Introducing the latest Hublot Samuel Ross Limited Edition

Organic meets industrial.

Fusion. Few brands can claim a one-word identifier, but anyone who’s spent any amount of time around the Hublot brand knows it’s the name of the game. With this release, Hublot confidently reasserts its claim to be completely unmatched in the field of coalescence, whether that’s in terms of materials or partnerships.

Initial thoughts

Collaboration has been a key aspect of building out the Hublot brand in recent years. In the early days, the watches themselves were the brand’s ambassadors. Calling cards like nothing else, the radical (but palatable) fusion of rubber and precious metals ensured a Hublot stood out from the crowd.

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross
Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross

And while the brand’s position and role in the industry has only solidified since then, the current creations often benefit from a “bridge” that connects them to the well-established core catalog. Those bridges take the form of partnerships, be they with institutions or originals.

As someone who has collaborated frequently with many brands occupying many price points, I can say from experience that having a collaborator in the building can be beneficial in more ways than the obvious symbiosis of ideas.

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross
Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross

Collaboration allows for a certain eccentricity that core releases cannot get away with. It allows a brand to push at its edges, to stretch the map, to even spill over into territories new. And, if it all goes to pot (which it occasionally does), either the brand or the collaborator can point to the other as the reason why. This mutually beneficial blame game needn’t be mean-spirited or in the least bit negative: it simply functions as a reason rather than an excuse for a particular experiment failing to stick the landing.

Hublot knows that as its rubber and precious metal schtick becomes old news, it must get even more creative. It knows well too that by buddying up with famous (or at least infamous) artists and designers it can afford itself carte blanche to try something new while simultaneously opening a new demographic.

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross
Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross

With all that said, this continued collaboration with Ross has been a roaring success. Ross’s design language feels tailor-made for the Hublot of tomorrow, and his understanding of the case silhouette and how to get the most out of it while working within those lines is truly inspirational.

Was this collab a risk? Yes, it was. Could it have fallen flat? Of course! We’ve seen it happen many times before. Is this model not only the perfect poster child for collaboration but also a potential blueprint the core collection could one day find itself following? For my money, it very well could be…

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross
Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross

Why we like it

When green dials started to penetrate the edges of the mainstream industry just over five years ago, there was a lot of discussion as to which color would be the next big thing. Personally, I never bought into the idea that it was another color we were waiting for. Rather, I averred that the next big thing in watchmaking (specifically in dial-making) would be texture.

It wasn’t a completely isolated notion. There were rustlings of interest on the fringes of the hobby surrounding linen- or corrugated-dialed Datejusts. Semi-precious stones were becoming fashionable again. The swirling intrigue of marble, the deep, inviting black of Onyx, and the serene striations of malachite were starting to find favor with the glitterati. It was only a matter of time before these trends overtook the industry en masse. And so, while the world waited on a color that was never to come, the rest of us were rubbing our hands with glee, anticipating an avalanche of avant-garde surfaces.

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross
Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross

The thing is, most of us expected these revolutionary surfaces to be inside the watch. We’d had the bronze fad. Carbon seemed to have come and gone. Surely no one was looking at the case to be the next big thing?

As it happens, Hublot was. As always, the artful alchemist turned to its conspirators to come up with an interpretation of its classic case that would rock the boat. By playing with the transparency of the watch, Ross has removed a huge amount of visual weight from the wrist. This ticking sculpture feels taught and dynamic, lightweight and agile (despite sitting perfectly still on the wrist thanks to its comfortable (and quick-change) rubber bands).

Ticking away inside the Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A is the in-house HUB6035 caliber, comprising 282 components. The escapement, which beats at 21,600 vph, can be appreciated with the naked eye thanks to the open-worked dial of the piece. A well-balanced display (features six luminous dots for the 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, and 9 hour markers), tones down this piece more than you might expect.

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross
Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross

In fact, it is the overall quietness of this tourbillon that speaks the loudest. This watch is different without being disruptive. While most watch brands are falling over themselves to be regarded as disruptive, Hublot, as is often the case for alphas in any walk of life, is happy to let its reputation do the talking while its watches concern themselves with being worn.

It is a testament to how far the brand has come that something like this, a 44 mm × 13.75 mm, Titanium honeycomb matrix timepiece retailing for six figures (USD 127,000) is somehow seen as a mature and methodical release, but so it is. This collaboration and all those like it gives me hope that the Hublot brand will continue to push the envelope for many more years to come, while the rest of us sit back and marvel at the measured madness with wry smiles and knowing nods.

Tech Specs

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross

Reference: 428.NX.0101.RX.SRA23
Movement: HUB6035 Manufacture, self-winding micro-rotor, skeleton tourbillon
Functions: Hours, minutes, and central skeletonized tourbillon
Case: 44 mm × 13.75 mm, Titanium honeycomb matrix, water resistant to 30 meters
Dial: Sapphire crystal
Strap: Vivid Green smooth rubber, Infinity Black smooth rubber, and Full White smooth rubber (all included)
Price: USD 127,000
Availability: Available from October 20th, limited to 50 pieces worldwide

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