Every once in a while, we get to peruse and review timepieces that seem too crazy to wear and too hard to explain with the use of just a few words. The Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari in King Gold we are reviewing here, is one of those crazy timepieces. Priced close to a half a million USD, this amazing mechanical timepiece with a 50-day power reserve, is a true horological feat in its own. While most people associate Hublot with marketing gimmicks, out of control limited editions, and sports teams/celebrities, very few really understand the power behind this brand.
What started in 1980 as MDM Genève Hublot —a very small Swiss luxury watch company that launched the first watch fitted with a natural rubber strap—; today, is a true horological powerhouse located just outside of Genève in Nyon, Switzerland. Additionally, Hublot is the second most successful watch brand within the LVMH Watches & Jewelry group —owners of TAG Heuer, Bulgari and Zenith— and a brand who's true horological expertise tends to be undermined by the hundreds and hundreds of limited edition Big Bangs and King Powers out there. Next time you have the opportunity to see one of their MP or Key of Time creations in person, you'll understand much better the real strength behind this brand and the magic touch that monsieur Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe have fueled it with.
Fitted with a very unique case design inspired by the shape of a Ferrari engine inside the Ferrari LaFerrari, this particular watch is available in 18K King Gold as seen here, in clear Sapphire, in Titanium or with an all black micro-blasted PVD titanium case. The case of the Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari King Gold is very solid and the watch is extremely heavy with a total weight of 240 grams —in comparison, an 18K rose gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Rubber Clad weights 225 grams. The case measures approximately 52 mm long x 48 mm wide and 16 mm thick.
The asymmetrical shape of the case, resembles a spaceship as much as it does the engine inside a LaFerrari. Definitely a watch that looks pricey and special, whether you know nothing about horology or you are a real watch freak. On what would be the 12 o'clock position on any conventional timepiece, the Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari features a wrench opening with a garnet red carbon fiber insert framed by a black PVD titanium frame. Its curves and multi-layer construction are finished with a beautiful micro-blasted finish in Hublot's proprietary gold alloy.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of the Hublot LaFerrari is how one tells time and what the fully skeletonized dial —actually the back of the movement— is really about. Fitted with a suspended vertical tourbillon at what would be the 6 o'clock position, the Hublot LaFerrari indicates the hours and minutes via two engraved black anodized aluminum cylinders with white numerals displaying the hours and minutes in increments of five on the right side of the dial. If we look at the picture below, the watch shows that the time is 3:20.
Additionally, there is a power reserve indicator also comprised of two black anodized aluminum cylinders with white numerals located on the left side of the dial. Looking at the picture below, the power reserve reads 10 days. The Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari King Gold can be fully wound to provide a power reserve of at least 50 days —1200 hours.
Equipped with a suspended vertical tourbillon, the seconds are indicated thanks to a black indicator ring that rotates along with the vertical tourbillon carriage and that is located right below the 'Hublot' inscription on the dial side.
Fully visible via the dial side or the display case back, the Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari King Gold is powered by an impressive manual wound calibre with suspended vertical tourbillon and 11-series coupled barrels. The movement, is not only capable of boasting the longest power reserve in the watch industry at 50 days —1,200 hours—, but is also a remarkable example of 'haute horlogerie' and a real treat for the eyes.
Winding & Setting the Time
Considering its impressive 50-day power reserve, this watch requires a set of special tools to ease the winding of its movement and to properly set the time as there is no pull-out crown. Without this system, one could spend 30 to 40 minutes winding it by hand if the watch were fitted with a traditional crown. These special tools comprise, a small power drill —referred to by Hublot as a pistol— and a hand key ring with two different bits.
To set the time, the wearer needs to remove the bit located on the right side of the key ring, then turn the watch over and place the time setting bit on the crown —black round part with five perforations— located on the bottom left corner of the display case back. Then, the crown needs to be turned clockwise until the time is set to the desired time. Whenever setting the time, the wearer needs to compensate for the movement's gear play of 2 minutes which is the time it takes for the minute cylinder to rotate towards the dial side. Therefore, when setting the time, one needs to set the time on the case back two minutes ahead of the desired time.
To wind the watch, the wearer can use either the hand key ring tool for a minimal power reserve adjustment or the power drill/pistol —rechargeable via USB— when the 50-day power reserve has been fully depleted. To wind the watch using the drill/pistol, all one needs to do, is insert the smallest bit on the drill inside the wrench opening at 12 o'clock and press the trigger on the pistol. After pressing the trigger for a few minutes, the power reserve indicator on the left side of the dial will read 50 days. To avoid any damage to the mechanism, the drill spins at a very low torque speed.
In order to fit the racing nature of the Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari King Gold, the watch is fitted with an integrated black rubber strap with deployant folding clasp in black PVD titanium with king gold insert. The strap is fully integrated to the case on both sides, and secured by hex screws on the front of the case right below the tourbillon opening for the 6 o'clock side and on the case back for the 12 o'clock side. The strap is very malleable and extremely comfortable.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the watch wears extremely big and disproportionate. This is the type of watch that only a handful of watchlifestylers can pull off without looking like they're trying way too hard. For sure, this is a stunning watch that is a joy to play with and a piece of 'haute horlogerie' that everyone enjoys looking at; however, in reality, this is a watch that is almost impossible to wear if your wrist is not at least 7.25-7.5" in circumference and your yearly income at least $4 million USD.
With unparalleled wrist presence, the Hublot LaFerrari is definitely a big conversation piece among watch collectors and a big 'wow factor' when people hear about its price tag.
The Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari King Gold is available in a limited edition of only 20 pieces and is accompanied by an ultra cool display box that automatically opens/closes at the touch of a button.
Sticker Price $414,000 USD. For more info on Hublot click here.