Samuel Ross and Hublot Explore the Future of Form in a New Big Bang Tourbillon
The latest Big Bang Tourbillon marks the first watch collaboration between Hublot and Samuel Ross, winner of the 2019 Hublot Design Competition and brand ambassador since 2020.
The new Big Bang Tourbillon Samuel Ross is a reinterpretation of REFORM – the 40cm sculpture that Ross created to celebrate the occasion of him becoming a Hublot ambassador. The sculpture encapsulates 40 years of Hublot, by fusing granite with steel. The result is a meeting of an ancient, organic material with a modern, manmade one. In doing so, Ross is creating his own “Fusion”, by uniting past and present in a production process that involves both traditional hand-finishing and cutting-edge machining.
This deceptively simple industrial artwork is reinterpreted in the new 44mm Big Bang Tourbillon Samuel Ross. His signature use of colour, stark geometry, urban design come together in an innovative and precise form.
“It’s the first product developed for the wrist I have worked on. The process is quite different, blending the tension between the exceptional artisans who have dedicated decades of their lives to mastering stone and mechanical placements at a [microscopic] scale, and the lucidity of the zeitgeist, the design generation of the future.”
Ross describes his relationship with Hublot as “organic and pure – never once has it been a forced dialogue.”
“The shared understanding of industrial design, material innovation, and product disruption is a common goal and aspiration.”
The starting point of the design for the Big Bang Tourbillon Samuel Ross is the “notion of movement”. Looking to “capture the beauty of engineering”, the design process started with “lucid sketches and references tied to movement, time, motion.”
Ross described the creative process behind the collaboration as a “shared marathon”. “Designers are designers. We have an opinion on all matters. [The] exchange between Hublot’s design team and I became a dance of sorts.”
“Parity ran throughout the process. It is a collaboration in the truest of terms.”
“A Raw, Industrial, Beauty”
This new eponymous Big Bang Tourbillon combines Ross’s signature use of colour, love of stark geometry and urban design. According to Ross, the orange hue with a slightly darker and richer tone than safety orange, represents energy and optimism. “Its tone [is] found across all caches of society, and as such it represents a layer of modern visual communication.”
“Orange represents a signal, a fleck of awareness. There’s a communicative value I often rift between – it represents the body at times, offering a sentient value to the form it is applied to… it is living.”
The titanium honeycomb mesh on sapphire dial is a stark contrast against the intensity of the orange hue, and visually represents the functionality of the watch. It also reflects the distinctive, stylised hexagon of the Big Bang case. The custom watch band uses new polymers developed especially for the occasion, incorporates hexagon-shaped perforations for lightness and breathability. The result is a piece of art that brings new perspective to watchmaking.
“My focus within the market sector is the future prospects of form and experimentation. Legacy watches I have a deep love for, though the sector is completed. We need innovation, new perspectives, new forms.”
The Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Samuel Ross is a limited edition of 50 pieces. The 44mm satin-polished case has 300m water resistance and houses the Manufacture HUB6035 self-winding micro-rotor skeleton tourbillon movement. Consisting of 282 components and 26 jewels, it beats at a frequency of 3Hz and has a 72 power reserve. It comes on a smooth orange perforated strap and titanium deployant buckle.