Last year, Hublot created a groundbreaking and ultra-complex horological movement called “Tribute to the Antikythera Mechanism”, honoring the first astronomical calculator and one of the most mysterious objects in history. At the Baselworld 2013, we had a chance to see a simplified and miniaturized version of this stunning mechanism, housed inside a new Antikythera MP-8 SunMoon watch. Created in the limited series of just 20 pieces, the brand’s newest masterpiece features highly precise Sun and Moon indications. Its mechanism built of 295 components provides 7 complications and although it is a significant reduction when compared to 495 components and 14 functions of the brand’s last year’s creation, we have to be amazed with this unique watch.
First, there is a brief introduction of the Antikythera mechanism. This mysterious object form the 2nd century BC (sometime between 150 and 100 BC.) was rediscovered in Greek waters in 1901 to be later exhibited at the prestigious National Archaeological Museum of Athens, along with other original remains of the ship, as well as with the “Tribute to the Antikythera Mechanism”, a great miniature replica of the original, entirely constructed by Hublot’s engineers and craftsmen in the non-commercial series of four pieces. By adding to this hour and minutes indication, as well as a tourbillon escapement system, the Swiss watchmaker created an amazing wristwatch mechanism which was selected among the Top 10 Complicated Watches at the last year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
This year, Hublot comes with the commercial limited edition of 20 pieces, which are simplified versions of the Antikythera, but still highly impressive considering their horological value. Along with the basic timekeeping performances and a flying tourbillon complication, the Antikythera Masterpiece MP-8 SunMoon watch features both solar and lunar calendars, as well as an indication that precisely displays the sidereal position of the Sun and the Moon as they are seen from the Earth.
In other words, besides the Moon-phase indication, this high-end mechanism showcases the present shape of the Moon, names of the constellations behind the Moon and the Sun, as well as accurate periods of time necessary for them to pass through a constellation. All of the indications are located on the dial side, while the 2012 “Tribute to the Antikythera Mechanism” displays various features on its both sides.
The HUB9008 hand-winding flying tourbillon movement enables that each minute finishes one rotation, oscillates at the frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz) and ensures a superb power-reserve of 120 hours (5 days). Its plate bridges are crafted in bevelled brass with a drawn edge and a black ruthenium surface treatment. The wheels are circular-grained, bevelled and rhodium-plated. There are two winding crowns, one located at the 3 o’clock position for winding a mainspring and time setting and another one, at the 9 o’clock position, for scrolling through the lunisolar calendar in both directions.
A distinctive square case is made of microblasted titanium, featuring a beautiful combination of satin and polished finishes. It incorporates a circular satin finished and polished bezel, fixed with 4 H-shaped titanium screws. Covered with anti-reflective sapphire crystal, an open-worked, multilayered dial features the combination of opalin and black colors. Opalin color hands are covered with black luminescent material, while sun and moon hands are gold-plated and satin-finished. Finally, this watch is available with a black alligator strap.