Hublot’s ‘MP’ designation has always been a reliable indicator of mechanical audacity. Who can forget the likes of the Hublot MP-05 and its 50-day power reserve, which needed an electric screwdriver-like tool to wind in a practical manner?
The new Hublot MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde (RM656,300) is a relatively low-key entry for the collection in what was a low-key Watches & Wonders fair, but is a technical and visual statement nonetheless. Although its centrally mounted minute and hour hands seem may seem conventional at first glance, the MP-13 actually tells the time via a pair of retrograde indicators. This is the first time Hublot has created a watch with bi-retrograde indicators, allowing for space at the bottom of the dial where, as it happens, the double-axis tourbillon is found. This tourbillon is never obscured by hands thanks to the aforementioned retrograde indicators.
The MP-13 also features a cutout at its bezel to accommodate a dip in the sapphire crystal, one that affords a dramatically better view of the tourbillon—especially from a lateral angle. It is a similar concept to the MP-09 from 2017; and like the MP-09, the MP-13 has a double-axis tourbillon movement that is produced entirely in-house. Rotating every 60 seconds on one axis and 30 seconds on another, the tourbillon is also skeletonised (which helpfully reduces weight) and lacks an upper bridge. When combined with the cutout, it makes for an unparalleled view of what has always been a rather hypnotic complication.
At 44mm in diameter and 16.7mm thick, the Hublot MP-13 is a hefty proposition, but its satin-finished titanium case lessens the weight and helps with wearability. The hand-wound movement has a four-day power reserve with its own white-and-red indicator near the centre of the dial. This lengthy reserve is no mean feat given the strenuous energy requirements of tourbillons and retrograde indicators. The timepiece is equipped with a black rubber strap and limited to only 50 pieces.