Friday, December 9, 2016

The most practical and elegant bezel locking device EVER: The Hublot Super Professional

***A True Bargain

After Hublot spent over 3 years developing the world’s first natural rubber watch strap, when it debuted at the 1980 Basel Watch Fair it didn’t attract a single customer. Rubber wasn’t cool; it didn’t seem elegant enough for the discerning collector who was ‘strapped up’ by leather during the week and a metal bracelet on the weekend. When considering just how functional a material rubber is, it seems rather ridiculous that it hadn’t caught on earlier. 
But once it finally did catch on it quickly proved a huge success. So successful in fact, that almost every other brand now emulates it - it just works.

Hublot has now become an industry behemoth owing to its clever utilisation of unique rubber straps with a range of different case materials. Nowadays, the cheapest Hublot will set you back around $15K.

The Hublot Super Professional that we’re highlighting today, first released in 2003, is a piece that fits into one of Hublot’s key transitional periods. The very next year Carl Crocco, the brand’s founder, named a new CEO who upended the company, moving on from its previous models to the bigger and louder (for lack of a better word) watches that we see today.

The Super Professional is as close to ‘vintage’ Hublots (if you’ll allow me to call a watch from the 1980’s vintage) as you’ll find. It’s a diver’s version of the very first, more dressier, Hublot (pictured below). It’s the perfect accompaniment for a person who leads an active life. 

Of Hublot’s current collection, only the ‘classic fusion’ range comes close in style, but they no longer feature the characteristic bezel locking system found on Hublot’s early offerings - a system that other brands could only wish they had!

Left: The very first Hublot watch, Right: The featured Hublot Super Professional

A shame, I think, as it both looks good and serves a very practical purpose; it’s a key part of what gives the watch its superb water resistance rating at over 450 meters (1500 feet).

On the Hublot watch we’re offering today, the strap is still full length and has never been adjusted. It has as a very supple, almost leathery feel to it. It’s not your average rubber strap. The unique properties of the natural rubber mean that it appears to regenerate on daily contact with the skin. As well, it’s far lighter than any other rubber strap I’ve encountered.

The MDM on the dial is another nice touch that further ties the Super Professional to its early history. Before Hublot became an entity in and of itself, Carlo Crocco formed a company known as MDM Geneva which was to produce a watch known as the ‘Hublot’ (French for porthole). The watch was so popular that the company eventually adopted the watch's namesake.

At $4399, this watch is an affordable entry into the Hublot brand that will stand out from the crowd. Considering that this watch was produced in 2003, it may very well be one of the last remaining Super Professional’s in mint condition. This is the type of watch that we’ll never encounter again.

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Happy collecting,

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