Of all the haute horology brands in all the world it had to be Hublot that made the world’s most costly watch to date. It was destiny. Hublot has carved a niche for itself among the newly minted, who would view a $5m watch as sheer provocation to buy. Sure enough, a few months after it was first showcased, Beyonce duly slapped down the necessary to order the $5m Hublot, which is only made upon request. The lucky recipient was husband rapper Jay Z. With no less than 1,282 diamonds it must have proven irresistible.
When Hublot first created it, and it took 14 months to make, they might have believed it would be more of a spectacular show piece than a watch anyone would actually buy. It certainly grabbed the headlines and the mainstream media lapped it up. Two years ago the watch was unveiled at Baselworld, but only to invited attendees only amid huge security. That particular piece was quietly snapped up by Singapore’s The Hour Glass, a leading Singapore watch retailer and subsequently displayed in another shrine to new money, Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the gambling mecca of the Orient.
The making of the watch is a story in itself. The traditional design and technical construction process is reversed. Instead of creating the watch around the available stones, the diamond cutters start with a design and then meticulously and patiently select those diamonds which best match the case, the dial and bracelet. Then the cutters and setters meticulously resize each diamond to ensure a perfect fit. For that reason alone, you can begin to understand where the money goes.
This Big Bang, with big diamonds features certain stones of up to 3 carats, and there’s a rose cut diamond on the crown. Once the technical design is finalised, the diamonds have to be found and combined. Diamonds are of course a finite resource, and gathering the right ones means sourcing them from all over the world; the largest stones can take a year to acquire. And then there is the not insignificant challenge of sourcing a further 1276 of them, each one of them VVS in clarity and Top Wesselton in colour.
For the watch that was on show at Baselworld 2012, a renowned ‘master cutter’ from New York was responsible for single-handedly cutting the largest GIA-certified stones to ensure they all had the same signature cut. The cutting involved some 14 months of work, with twelve cutters kept busy for 7 months. Then five setters were needed to place each of the sparklers. More than 100 carats of baguette diamonds are carefully placed upon the 18k white gold base of the watch.
To this day, the $5m Hublot Big Bang is the most expensive watch made by Hublot in association with Geneva’s Atelier Bunter. It’s just the kind of attention grabbing, celebrity attracting watch that is an integral part of the brand’s DNA. And in case you are interested, the watch is powered by the in-house HUB 1100 with a power reserve of 42 hours. (www.hublot.com)
Hublot 5 Million Dollar Big Bang – Specifications
- Unique piece A total of 1282 diamonds,
- More than 100 carats of baguette diamonds,
- 6 square emerald cut stones, each weighing more than 3 carats,
- Case 44 mm in diameter – 18K white gold set with 302 baguette diamonds, totalling 27 carats,
- Crystal Sapphire with interior and exterior anti-reflective coating, plus metallised Hublot logo,
- Case-back Enclosed, made from 18K white gold with engraved Hublot seal,
- Crown 18K white gold set with 12 baguette diamonds totalling 0.67 carats, and a rose-cut diamond of 1.06 carats,
- Dial 18K white gold, 150 Palladium, set with 179 baguette diamonds totalling 8.75 carats,
- Hands Faceted and diamond-polished rhodium-plated skeleton hands,
- Movement HUB 1100 Self-winding mechanical movement – Frequency: 28,800 Vib/h (4 Hz),
- Diameter 11 1/2 ’’’ (Ø 25.60 mm),
- Thickness 3.60 mm,
- Components 63 (Jewels: 25),
- Power reserve Approximately 42 hours,
- Bracelet 18 K white gold set with 782 baguette diamonds, totalling 45 carats,
- 6 square emerald cut diamonds, each over 3 carats, totalling more than 18 carats,
- Clasp 18K white gold deployant buckle.