The Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis watch hands-on
If we were to represent the Hublot’s story using photo-frames, we would tell the story of one of the biggest luxury phenomena and, I believe, of one of the best case studies for young MBA students, whose aim is to become young marketing talents. The idea came from an Italian person, because creativity is in our DNA, but we also needed the strength of the LVMH group and the "creative madness" of Jean-Claude Biver to come up with the largest and longest-selling marketing experiment of the 20th century.
What was perhaps missing at Hublot’s, at least in the full development phase of the Big Bang, was the authoritativeness and "respect" of watch-making enthusiasts who, and I could name several examples here, considered Hublot as a passing phenomenon rather than a brand and a collection to take seriously. The construction of a new manufacturing facility, the patent of new alloys (i.e. the King Gold), the development of in-house calibres, and finally the partnership with Ferrari, have definitively consecrated the brand and projected it among the greatest.
From the Hublot Techframe to the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis
The evolution of the Big Bang has taken different paths; that of evolution, as in the case of the Unico and, from my point of view, that of the Hublot Techframe which, among other things, won the IF Prize Award for Best Design. The timepiece is made up of a single piece and it sports a more linear aesthetic side that is also in line with the style expressed by Ferrari and the world of engines. The Techframe underwent a greater integration process both in the design of its case and buttons according to a current trend that sees partner brands coming from different sectors work closely together to achieve a general product concept, rather than simply add up their single contents.
Although the MP collection has little to do with tradition and is actually closer to the concept of deconstructing hours and minutes, one of the strongest current trends that has imposed itself in recent years and has pushed Hublot to directly compete against smaller independent manufacturers, with the launch of the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis the brand also included in its MP collection a timepiece that expresses the philosophy that made the Big Bang's fortune.
The Big Bang is over. Long live the Big Bang.
The Big Bang is not over yet and the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis is the actual proof of that. This sentence may seem quite strong, considering that the Big Bang is the brand’s hero, but I am actually referring to the watch’s versions within the MP collection. Aesthetically speaking, the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis combines the best of that philosophy (without the excesses it has achieved on different occasions) with the Hublot manufacturing skills, where the bi-axial tourbillon represents an absolute novelty. The Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis is available in three different versions; the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis King Gold that you can see in these photos, the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Titanium, and the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Titanium Pavé.
The King Gold version is the one that best describes the MP-09 product as a whole, because the King Gold is a patent discovered in Hublot’s metallurgy department and because this precious metal gives that touch of haute-horlogerie tradition that a complicated timepiece like this is worthy of. The multi-layer case extends and stretches near the 6, so that, once worn, the tourbillon meets exactly your eyes. It is the "window" that Hublot placed on its two-axis tourbillon and a manner to further enhance this three-dimensional complication.
Few brands in the world are able to craft multi-axis tourbillons and for each one of them, one of the most difficult challenges is to exploit the timepiece’s three-dimensionality to transform it into a design element. The choice to position it in the area located between the case and the strap is a clever way to enhance its presence, to give continuity to the design without using techniques (i.e. a bubble) that, in this case, would look out of place and would affect the design too.
The Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis’s case
The case of the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis sports an impressive size of 49mm and an equally important diameter of 17.95mm. It is made up of several layers (a solution that makes both the assembly and the servicing operations easier to perform) including the matted and polished King Gold for the bezel and the central frame of the case, with the addition of a part in resin painted with red lacquer (it would be interesting to find out if it is the same pantone patented by Ferrari) in the area of the lugs and a micro-blasted black PVD-treated titanium-made case-middle.
The sliding mechanism of the date change is also in King Gold as is the case-back, through which you can view the in-house built caliber and the slightly blurred serial number; 20 copies in total. The clicking date change is activated through the gold sliding mechanism located on one side and is displayed on a double scale placed on the decentralized dial of hours and minutes. At 9 o'clock lies the five-day power-reserve indicator.
The HUB9009.H1.RA calibre hosted within the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis
The HUB9009.H1.RA calibre hosted within the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis is a skeletonized hand-wound 3Hz and 120-hour power reserve movement with a bi-axial tourbillon. It is made up of 356 components, where the decentralized regulating system performs a complete rotation around the axis passing through the rotation axis of the balance wheel within a minute. In addition to this, a second rotation around a second axis that lasts 30 seconds also takes place. Those of you, who read my articles, know my passion for multi-axial tourbillons; the difficulty in assembling the cage and setting it up require total precision and many hours of work. Although the minute repeater represents the apex in watch-making, the multi-axial tourbillons are the very peak of micro-mechanics. Pity that there is no Geneva Seal embossed on such a calibre.
Why a Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis?
The Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis is one of the best examples of what Hublot as a manufacturer is capable of doing. Focusing on the technique, while preserving everything that we are familiar with on a Hublot timepiece, is the strength of this complicated watch. However, in today’s context of hyper watches, where the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis also belongs, a prestigious certification such as the Geneva Seal would have added something extra. Truth is that those certifications awarded by independent bodies might be important and prestigious in this case, but they are not everything, as every manufacturer can often count on its own internal certification criteria. Another undeniable added value is the partnership with Ferrari which, although not clearly expressed on this occasion, is referenced in the timepiece’s colors. What if you had just picked up your Ferrari and could also match it with one of the twenty available Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis? If you love and can afford both of these items at the same time, this could be the perfect match!
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®