Hublot reaffirms its place as a leader of innovation by making its MP-11 – after 3D carbon and transparent sapphire – in a high-tech material that has never been used for a watchcase.
Its name is Saxem, as in Sapphire Aluminium oXide and rare Earth Mineral. In order to obtain this unparalleled shade of green, transparency and radiance, the Manufacture – an expert in the concept of fusion – mixed aluminium oxide, the basic component of sapphire, with rare-earth elements like thulium and holmium as well as chromium. The resulting material is both harder than emerald (which is too soft to be machined) and endowed with a brilliance greater than that of sapphire. It has other advantages too: the absence of tension within the matter ensures greater stability in terms of shaping, whereas the cubic crystalline structure guarantees the same shade and intensity of colour, regardless of the angle from which you look at the case. The entirely polished green Saxem thus provides a characterful contrast to the bezel’s six H-shaped polished and microblasted black titanium screws, as well as to the black crown that combines titanium with rubber inserts.
Such an innovative chassis deserved an exceptional “engine”: enter the manual-winding skeleton Manufacture calibre, endowed with an outstanding two-week power reserve, beating in the heart of this Big Bang MP-11. Hublot has accomplished this feat thanks to original and spectacular movement architecture featuring several series-coupled barrels, all within a very reasonable thickness of 10.92mm. As an additional challenge, to enable the transmission of energy between the horizontal axis of the barrels and the vertical gear train driving the hours and minutes display, the creators used a system that is very rare in watchmaking: a 90-degree helical worm gear. To ensure pleasing aesthetic balance with this helical gear visible at 10 o’clock, the anthracite ruthenium balance has been moved to the dial side in a symmetrical position at 2 o’clock. The Hublot HUB9011 calibre, comprising 270 components, also stands out thanks to its patented index-assembly system, its silicon escapement as well as its black bridges and mainplate. The power reserve is directly displayed on a cylinder placed to the left of the seven barrels, facing the “Day Power Reserve” mention inscribed on the sapphire crystal. The readability of the auxiliary hours/minutes dial is reinforced by hands and hour-markers highlighted by a green luminescent coating. The sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment and the bezel in green Saxem are distinguished by a protrusion that follows the shape of the cylindrical barrels – a feat of engineering that creates a magnifying effect on the power-reserve indicator.
The Big Bang MP-11 in green Saxem is manually wound via the large fluted crown featuring embossed wormscrew-like ridges reminiscent of the helical gear, or with the help of a Torx-stamped electric pen inspired by motor racing. It comes with a black rubber strap whose oblique lines echo the crown design. This gem of technicality and transparency is produced in a limited run of 20 pieces.
October 31, 2019