The Essential Grey collection by Hublot was born of a special premise: a single colour, a single model, once a year, through a single channel. It’s an approach that appeals both to the most discerning collectors – who buy each vintage to form a collection that is as consistent as it is complete – and to the more occasional fans of the ‘Essential Grey’ line, who are aware of its recurrence and patiently await the arrival of the model that suits them.
“The watch industry tends to cash in on major trends in dial colours, such as blue or green, which only seem to last a few seasons. That is not our approach. Hublot is not a follower of trends. In fact, in most cases, our models don’t even have a dial! At Hublot, if we believe in a colour, we work with it across the whole model, and make a limited series to preserve its value out of respect for our collectors. Either we go all out, or we don’t do it at all,” explains Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot’s CEO.
This year Hublot presents the ‘Spirit of Big Bang Essential Grey’ and, like all Essential Greys, it will be the first and the last of its kind. We are informed that only 100 copies will be created, making the 2023 version twice as rare as the previous one in 2022, which comprised 200 watches.
These extremely rare pieces will only be available online at hublot.com. This is an exceptional procedure for Hublot, but it reflects the company’s stated desire to offer everyone an equal opportunity to acquire this unusual model. The aim is to ensure that all collectors are treated equally, whether or not they live near one of the brand’s 130 sales outlets.
The Spirit of Big Bang Essentially Grey, Hublot’s only barrel format, is draped in 100% titanium: including the case, bezel, screws, crown, push-pieces, case-back and folding clasp. The idea is to use the chromatic properties of titanium, the soft, radiant grey as a natural base for the Essential Grey version. The rubber strap has been matched, and lined with black thread on the outer edge to mark the vanishing line.
Hublot has taken care to treat all the components of the movement in the same way. However, to preserve the timepiece’s legibility, the watchmaker has introduced very subtle variations to this Essential Grey, notably on the date disc (visible at half-past four), and on the chronograph counters (minutes at 3 o’clock, hours at 6 o’clock). The watchmaker also chose to play with multiple finishes: mirror polished, drawn lines, graining, luminescent hour markers, rhodium-plated hands and a play on the different levels of depth.
This approach was taken to ensure that all the indications on the dial are legible, while enhancing the skeleton architecture of the HUB4700 Calibre. This automatic chronograph movement is cadenced at a high frequency (5 Hz, or 36,000 vibrations per hour). It has a 50-hour power reserve. In this new iteration, the 42-mm case offers the Spirit of Big Bang a vast field of expression. The watch retains its two lateral push-pieces, and its crown provides water resistance to 100 metres (10 ATM).
Hublot’s One-Click system, which allows bracelets to be changed in a few seconds without any tools, is available in two variations with the Spirit of Big Bang Essential Grey: grey grooved rubber, and grey with Velcro buckle and ceramic.
As with certain Hublot models sold online, this watch will be coupled with the Full Hublot Service. It is activated at the moment of sale, when the watch is registered with Hublot, and entitles the owner to have the watch fully serviced free of charge once the warranty has expired. Hublot’s Full Service includes recovering the original finish, renewing the water resistance, overhauling the movement and controlling the quality, among others.