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Hublot Opens New Aspen Boutique With Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition

Hublot Opens New Aspen Boutique With Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition Watch Releases

It’s just past the stroke of nine, and I’m packed into the Silver Queen — a sleek black gondola flying up Aspen Mountain into the “white room.” Inside are a half-dozen other hopefuls, all keenly anticipating making the first tracks in last night’s freshly fallen snow, which casts a dreamy contrast against the sharp blue skies of another bright Colorado morning. Skiers call this glorious type of day a “bluebird,” and short of going chest-deep on an early spring blower, this is probably about as good as it gets.

Hublot Opens New Aspen Boutique With Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition Watch Releases

It’s been a little over a year since Hublot became the official timekeeper of Aspen Snowmass, one of North America’s longest-running, and most prestigious ski destinations. But this year, Hublot is taking its partnership with the storied mountain (whose mid-century history dates back to the Army’s legendary 10th Mountain Division) a step further, opening its first seasonal monobrand boutique in the resort’s town center. It’s a unique move, considering most of these types of retail spaces in the United States are usually relegated to metropolitan centers on either coast, but Aspen is a truly international ski destination, not unlike Courchevel 1850 in the French Alps or Zermatt in Switzerland (both of which also house a mountainside Hublot boutique), and something about a Swiss watch brand operating in this crisp high alpine air just feels right. To punctuate this opening, Hublot is also introducing a 25-piece limited Spirit of Big Bang watch with the help of Olympic gold medalist and world champion ski racer Bode Miller, who’s made his home on these steep slopes as a friend of the brand for the better part of the last decade.

Hublot Opens New Aspen Boutique With Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition Watch Releases

Six-time Olympic medalist and now-retired alpine ski racer Bode Miller wearing the new Spirit of Big Bang Rockies edition

Hublot Opens New Aspen Boutique With Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition Watch Releases

Hublot North American CEO Jean-Francois Sberro wearing the Spirit of Big Bang in Titanium

Using the standard titanium Spirit of Big Bang as a blueprint, the Rockies edition is housed in a bright white ceramic case with contrasting blue subdials and a blue integrated rubber strap, which lends it a decidedly wintertime feel, albeit a cheerful one — a clear bluebird day on the mountain, with sharp contrast between snow and sky. More often than not, white ceramic watches come off as too smooth or glossy, with a “flat” aesthetic that doesn’t exactly endear itself to a high-end luxury product. But this one is different — and if you’re new to the tonneau-shaped Spirit of Big Bang, it’s one of Hublot’s signature collections; unapologetically bold and bristling with interesting lines, facets, and contrasting blasted and polished finishes. All this textured variety thankfully breaks up the surface of the watch, lending it an extremely dynamic and, ahem, “cool” presence on the wrist.

Hublot Opens New Aspen Boutique With Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition Watch Releases

Hublot Opens New Aspen Boutique With Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition Watch Releases

Better still, the new Rockies edition only measures 42mm across, making it wholly wearable on a wide range of wrist sizes, despite the fact that it’s obviously not for everyone (though that’s hardly the point). On Bode Miller’s massive ski-racer wrist, the flared strap is fully flush against the wrist with the clasp secured at its furthest extension. On my skinny 6.5” bike-racer wrist, though, the strap flares out a bit, leaving small gaps to the skin on both sides, though the case itself rests right where it should. I’d imagine this would make for a much more comfortable wear on one of Hublot’s leather strap options. Like much of the rest of the Spirit of Big Bang watches, the whole package is highly technical, yet sporty and playful, and maybe even a little bit defiant in the sense that it feels like an expression of counter-culture — a friendly jab at the traditional skiing establishment and an about-face on what a Swiss watch “should be.”

Hublot Opens New Aspen Boutique With Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition Watch Releases

Hublot Opens New Aspen Boutique With Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition Watch Releases

It’s this ethos that has also defined Miller’s storied ski racing career, one that has obsessed over craft, detail, and precision timekeeping — he credits his early interest in watches to a Casio calculator watch used to time downhill runs on the mountain — while expressing a strong understanding that the only way to be heard, and ultimately be the best in his own realm, was to go against the training and racing conventions of his peers and competitors. Interestingly, Miller’s introduction to Hublot was also one of happenstance, via his primary ski racing sponsor back in the early aughts, which was an apparel brand called Kjus (pronounced “shoos”), also headquartered in Switzerland. He immediately hit it off with Hublot’s then-CEO Jean-Claude Biver, who also relishes a similar defiance of convention, and the rest is more or less history.

Hublot Opens New Aspen Boutique With Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition Watch Releases

Like the rest of the Spirit of Big Bang chronographs, this reference is fitted with Hublot’s in-house-produced HUB4700 calibre, a high-frequency (5Hz) automatic chronograph movement that’s a brand staple, deployed in its more premiere offerings. It’s worth noting that, though Bode Miller didn’t play a role in the design of the Aspen edition, he does already have his own signature model: a black ceramic Big Bang designed in collaboration back in 2011, with a portion of its proceeds benefiting Miller’s Turtle Ridge Foundation, a nonprofit that supports adaptive and youth sports programs.

