Welcome to T3's Watch of the Month, a regular feature in which we'll introduce you to a new watch maker, and review a special piece from its collection.
In this inaugural edition we've lined up a very special piece; the Meca-10 in Magic Gold from Hublot.
Before we get onto the piece, and what it's like to wear a watch more expensive than your car, here's a little about the brand and why we think it's special.
The Brand: Hublot
Hublot (pronounced hue-blow, or oo-blow) exploded onto the watch scene in 1980, meaning it's relatively young and fresh faced compared to its more established luxury rivals.
Despite that, a bold, self-assured aesthetic, and dedication to innovation has solidified its place as one of the world's leading luxury watch brands.
The watch maker's roots go back to Carlo Crocco, Hublot's founder, who had the original vision to combine refined Italian design with solid Swiss craftsmanship.
Crocco debuted his first piece at Baselworld. It was a gold watch held together by 12 titanium screws, and paired with a rubber bracelet – something previously unheard of in the industry.
The MDM Hublot was a fashionable and sporty design, based on a ship’s porthole (hence the name 'Hublot', which is French for 'porthole').
Despite going through several CEOs and owners, including Jean-Claude Biver, who is credited as reviving Hublot with the Big Bang series of watches, the innovation in that original piece is now a hallmark aesthetic of the brand.
This is known as the 'art of fusion'.
Now a part of the LVMH group, Hublot is famed for a number of high-profile sponsorship and brand deals (namely Manchester United and Ferrari), as well as being a favourite watch brand of the hip-hop elite.
The Watch: Big Bang Meca-10 Magic Gold
Now onto the piece itself. As previously mentioned the Big Bang range really revived Hublot. The flagship collection was first unveiled by Biver in Basel in April 2005.
It was a bold, masculine design which proved incredibly divisive – you either loved or hated it. The piece was an immediate success and Hublot orders increased threefold in one year.
The Meca-10 variant (which we've been wearing) was added to the line-up in 2016.
It's still unmistakably a Big Bing, with an imposing 45mm case, but differs from the standard model with a unique movement.
The HUB1201 is a beautifully intricate, skeletonized movement created especially for this watch. It features an impressive 10-day power reserve, and looks almost inspired by Meccano, with a prominent rack and pinion section which moves from left to right when the power reserve drains.
A slightly more traditional disc at 6 o’clock is also used to denote the power remaining, and, as the reserve reaches its last two days, a red marker appears through a cutout in the gear at 3 o'clock telling you that it is time to wind the watch.
Yes, you read that correctly, this watch isn't automatic, it's hand wound. We found it really helps you develop a connection with the piece.
What I like most about the mechanism is its depth. The three-dimensional nature of the the skeletonized dial makes it feel as if the watch is a porthole into a miniature steampunk city.
The most innovative aspect of our Big Bang is the material the case is crafted from - "Magic Gold".
You see, traditionally gold is actually a very soft metal, prone to scratches and dents. Hublot's Magic Gold is actually a gold and ceramic alloy pioneered by the watchmaker. When combined the material is harder than stainless steel.
You get the prestige of gold, with none of the drawbacks.
It's so strong that it can only be machined by diamond, and has a hardness rating of 1,000 Vickers (for the spec fans amongst us).
Elsewhere the Big Bang Meca-10 features a comfortable rubber strap, micro-blasted black ceramic, and a sapphire display.
It's water-resistant to 100 meters, not that we'd recommend you go swimming while wearing it.
I really did love wearing this piece. The bold design really speaks to me, while the Magic Gold case makes a statement, whilst also being a practical every day watch (almost).
The Hublot Big Bang Meca-10 Magic Gold is limited to just 200 pieces.
You can buy one from Rox fro £33,900 (around $44500 USD).
- Make sure you read T3's guide to the best watches