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June 15, 2024

Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System Titanium: visionary watchmaking

If there is a brand whose name is synonymous with future, it is Hublot. For more than 40 years, the Nyon-based brand has had a vision of watchmaking capable of pushing the boundaries of what’s thinkable. It has proved this once again with the unveiling of the new MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System Titanium. An automatic watch without hands, dial and, most importantly, oscillating weight. The list of absences rather than presences, on a hypothetical register of traditional watchmaking, would be enough to understand what Hublot has managed to come up with once again.

Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight

HUBLOT’S MP COLLECTION

The MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System Titanium is the newest watch in Hublot’s MP collection, whose name stands for ‘Manufacture Pieces’. A niche in the brand’s portfolio that started when Jean-Claude Biver’s influence was still felt. The idea behind this collection almost configures it as if it were a kind of playground for Hublot’s engineers, who have to be able to develop limited edition watches and grand complications.

Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight

In essence, the ‘Manufacture Pieces’ watches, from a mechanical point of view, help remind enthusiasts what technical ability Hublot possesses to produce its movements in house. From the design side, on the other hand, they embody the modern creative philosophy and extreme shapes that Hublot timepieces are capable of assuming, without derogating from readability, wearability, and practicality.

Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight
Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight

A particular fact about the ‘Manufacture Pieces’ watches is that their names contain a number, assigned progressively according to when the project started. It happens, however, that Hublot completes and launches watches whose project began after others; among the three MPs currently in the collection, the newly launched MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System Titanium comes from the least recent project: the Bi-Axis Retrograde Tourbillon is in fact listed as MP-13, while the Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Sapphire bears the MP-15 label.

Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight

We wrote above about technical capability and futuristic design. Regarding this new watch, the Hublot piece that immediately comes to mind is the MP-05 LaFerrari, conceived and built when the brand was a partner of the Prancing Horse. While from an aesthetic point of view one can discern some hints referring to that ‘time machine’, in reality the mechanical heart of the MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System Titanium is something entirely different. And that’s because this ‘other thing’ works in a completely new way. A way that – as is understandable in such cases – also required a patent.

THE ENGINEERING BEHIND THE MP-10 TOURBILLON WEIGHT ENERGY SYSTEM TITANIUM

As we wrote earlier, we are dealing with an automatic watch that does not have a winding rotor but two linear masses, two blocks of white gold placed on either side of the central architecture and each arranged on its own vertical axis, along which it slides freely. Classic automatic rotational winding systems benefit from the fact that the circular motion of the oscillating mass never has a stopping point and the weight can move continuously in a circle. In contrast, masses moving along a track must stop against something that experiences wear and tear over time due to repeated impacts.

Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight

That’s why for the MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System Hublot has patented, within the new calibre HUB9013, a system – called the Weight Energy System – that cushions the masses when they stop at each end of the sliding axis. The brand developed two weights to thus increase efficiency, that is, the amount of power that can be generated. According to Hublot, the MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System equipped with this system is more efficient in generating power while on the wrist than a traditional rotor-based automatic movement.

Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight
Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight
Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight

To prevent the masses from colliding with the sides, Hublot developed a shock absorption system. These two vertical masses are hooked on a rack and can wind the movement bidirectionally – an exclusive Hublot innovation, for which a patent is pending, giving the MP-10 a power reserve of more than 48 hours.

DESIGN AND READABILITY

Essentially this is the most interesting innovation on the calibre HUB9013, which carries out a total fusion with the other parts of the timepiece. The movement is composed of 592 parts and has an inclined tourbillon with a 35-degree angle pointed toward the bottom of the watch. This horizontally mounted tourbillon is something already seen on Hublot watches, but the difference here is the 35-degree angle, which allows the wearer to see it in action more easily without having to turn the wrist sideways. The funny thing is that a complication of the highest workmanship like this skeletonized, inclined tourbillon almost comes second to the ingenious sliding winding system.

Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight

The HUB9013 movement works at 21,600 vibrations per hour and doesn’t move any hand. Instead, there are four constantly rotating displays: the hours and minutes in the upper third of the dial, combined with an invisible magnifying glass; the circular power reserve in the central third, with a very clear green zone and red zone; and the seconds in the lower third, which are indicated directly on the tourbillon cage, inclined 35 degrees in order to, as mentioned, optimize its visibility for the wearer. It is made from monobloc aluminium, suspended and inclined, and a patent application is pending for this unique mechanical configuration. The whole thing is protected by anti-reflective sapphire glass.

Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight
Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight

In this complex, sci-fi architecture it was difficult to find a conventional location for one crown, let alone two. And, indeed, they are placed in an unusual way. The first, the largest, is on the top of the timepiece and is used exclusively for manual winding. The second is a removable crown on the back of the watch, used to set the time. The case back is made of microblasted titanium and, together with the sapphire cover, forms a whole (hard to speak of a classic case, in this case) that is water-resistant to 3 atmospheres, while its dimensions are considerable: 54.1 x 41.5 mm, for a thickness of 22.4 mm.

Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight
Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight

The scratchy sportsmanship of Hublot’s MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System is complemented by the classic textured rubber strap, closed by a titanium folding clasp. To secure one of the 50 pieces in this limited edition, the investment is understandably considerable: 286,000 euros. But Hublot must be given credit for one thing: it always finds a way to outperform itself, and with this watch it has done it again. After all, let’s think about it: weren’t the Hublot MDM Geneve watches of the 1980s, with gold cases and rubber straps, as avant-garde 40 years ago as the MP-10 is today?

By Davide Passoni

Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight
Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Linear Weight