Hublot Opens New Aspen Boutique With Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition Watch Releases

Bode Miller sending it in Sochi back in 2014. The prolific downhill racer was known for an aggressive style of skiing, and was even clocked at speeds above 100mph

Miller is one of ski racing’s most decorated athletes of all time (33 world cups, six Olympic medals, four World Championship gold medals, and six World Cup globes, but who’s counting?), so his palmarés fit in neatly with the rest of Hublot’s deep ambassador pool, which routinely taps thought leaders in sport, culture, art, and fashion to create a singularly interesting and diverse roster. This includes the likes of football legend Pelé, runner Usain Bolt, artists Shepard Fairey and Sang Bleu, and also once included the late Kobe Bryant.

Hublot Opens New Aspen Boutique With Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition Watch Releases

Hublot turns 40-years-old this year, having been founded in 1980, so I think it’s safe to assume we’ll be seeing plenty more from the progenitors of “fusion” come Baselworld in April. The price of the Hublot Aspen Boutique-exclusive Spirit of Big Bang is $26,700 USD. Learn more about the Spirit of Big Bang collection at hublot.com.

Hublot Opens New Aspen Boutique With Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition Watch Releases

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  • DanW94

    I love the line, “the whole package is highly technical, yet sporty and playful, and maybe even a little bit defiant in the sense that it feels like an expression of counter-culture”…lol. Nothing screams counter-culture more than a 26,000 dollar luxury watch produced by LVHM, a multi billion dollar global conglomerate.

    • SuperStrapper

      In gun culture you’d be referred to as a ‘Fudd’. Not sure what the horological equivalent is…

      • DanW94

        Have no idea what a “Fudd” is so I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing or a nothing.

        • Berndt Norten

          This is befuddling. He admits he doesn’t know what the fudd a fudd is but he goes the fudd ahead and suggests you might be called a fudd. What the fudd? ?

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Hublot goes fully RM.

  • Pedro Lambareiro

    Oh… Hublot is getting closer and closer to a copyright infringement by Richard Mille.

  • Independent_George

    Hublot
    On my wrist
    Winding and ticking
    Mechanical music
    Pay-Day Advance

    Well-oiled leather
    Rubber and bracelets
    The scented Aspen air

    Sunlight on ceramic
    The blur of the landscape
    My financial advisor is aware.

    • DanW94

      You and Berndt absolutely killed it with these Rush tributes! Well done…

      • Berndt Norten

        My uncle has a Hublot watch
        That no one knows about
        He says it used to be allowed
        Before the Syrinx Sumptuary Laws

        On Sundays I would sneak it on
        And prance about the town…

        • Independent_George

          . . . to the hidden jeweler’s work bench
          where my white-haired uncle waits.

    • haha! This is amongst your best work 😉

      • Independent_George

        Speaking of Dan’s earlier comment, does the hippie vibe still exist in Aspen? I haven’t been there in more than 25 years, but as far back as the early 90’s, the hippie/counter-culture/Hunter Thompson vibe that existed side-by-side with the Filthy Rich was noticeably dissipating. I wonder if it’s still there, or if Aspen has gone full-on Bougie.

        • Berndt Norten

          I think that vibe is gone at Aspen.
          And the Olympics ruined Whistler.

          Revelstoke is where to go
          To get one’s stoke
          These days.

        • To be fair, this was my first time in Aspen, so I have no historical reference against which to frame it, but it’s definitely pretty fancy. There’s an interesting art and music scene that seem to echo the HST past you mentioned, but both seem to be dominated by bigger names (there’s an original Shepard Fairey mural in an alley right around the corner from the Hublot boutique) now, so it’s less of a haven for that sort of thing unless you’ve “made it” so to speak. Locals joke there’s only “five” affordable places to eat, and judging from what was available, I’d say that this probably isn’t much of a stretch.

          • Independent_George

            Jibes with what I have been told.

            It’s a shame, because Aspen in the 70’s was very free-wheeling. Backwoods marijuana growers shared chairlifts with Jane Fonda, broke ski instructors hooked up with Princess Margaret.

  • Alan Nicholson

    Excellent shout out to The Professor Berndt. The last verse says it all.

    • SuperStrapper

      About what?

      • Berndt Norten

        If he chooses
        Not to decide
        To answer you
        He still has made a choice ?

        • SuperStrapper

          I fat fingered the phone and pressed down vote by accident. I fixed the error and i feel shame. Please don’t think less of me (if possible).

          • Berndt Norten

            Are you kidding? You are one of the most knowledgeable guys on the site. Upvotes galore for you, Mr Strapper.

  • DanW94

    Bravo….

  • Berndt Norten

    See Raymond on this!?
    He has been learning to accept this for many years now!

  • Abdulaziz Almulla

    Bravo

  • I’ve never understood why this bothers people so much.

  • Pete Yo

    Did Hublot by RM? Need to line up those screw heads before anyone that is OCD would wear it. Never understood skiing. I went once and the instructor told me “the faster you go the easier it is.” Now snowmobiles, that’s the way to go!

  • Ski racers are amazing athletes indeed, but Miller is on a whole other level. Ever see his legendary run on one ski at Bormio back in 2005?
    https://youtu.be/QHxmVRXoVMA

    • Carmen Brisante

      Strength AND style! Thanks!

  • Swiss_Cheese

    It took me til the third paragraph to realize it was a chronograph, partly because I lost my glasses and partly because having no solid colour backing makes it difficult to read – even more so if you were, say, skiing down a slope going 100mph+.

    I’m all for giving it a little flair but essentially removing the dial causes some serious legibility problems. Perhaps they saved the money on dials and put it into the ‘Break Glass In Case of Lawsuit’ fund…

  • Jon Heinz

    Poor man’s RM; I love it.

  • egznyc

    Still way overpriced ;-).

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