As an industry leader in cutting-edge case materials, Hublot frequently uses colored ceramic and sapphire in the construction of its watches, and I struggle to think of more than a handful of manufacturers that can even come close to rivaling its diverse cornucopia of colors. Among its latest releases unveiled this year at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2024 is the Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Water Blue Sapphire, which expands upon the brand’s MP-11 series and its impressive 14-day power reserve by introducing an entirely new color of sapphire to the brand’s modern catalog.

The TLDR on the new Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Water Blue Sapphire (ref. 911.JL.0129.RX) is that we now have a light blue version of the original clear sapphire model that originally debuted back in 2018. Largely spearheaded by the hype surrounding Tiffany & Co., light blue has been having a bit of a moment for the last few years, and we have seen various hues of pale blue featured on a wide variety of different timepieces. This is hardly the first time that Hublot has experimented with lighter shades of blue, and we have seen similar hues featured on watches that are constructed using everything from carbon fiber to ceramic. However, this latest release for 2024 represents the first time that we have seen a sapphire Hublot watch in this highly popular colorway, and the fully transparent light blue case of the Big Bang MP-11 Water Blue Sapphire offers a unique appearance that separates it from all of the other sapphire models in the brand’s current catalog.

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Aside from its light blue colorway, the new Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Water Blue Sapphire is largely identical to the original clear sapphire version, which means that its case measures 45mm in diameter by 14.4mm thick with clear sapphire crystals fitted to both the bezel and caseback to provide an unobstructed view of its movement’s intricate mechanics. Just as before, water resistance comes in at 30 meters to protect against incidental contact, and rather than having a flat upper profile like other Big Bang watches, the new Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Water Blue Sapphire has the MP-11 series’ signature cylindrical bulge protruding from the bezel and crystal to accommodate the seven perpendicularly oriented mainspring barrels that provide the model with its rather impressive two-week power reserve.

Just like other MP-11 watches, the new Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Water Blue Sapphire doesn’t feature any type of dial, aside from a small ring located on the upper half of its display, which contains a pair of hands that track the hours and minutes. Located behind the time-displaying dial on the upper half of the display are the balance wheel and helical worm gear, which act as a transmission system for transferring the power from the mainspring barrels to the rest of the movement. Meanwhile, occupying the entire lower half of the display and proudly showcased through the bulge in the front crystal are the seven transversely mounted mainspring barrels, with a digital display of the power reserve appearing on the far left-hand side of the barrel assembly.

Since the new Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Water Blue Sapphire is mechanically identical to the original clear sapphire model from 2018, it is powered by the same manufacture Caliber HUB9011 manual-wind movement, which features a silicon escapement and runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a generous 14-day power reserve (approximately 336 hours). The impressive duration of autonomy is achieved with the seven series-coupled mainspring barrels that are mounted at a 90-degree angle perpendicular to the movement, and winding the mainsprings can either be carried out directly through the crown at 3 o’clock, or by using Hublot’s electric Torx stylus, which is a dedicated winding tool that the brand supplies with its extended power reserve watches.

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Just like other models from the current Big Bang collection, the new Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Water Blue Sapphire features the brand’s One-Click strap changing system, which allows users to disconnect the strap and clip in a new one by simply pressing the two trapezoid-shaped buttons that are located on the top surfaces of the integrated lugs. To maintain the signature light blue appearance of the watch, its lugs are fitted with a two-piece rubber strap that is constructed from Water Blue transparent rubber, and the strap is completed by a titanium deployant buckle with the engraved Hublot name finished in light blue to match the rest of the strap and case.

Novel case materials are often accompanied by equally novel prices, and while the standard clear sapphire version of the MP-11 is already a six-figure watch, the new Water Blue Sapphire version is significantly more expensive. With an official retail price of $171,000 USD and production limited to 50 examples, the new Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Water Blue Sapphire ref. 911.JL.0129.RX is the single most expensive model from the current MP-11 collection, and it costs a whopping $50k more than what the brand is currently charging for the original clear sapphire model. At the present time, Water Blue Sapphire is a completely new addition to Hublot’s catalog, and it can only be found on this latest rendition of the MP-11. With that in mind, I would be shocked if this novel color didn’t eventually make its way to other flagship models from Hublot’s various collections, and it will be interesting to see which sapphire watch gets the Water Blue treatment next. For more information on the Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Water Blue Sapphire, please visit the brand’s website.

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