Originally introduced in 2011, the Hublot MP series is where the Nyon-based brand turns to flex its manufacturing muscles. Both from an aesthetic and technological perspective, Hublot’s various MP models represent some of the most advanced, impressive, and “out there” designs that the brand has ever put forward. Over the years, there have been a number of different Hublot MP models (twelve to be exact), and the MP-09 is the most recently updated iteration, with new colors of the 3D carbon fiber variant released earlier this year at LVMH Watch Week. Now, as part of its latest batch of new releases unveiled at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023, a thirteenth MP model has been added to the catalog, the Hublot MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde features a bold titanium case that houses a new manufacture movement with a dual-axis tourbillon, a power reserve indicator, and a bi-retrograde display for both the hours and minutes.
Crafted from brushed titanium with a black-finished center section, the case of the Hublot MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde (ref. 913.NX.1170.RX) measures 44mm in diameter by 16.7mm thick, and while it represents an entirely new case, it also offers a familiar profile that visually connects it to the rest of Hublot’s modern lineup. While the bezel still features the Big Bang collection’s signature exposed screw design, the 6 o’clock side curves into an opening that surrounds the asymmetric three-dimensional sapphire crystal that extends to create a two-sided display window for the bi-axis tourbillon at the bottom of the display (similar to what can be found on the existing MP-09 series). The reverse side of the case gets closed up by a screw-on display caseback, while a signed winging crown at the 3 o’clock location offers access to the movement, and just like many other high-concept Hublot models, water resistance for the new MP-13 comes in at 30 meters to protect against daily moisture exposure and incidental contact. Additionally, just like the various Hublot Big Bang watches, the case of the new MP-13 features an integrated lug design that connects to a rubber strap with a matching titanium deployant buckle.
Although a significant portion of the face of the new Hublot MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde is open-worked in order to showcase its advanced manufacture movement, its power reserve indicator and bi-retrograde display are prominently displayed on the dial of the watch. The dual-retrograde displays for the time appear as two arcs along the periphery of the dial with the minutes on the outermost scale and the hours positioned directly inside of it. A pair of centrally-mounted skeletonized hands point out the current time against the two scales, while an off-center power reserve indicator occupies the upper half of the display and adds a small red highlight to the dial of the watch. Extending from the lower half of the face is the bi-axis tourbillon, which is proudly displayed through the curved asymmetric crystal and mounted without an upper bridge in order to permit an unobstructed view of its dual-axis rotation.
Powering the Hublot MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde is the new HUB6200 manufacture movement. Consisting of 374 components, the Hublot HUB6200 is a 44-jewel, manual-wind caliber that runs at a frequency of 21,600vph (3 Hz), while offering users a 4-day power reserve (approximately 96 hours). The bi-axis tourbillon on the lower half of the dial makes one full rotation every minute along one of its axes, and another rotation every thirty seconds along the other. Meanwhile, the space surrounding the tourbillon has been opened up to give it a floating appearance as it moves inside the case. Furthermore, while the minute hand steadily moves from one value to the next, the hour hand instantly jumps when it changes, which increases the overall legibility of the display. Additionally, to facilitate the setting process, the crown on the MP-13 only has a single setting position, and advancing the minutes also automatically moves the hours forward. Similarly, Hublot has also designed the movement to only be set in one direction, which prevents the accidental damage that can occur on other retrograde watches when they are inadvertently set backward.
Due to the fact that they represent some of Hublot’s most advanced offerings, all of the MP models are positioned towards the top end of the brand’s catalog, and the new MP-13 is no exception. With an official retail price of $158,000 USD, the new Hublot MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde is undeniably a rather pricey timepiece, although it is still quite a bit less expensive than the 3D Carbon version of the MP-09. Additionally, just like all Hublot MP models, the new MP-13 will be produced as a small-batch limited edition, and only 50 numbered pieces will be available. That said, in much the same way that there have been multiple different versions of the MP-09 produced over the years, I wouldn’t be surprised to see other versions of the Hublot MP-13 eventually released in different colors and materials. For more information on the Hublot MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde, please visit the brand’s website.