Hublot used last week’s SIAR show in Mexico City earlier this month as a platform to debut its newest experimental timepiece, the Big Bang MP-11 SAXEM, which owes its vivid green hue to a material called SAXEM, shorthand for sapphire aluminium oxide and rare earth mineral.
Typically used in high-tech applications such as satellites, and never before seen in a watch case, the material—which combines aluminium oxide, the basic component of sapphire, with rare-earth elements like thulium and holmium—is hard, brilliant and fully transparent.
Its use offers a perfect example of Hublot’s trademark “Art of Fusion,” referring to the brand’s pioneering approach to combining both classic and state-of-the-art materials in its forward-looking wristwatches (the brand’s “regal mastery of innovation,” in the words of CEO Ricardo Guadalupe).
The model builds on a tradition of transparency Hublot began with its Big Bang Unico Sapphire, whose see-through sapphire case proved that despite the well-known challenges of machining a case out of sapphire, where there was a will, there was a way.
The emerald green hue of the MP-11 SAXEM—which comes in a polished 45 mm case—is not its only standout feature. The bezel features six H-shaped polished and microblasted black titanium screws, and a black crown made of titanium with rubber inserts. Visible on the dial side are the seven barrels of the skeletonised, manual-winding manufacture calibre, which is fitted with an exceptional 14-day power reserve. The model, which comes on a black rubber strap, also boasts black-plated appliques that glow with a green luminescence.
One of the brand’s followers responded to the watch’s debut on Instagram with a single-word comment that seemed to marry all the ideas encapsulated by its materials and color palette: “Dope.”
Limited to just 20 pieces, the Big Bang MP-11 in green SAXEM retails for around £98,000.