Hublot love a collaboration but apparently their already talent-flooded roster just hasn’t been enough, as in 2020 they added one more creative string to their bow: that of British designer, artist and overall multipotentialite, Samuel Ross. The designer behind ceramic-firing hot streetwear-inspired label A Cold Wall*, Ross’s body of work is an ever-expanding portfolio of clothes, bikes, sculptures, drawings, you name it. After working together for a couple of years now, we have the launch of their latest collaborative timepiece, the new Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross, a fresh, monochromatic take on their first watch together from last year.
Conceptually, the new watch is very similar to the previous version. It has the same 44mm case with hexagonal, honeycomb mesh ventilation across the lugs (the liminal space not required to protect the movement) and the dial (which is protected by its sapphire crystal), for that lightweight, aerospace, industrial futurism that Ross loves.
That feel is amped up by replacing the previous orange elements with micro-blasted, polished titanium which, while less arresting than the original, give the watch a cooler, monochromatic design. The tourbillon cage too has been decoloured, though it’s still a tourbillon and therefore still imposing. Paired with the integrated rubber strap and visible screws, the new Big Bang is the horological equivalent of Gerald Genta penning a sci-fi opera.
Not that it’s all monochrome of course. The integrated rubber strap – again with that series of honeycomb perforations – comes in white, black and vivid lime green. The raw titanium of the metalwork means that it works on any of the three but, let’s be honest, if you’re wearing this edition you like the impact and that likely means you want it on the green.
The aesthetics are backed by one of Hublot’s more technical movements that’s worth talking about for more than the signature tourbillon complication. The HUB6035 calibre is an in-house number – an actual manufacture movement – made up from 282 components. Beating at 3Hz and with a 72-hour power reserve, it’s as solid as a modern tourbillon should be, and with all those components on full view, it hammers home the intensely mechanical nature of the Big Bang Tourbillon.
Unlike the original Big Bang Tourbillon Samuel Ross, the new Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross doesn’t break new ground. It does however refine the concept, like the second draft of a sketch. It makes more sense both visually and on the wrist, (where its 44mm case is as dramatic as previously yet wearably lightweight), and offers more options in the three straps, but is cut from the same cloth, the same blueprint.
So, can we expect more of the same in the future? Probably. If we look to the Orlinski and Sang Bleu editions Hublot have produced, once they have that first watch they tend to riff pretty close to the original. Different colours and materials sure, but otherwise just offering variations on the theme. It’s almost a given that, if this particular version isn’t for you, expect a Big Bang Tourbillon in a different colour in the relatively near future.
Given that they’re all very strict limited editions – this latest, for example, is limited to just 50 pieces – that’s not such a bad thing. But for someone as intensely creative, as intensely a polymath as Ross, it would be a bit disappointing if Hublot didn’t go off the now-beaten path for their next collab. Although that lime green across the case would definitely make a visual splash.
At the very least, the Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A by Samuel Ross illustrates how to do a proper collaborative watch. It’s not just a recoloured Hublot, it’s a proper watch partnership. It’s not going to be to everyone’s taste – it could be argued that no Hublot is – but that’s not the point. It’s a design statement, an experiment, a drawing board for Ross to test what he can do within the boundaries of horology. And despite everything he’s done with the Big Bang Tourbillon, there’s still plenty of boundary to be pushed.
Price and Specs:
More details at Hublot.