WWD Digital Daily

Samuel Ross Wanted Minimalism And Movement for Hublot Collab

● The 50-piece limited edition will be launched on Wednesday in New York.


Samuel Ross is back at Hublot with another work of art — a wrist-sized one this time.

After winning the watchmaker's Design Prize in 2019 and becoming one of its ambassador­s in 2020, the British designer has turned his hand to watch design with a special edition of Hublot's Big Bang Tourbillon.

“It started as abstract then we started to pair the ideas slowly until we landed on something which felt right, coherent and also very directiona­l. I'm not interested in standardiz­ed designs,” said Ross, who still considers himself “first and foremost an industrial product designer” despite his success in fashion.

Hence his admiration for Hublot's focus “not just on complicati­ons but the way in which material and color are brought into product,” he noted.

Bringing his vision to life was nonetheles­s a complex process, even by the watchmaker's daring yardstick. Early concepts looked at paring back the casing, reducing the crown or looking at a finer composite, Ross explained.

“We were removing total movements from the interior, working on how to get this clinical, light approach, [not only for aesthetics' sake] but also to give the movement space to breathe,” he continued.

Cutting away elements eventually snowballed to embarking a tourbillon-equipped movement, rather than the initially planned Unico one that usually equips the Big Bang range.

“It was this perfect balance of a minimalist­ic design and the precise intensitie­s that go into making such a movement,” he said, pointing out that functional­ity- driven pragmatism attached to industrial design as the guiding principle in approachin­g the project.

The final design distills the stylized hexagon shape of the Big Bang case throughout the timepiece as a titanium honeycomb mesh that appears on the sapphire dial, entire case and strap, all of which make for a sportier direction for Hublot's flagship model.

Ross described the electric orange hue, softer beveled corners of the band and the overarchin­g “idea of lightness, movement and breathabil­ity” as “linking back to movement, sports and accelerati­on — a direct throughlin­e with what [he does] in sportswear.”

Having a limited run of only 50 is another facet that reflects the ideals of the collaborat­ion more than any other limitation. “If [the market] was to be saturated [with this item], we lose the core principles of the partnershi­p, which is to build in value, to have an opinion. But not for that opinion [to become] a wide, sluggish, flattish commercial vehicle,” the designer said.

“This is not going to be a first watch purchase for anyone buying a watch.

With that in mind, it opens a lot more opportunit­ies to be directiona­l in shape, tone, form and weight,” said Ross, who found creating a direct rapport with an audience he described as appreciati­ve of fine objects “quite liberating.”

“What is so special about this collaborat­ion is the direct interactio­n between design and object, ideas and form,” stated Hublot chief executive officer Roberto Guadalupe, who applauded Ross' 360-degree approach to the project, from watch to visual identity.

Cue the reveal of the watch on Wednesday, which Ross intended as “a many-layered installati­on that we're descending upon New York” with a takeover of the brand's store, projection­s on buildings and a flyposting campaign across the city featuring the works of creatives in Ross' orbit such as filmmakers Gabriel Moses and Bafic.

“We've just known each other for years, so to have an almost artistic school of friends to work closely with on such an endeavor just means more. It's not just great, but it's also culturally succinct and reflective of the time,” Ross said.

 ?? ?? The Hublot watch designed by A-Cold-Wall's Samuel Ross.
The Hublot watch designed by A-Cold-Wall's Samuel Ross.
 ?? ?? Samuel Ross wearing the limited-edition timepiece.
Samuel Ross wearing the limited-edition timepiece.

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