HANDS-ON: Contemporary World, Contemporary Beauty: Hublot @Timecrafters2014

As Timecrafters, here in New York City, approaches, over the next few days I’ll have to point out some of the year’s best watches from some of my favorite brands. Today, let’s delve into some of the newest, most exclusive pieces from Hublot’s Baselworld 2014 collection that will be featured at the Timecrafters watch exhibition. Hublot is not only a company of excellence and prestige, but also a company whose technology is worn on the wrists of a seemingly infinite number of athletes, performers, and world leaders. Today, I chose three wristwatches that I can assuredly say will turn-heads.

It’s yellow, it’s green, and it’s red. What on earth could it be? No, it’s not a vintage Bob Marley album cover nor is it a Keith Haring painting; it is the 2014 FIFA World Cup inspired Big-Bang Unico Bi-Retrograde Chronograph. This ceramic-cased wristwatch with a carbon/aluminum/titanium bezel is undoubtedly the strongest, most scratch and fracture resistant sports watch that was presented at the Baselworld fair. The movement within this piece is completely in-house along with all of the other components. This is a watch for a very specific buyer, as with many models. If I had the budget and a varied collection, this is something I would consider purchasing as an investment, as well as an everyday watch. When you compare the Unico World Cup to most other watches of its class, it is not terribly flashy, but as time goes on it will nevertheless remain striking to fellow collectors.

As most stories go, it only gets better as you keep reading. This is definitely one of those stories. The next watch has a ton of spirit, so much that it has been named Spirit of Big Bang. This specific model from the “Spirit of Big Bang” collection, the King Gold, is so King-like and has so much gold in it that Hublot might as well have named it the Mansa Musa watch. Understand my point? You probably would if you were taking ninth grade Global History. Anyway, let’s get back to the good stuff, the watches. The King Gold has a nearly identical self-winding chronograph movement to the aforementioned Big Bang Unico, but in the KG’s case the movement is in its skeleton form. To expose the movement in both the front and back of the watch, Hublot has added a sapphire crystal exhibition case back and a transparent dial with black siding and red instrumentations as the indexes. The only thing that surprised me was that the markers and hands are all gold plated, something uncommon for a watch at this price point. It’s an excellent watch, but I have to say that it’s a lot of watch for one wrist. If I were a prospective buyer, I’d choose the Unico over this piece any day.

The last example is…uh…uh…thinking for the right word…colorful! That’s a good way to describe this beauty. After all of this wait I finally included a watch for the ladies: the Big Bang Pop Art Yellow Gold Rose. Only if Mr. Warhol were here today; how much he’d love it. This is a bright, blinged-out version of the classic Big Bang watch. The watch is cased in polished and satin-finished (brushed) eighteen karat yellow gold and features forty-eight hand-cut pink sapphires.  Hublot wanted to make this piece so girly; that they even decided to set day-glow-like pink and green Arabic numerals onto a sky blue dial. I would’ve tried it on, but I think I’ll wait till Carnival, next time I just happen to pass through Rio.

I loved what Hublot has done this year, as with every other year. Feel free to visit the Hublot boutique on Madison Avenue or, better yet, stop by this coming weekend at the Hublot booth at Timecrafters 2014.

Luke Rottman (Executive Editor: thewatchadviser.com)