The story behind the Hublot Antikythera – A watch 2000 years in the making.

1

Hublot may be one of the new kids on the block when compared to other watchmaking brands yet the impact they have made since Carlo Crocco founded the Swiss enterprise in 1980 should be heralded as a monumental achievement. Hublot hit the ground running making large profits within the first year and the rest is history. Today the brand is instantly recognisable and synonymous with innovative watchmaking designs and luxury (Hublot currently make the world’s most expensive watch, the $5 million). This is obviously the top end of the scale and despite many of their watches carrying a premium price, they fully justify it as the company make beautifully innovative extremely high end complications through a process of non-compromise construction. One Hublot watch which perfectly displays this spirit of design perfection, creativity and high quality is the Hublot Antikythera, a watch which is as audacious in concept as it is in looks.

2

The inspiration behind the Antikythera watch.

The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient astronomical calculator created in Greece roughly around the 2nd century BC. The device was found in Greek waters around 1900-1901 from an ancient shipwreck near the Greek Island of Antikythera. The importance of the find was not fully understood until nearly a century later when scientists were able to analyse it with modern X-ray technology. The mechanism is truly a one of a kind and pre-dates similarly constructed European devices by roughly 1600 years and it is believed that the device was made to predict solar and lunar eclipses by the ancient Greeks. As one of the world’s oldest known geared devices it has a special place in history and currently resides at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens where it is often put on public display.

3

Hublot homage and the construction of an Antikythera wristwatch.

 

The challenge for Hublot was to recreate something which had been made by ancient engineers on a much smaller scale while keeping the function of the mechanism the same. Hublot Director of Research Mathias Buttler says that the challenge was to “recreate the antique object in a contemporary form”, a task which proved to be more challenging than previously anticipated.

"The team's first task was to create in a few cubic centimetres what the mechanical engineers of antiquity had developed over several hundreds of cubic centimetres, ensuring that their creation was perfectly in keeping with the spirit of the original mechanism". – Hublot Spokesperson

Video: Hublot explain why and how they made the Antikythera Watch.

The watch is a one of a kind concept piece and is on permanent display at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris as part of a larger exhibition dedicated to the now legendary Antikythera mechanism. While we aren’t quite lucky enough to have this watch at Winsor Bishop we have a fantastic range of Hublot watches for men and women which you can view online or at our Norwich based store. Just like the Antikythera are more than just fashion, they are a symbol of timeless luxury and creative fusion.