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Slow day – Le Point Montres

Exit 2020. End clap, lower the curtain, final bouquet. This night ended the “worst year in history”, as the American magazine called it. Time. No doubt this statement is controversial, but still it is that between health crisis, ecological disasters, racial, economic and social tensions, few people would have liked to see this annus horribilis play extra time or slow down to make the ordeal last. On the contrary, if there had been a way to speed up the days to turn the page faster, the volunteers would certainly have been numerous. As if the future could not be anything but bright …

Hold back the night

The Hublot MP-02 Key of Time watch, unveiled in 2011, the birth year of the MP collection, was the first to offer the choice of the speed of rotation of the hands, indicated on the dial. © DR

Imagine turning the hands of a watch slower or faster to take advantage of the time that flies has all the fantasy, philosophical reflection or a physics question about relativity. A problem to which Albert Einstein gave an understandable answer: “Place your hand on a stove for a minute, and it seems to you to last an hour.” Sit an hour with a pretty girl, and it seems like a minute. This is relativity. “

Interrupting the flight of seconds has always inspired the artists, writers, poets and singers of Lamartine (” O time, suspend your flight! “) To Johnny (” Hold back the night “). But, for watchmakers, the time is the time: when it comes to designing a watch mechanism, the quest for precision is an absolute, fundamental, indisputable objective. Except when it comes to the experts who have designed the probably craziest, most magical, most poetic model in history: a piece capable of playing with time, slowing it down or speeding it up as it sees fit. .

The story of the MP-02 Key of Time

Hublot MP-02 Key of Time watch in Grade 5 titanium (2013). This angle allows the vertical tourbillon indicating the seconds to be seen through a transparent window. © DR

It was in 2011, just ten years ago, that we discovered the MP-02 Key of Time, a watch integrated into a Hublot collection born that same year and called MP (for Masterpiece). A very high-end watchmaking family comprising only limited series with exceptional movements. Produced in 50 copies, this MP-02 Key of Time equipped with a mechanical tourbillon movement with manual winding offered an incredible possibility: to modulate the speed of rotation of the hands thanks to a three-position crown. Transformed for the occasion into conjurers, the designers of this watch nevertheless explained its user manual in all simplicity: “You want to savor every second of the passing time? Choose position 1. The speed of the hands slows down and allows the time to be divided by four. A conventional time will be displayed as a quarter of an hour on the dial. Want to be on time? With the crown in position 2, the speed of the hands is normal and the time remains “standard”. Do you want to pass the time as quickly as possible? With position 3, the speed of the hands accelerates and makes it possible to multiply the time by four. A conventional quarter of an hour will then be displayed as one hour. “

Time in complete freedom

Hublot MP-12 Key of Time Skeleton watch (2015). Microblasted black PVD titanium case. Dimensions 40.20 x 40.10 mm, height 9.30 mm. HUB 9012 caliber mechanical skeleton movement. Vertical tourbillon. Power reserve 120 hours (5 days). The crown located at 3 o’clock ensures manual winding and time setting. The crown positioned at 9 o’clock lets you choose the speed of the hands: normal, four times faster or four times slower. Limited edition 20 copies. © DR

In short, with this watch, it is possible to make pleasant moments last four times longer and to reduce interesting periods by as much, while having the latitude, at any time, to return to real time by playing with the crown thanks to a real mechanical memory integrated into the movement.

First made in black DLC microblasted titanium in its initial 2011 version, the MP-02 Key of Time was to be available two years later in Grade 5 titanium or King Gold. Finally, an MP-12 Key of Time Skeleton in black PVD titanium saw the light of day in 2015 to offer tailor-made time in complete transparency, thanks to a skeleton movement and a sapphire dial.

A Big Bang Red Magic Masterpiece

Hublot MP-11 Big Bang Red Magic watch (2020). Polished bright red ceramic case and bezel. Diameter 45 mm. Mechanical movement with manual winding caliber HUB9011 skeletonized. The 14-day power reserve is provided by seven barrels visible on the dial side. Water resistant to 30 meters. Rubber strap. Limited edition 100 copies. © DR

Every year since 2011, Hublot has unveiled “masterpieces” cultivating the riches of fine watchmaking. A year ago, in January 2020, an MP-11 Big Bang Red Magic carried the colors of the collection high. A bright red ceramic watch with a colossal 14-day power reserve provided by seven barrels visible on the dial side. What will the 2021 vintage Masterpiece be? The mystery remains intact and we find ourselves wanting to accelerate time to lift the veil without delay. Unless, on the contrary, you slow it down in order to savor this first day of the year intensely …

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