Hublot Big Bang King Power Oceanographic 4000 All Black Carbon Limited Edition
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From A Blog To Watch:
Back in January of 2011 I caught a glimpse of a early prototype version of a strange looking Hublot. The case was really big (by Hublot standards), and it has a sci-fi looking black and green dial. I also noticed a large closing cap over one of the crows, and a beefy stance that made me wonder if it was even a real watch. This later turned about to be the Hublot Oceanographic 4000m (4000 M) Diver watch, but I didn’t learn that for a few more months. After some time reflecting on the piece, I now reflect on this ‘Uber-blot’ watch.
No modern brand really needs an excuse to create a diver’s watch. Such models are ‘expected’ parts of a well-rounded range of pieces in any brand’s collection. Of course you need a diver. Though it looks a lot better when you do have a reason to create one, or least you can think of a reason. I don’t know how long Hublot has been planning on making a diver, but I suspect it has been for a few years. The big question was probably “If Hublot makes a dive watch, how can we really make it an Hublot?” Extremism was one option. Make it the “most this” or the “least that.” Though the specifications of existing watches and other dive watch records out there were already really impressive. Previous dive watches that were released can survive really deep depths, and can get very large in size. With Biver’s “fusion” philosophy there was the opportunity to make a dive watch using interesting materials. Carbon was one logical option, and something that in fact Hublot used. I think however that Hublot struggled for a while with the idea of how to make their dive watch unique.
Actually, let me back up a bit. The Oceanographic 4000m Diver is not Hublot’s first dive watch by any means. Hublot was making dive style watches since before Jean-Claude Biver was around, and Big Bang King (not to be confused with the King Power) has a range of dive style pieces in cool colors with a rotating diver’s bezel and 300 meters of water resistance. The Oceanographic however would be the brands first “serious” diving timepiece, and would have a distinct Hublotistic statement to it.
At first we just knew the name of the watch as the 4000m Diver, until the Oceanographic part of the name was designated later on. It comes from an aquarium in Monaco (do they have one of everything in Monaco?) called the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco – and Hublot partnered with them for the watch. Was the partnership necessary? Not really, but Mr. Biver does like a nice party and partnership to go with almost each new watch the brand releases. It is fun enough. I wonder if they sell the watch in the gift shop next to the stuffed seals and plush crustaceans.
Right now the Oceanographic 4000 (4000m) watch comes in two limited edition variants. First is the titanium model that is limited to 1000 pieces, and then there is the all-black carbon fiber model that is limited to 500 pieces. The King Power style case is 48mm wide and really thick – still comfy though to be quite honest given the light weight. It has a sapphire crystal that is 6.5mm thick, a helium escape valve, and 4000 meters of water resistance. According to some additional information, another test seems to suggest that the watch is water resistant to 5000 meters. Which is it? Doesn’t matter to be honest – you’d be dead long before reaching either of those depths.
The watch contains an Hublot caliber HUB1404 automatic with the time and date. Legibility is ensured by the super large hands and hour markers. Both models have lots of lume, while the titanium model is clearly going to be the one you want to use if you are actually diving. Hublot’s signature stealth look is fun, but makes for a poor design when trying to read a watch in the murky depths.
Still, the carbon fiber model speaks to me a lot more. I am actually not a big fan of all those black on black watches. Mr. Biver calls the look “visible invisibility.” The titanium and green model looks a bit like a toy to me. I mean, it is toy. Maybe a serious toy, but still a toy. This is another watch that I call “Hollywood movie prop.” Pick your fav sci-fi or action movie and I bet this watch will look appropriate on some character. The carbon fiber one is a bit more mysterious and sinister. It also has the benefit of being the only carbon fiber cases dive timepiece that I know of – and that is pretty cool. I am pretty hot on the idea of carbon fiber cases. I was very skeptical about them at first, but brands like Hublot have convinced me that they are worthy. In addition to being light and having a smooth feel to them, they are really tough and naturally absorb shock.
The larger crown at 2 o’clock is for the time, while the lower one is used for the inner rotating bezel. Is the super-sized crown cap necessary? Eh, not really, but it is a fun design feature. My favorite feature of the watch are the quick release straps. See that little triangles on the lugs? Push them in and the strap releases easily. A very clever feature and I think all Hublot timepieces should have them in the future. Hublot will offer the Oceanographic 4000 with two straps. One in rubber for and one that is a mix of rubber and nylon. The rubber one is for “active duty,” while the rubber and nylon one is for more casual wear purposes. Further, while the rubber and nylon one has a more traditional fold over style clasp, the all rubber strap uses an ardillion tongue buckle style strap that is more secure and useful when wearing gloves.
So what is left? Hublot created a limited edition diver that should be more or less tough as nails – especially if those nails come in the form of high water pressure. The more useful of the two piece is the titanium one, but the more cool looking of the two is the carbon fiber one.
Tech specs from Hublot:
Limited to 500 pieces for the All Black version in black carbon fiber
Numbered 01/500 to 500/500
Case: “King Power” — 48 mm diameter matte carbon fiber
Bezel matte carbon fiber
6 black PVD H-shaped titanium screws
Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective treatment
Lug: bezel Black composite resin
Lateral inserts Black composite resin
Case back: microblasted satin-finished titanium with black PVD
Crown: black PVD titanium with black rubber insert
Screws: Black PVD titanium
Water resistance: Certified to 400 ATM or 4,000 meters
Tested to 5,000 meters according to the NIHS standards
Dial: Matte black
Satin-finished appliques with black SuperLuminova
Hands Microblasted satin-finished with black SuperLuminova
Movement: Mechanical with automatic winding HUB1401
No. of components: 180
Bridges: Satin-finished, beveled & polished
Screws: Black PVD
Barrel: With reinforced spring
Escapement: Glucydur hairspring
Power Reserve: Approximately 42 hours
Straps: Available with two straps — black rubber and rubber and nylon
Closing system Tongue and buckle in black DVD titanium
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