Hublot works with creative director Samuel Ross to bring a fresh perspective to watchmaking for its limited-edition Big Bang Tourbillon Samuel Ross
A 40-year focus on the “art of fusion” has seen the rise of Hublot as it highlights its ability to combine diametrically opposed materials, plus an enduring drive to push the boundaries of both its technical and aesthetic capabilities.
In order to work with 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. Groundbreaking in outlook and highly collectible, the resulting watches offer new interpretations of time and timekeeping.
The most recent creator is Samuel Ross, a 30-year-old multi-disciplinary artist, filmmaker, and fashion designer who graduated from Leicester De Montfort University in 2012 with a Doctor of Arts PDH from Westminster 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.
This is not Ross’ first joint effort with Hublot. 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.
To create Reform, Ross combined an ancient, organic material (granite) with a modern, manmade one (steel), 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 — his first wristwatch collaboration with Hublot. Ross’ signature use of colour and love of stark geometry and urban design are present through the innovation and precision that prevail in the work of both Ross and Hublot.
At a glance, you will notice the distinctive, stylised hexagon of the Big Bang case that is reflected in the titanium honeycomb mesh used on the sapphire dial, case, caseback 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.
The hexagon represents a visual symbol of the functionality of the watch — a key design theme that runs through all of Ross’ designs. Although it may be a wearable sculpture, Ross never loses sight of the need for it to be durable and ergonomic, with the lightweight, open-worked 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 inside 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 fresh perspective and a new visual language to watchmaking.
Who is Samuel Ross?
A polymathic creative force, award-winning British designer, creative director and artist, Dr. Samuel Ross, mines the cross-sections of socio-geographic relationships in the formulation of his works. Navigating themes located in anthropology, sociographic tendencies and 20th–21st Century industrialised societies, Ross’ output offers a commentary on equality, engagement and collective experience.
During the Hublot Prize exhibition at London’s Serpentine Gallery in 2019, Ross launched his latest venture – SR_A (Samuel Ross & Associates). SR_A is an industrial design studio operating within the fields of interior installation, architecture, furniture design, sound design and sculptural/visual communication, described by Ross as a vehicle for “...the progressive study of design and practical experience creation.”
Ross’ accolades include being named the British Fashion Awards’ Emerging Menswear Designer (2018) and receiving the Hublot Design Prize (2019). In 2020, he was named as one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 [Europe] and won both the GQ USA Fashion Award (2020) and People of the Year British Fashion Award (2020), the latter specifically for his philanthropic endeavours. Most recently he was awarded the Leader of Change British Fashion Award (2021) and an Honorary PHD appointed by the University of Westminster for ‘Doctor of Arts’ (2021). He has also been a finalist for both the LVMH Prize and ANDAM Award.
See also: The business of complications
The Big Bang Tourbillon Samuel Ross
Limited to 50 pieces
Diameter: 44 mm Thickness: 13.75 mm Water resistance: 3 ATM
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HUB6035 Manufacture, self-winding micro-rotor, skeleton tourbillon
Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 A/H) Power reserve: 72 hours Number of components: 282 Jewels: 26
Strap & Clasp
Smooth orange rubber Titanium deployant buckle
Satin-finished and polished titanium