- Kristian Haagen
HUBLOT BIG BANG TOURBILLON SAMUEL ROSS
A Hublot ambassador since 2020, creative director Samuel Ross brings his unique
graphic language to watchmaking for the first time with the limited-edition Big Bang
Tourbillon Samuel Ross.
A 40-year focus on the “Art of Fusion” has resulted in a meteoric rise for Hublot, seeing it catapulted to the pinnacle of innovative watchmaking. With the brand’s ability to combine seemingly diametrically opposed materials, plus an enduring drive to push the boundaries of what is technically and aesthetically possible, it has rewritten the rules of horology, leaving a new design language in its wake.
Fostering a desire to work with the most talented practitioners in alternate fields, the brand introduced its “Hublot Loves Art” initiative more than a decade ago. Hublot has since collaborated with some of the most talented artists and designers of a generation. Ground-breaking in outlook and highly collectable, the resulting watches offer new interpretations of time and timekeeping. The most recent creator to take up the mantle is Samuel Ross.
Mirroring Hublot’s trajectory, renaissance man Ross has experienced an equally breakneck rise to prominence. Describing himself as a creative director, the 30-year-old multi-disciplinary artist, filmmaker, and fashion designer graduated from Leicester De Montfort University in 2012 with a first-class honours’ degree in graphic design and illustration. Since then, he has collaborated with many brands and creative outlets – from Oakley and Nike to Dr. Martens and Mackintosh – launching his men’s Luxury Sportswear label A-Cold-Wall* in late 2015, and his design studio SR_A in 2019.
In 2019, Ross was awarded the prestigious Hublot Design Prize, and a year later he was announced as an official brand ambassador, an occasion marked by the unveiling of REFORM, a sculpture designed to encapsulate 40 years of Hublot.
Combining an ancient, organic material (granite) with a modern, manmade one (steel), Ross created his own ‘Fusion’, uniting past and present in a production process that involved both traditional hand-finishing and cutting-edge machining.
The deceptively simple, industrial form of the 40cm high artwork has now been reinterpreted in the 44mm Big Bang
Tourbillon Samuel Ross – Ross’s first wristwatch collaboration with Hublot. Ross’s signature use of colour and love of stark geometry and urban design, come together with the innovation and precision that prevail in the work of both Ross and Hublot.
The distinctive, stylised hexagon of the Big Bang case is reflected in the titanium honeycomb mesh used on the sapphire dial, case, case back and strap. A basic building block of nature (seen in environments from beehives and snake’s scales to pineapple skin and snowflakes) the robust and efficient shape, that can be repeated without gaps or overlapping, has been appropriated as a standard for modern-day construction and design thanks to the seamless fit of each unit. Here the hexagon is a visual symbol of the functionality of the watch – a key strand running through all of Ross’s design.
Although it may be a wearable sculpture, Ross never loses sight of the need for it to be durable and ergonomic, the lightweight, openworked titanium structure and malleable rubber strap ensuring its comfort on the wrist. A proponent of colour theory, Ross has chosen orange – representing energy and optimism – for the strap and accents on the crown and tourbillon bridge and lateral bumpers that protect the case, a glowing contrast to the sober grey of the satin-finished case and bezel.
The 282-component, manufacture HUB6035 calibre within beats at 3 Hz and gives 72 hours of power reserve. Just 50 pieces will be produced, each one a piece of art that brings a new perspective and a new visual language to watchmaking. To celebrate the launch, Ross’s signature colours will envelop Hublot’s 5th Ave boutique in New York City. The takeover will be repeated in Hublot stores across the globe, bringing the Samuel Ross universe to the world of horology.