a watch as some sort of alien exoskeleton implant. The case is PVD titanium, and surprisingly light and comfortable despite its immense size.
The final piece (MP-03, as expected) isn’t a wristwatch at all, but a pocket watch in the shape of a bullet – supposedly a good luck charm in South America – with a special holster and chain. The display is digital, with rotating numerals visible through an aperture in the side of the timepiece; the bottom houses a flying tourbillon. It’s wound and set by lifting the top part – the bullet itself, with the bottom part forming the shell casing. We saw the variant in titanium with 193 diamonds; there’s a stealthier black PVD titanium version, and a more ostentatious fully pave version with 949 inlaid diamonds. It’s powered by the HUB9003 with 120h power reserve, and 219 components. It’s actually a lot smaller than it looks – I was expecting something the size of a Vulcan cannon round, but it’s probably closer to a very fat .44 Magnum.
Once again, shot on location with limited equipment – apologies for the lighting.
Thank you to the Hublot Boutique, Kuala Lumpur.