Hublot has always created a place to shape the future of watchmaking. Pretty easy to identify from across the room courtesy of its signature models, including the Big Bang, its iconic shaped cases reflect the ‘Art of Fusion’ a concept that has made Hublot one of the most innovative brands in the watchmaking market. And its latest timepiece is a true testament to that.
Fusing the worlds of high-end watchmaking and gastronomy, Hublot’s gastronomic adventure began in 2017 with Andreas Caminada. Since then, Hublot has gone on to partner with seven other Michelin-starred chefs and now, the brand is doubling down on its investment in the culinary space with the latest iteration of its legendary Big Bang Unico made of Damascus steel. Among the different materials used to shape these knives, Damascus steel is the most iconic, and it is now reflected in the Big Bang Unico Gourmet in a limited edition of 200 pieces.
Available in a 42mm watch housing Hublot’s HUB1280 Unico Manufacture self-winding chronograph movement, the brand has also added a textile strap cut from the fabric of cooking aprons secured with a practical Velcro fastener.
“At Hublot, we love high gastronomy, we love people who convey their savoir faire and their signature onto their dishes, those who know how to fuse ingredients to make them unique while staying authentic This dinner is so much more than a Michelin-starred dinner, more than symbolic, it is a pivotal moment in the history of Hublot gastronomy that sees two of the greatest chefs in the world come together to create one menu,” said Ricardo Guadalup, CEO of Hublot. “A moment which we mark with the unique imprint of Damascus steel, this legendary steel that is also the greatest ally of chefs, from their kitchen knives to, from today, their wrists.”
To celebrate the new timepiece, Hublot celebrated in the only way that seemed fitting. The watchmaking house hosted a private Michelin-star dinner in Paris for 100 lucky guests. In the kitchen were chefs Anne-Sophie Pic, the most decorated woman Michelin-starred chef in the world and a Hublot ambassador since 2021, and Yannick Alléno, a French chef with a career total of six Michelin stars and Hublot ambassador since 2018. Luckily, we were in attendance to witness the grand reveal and to Chef Yannick about this milestone moment.
You are a pillar in French gastronomy. What is your signature dish to begin with?
I can perhaps talk about my signature philosophy and since 2017, I created new sauces, and everything is based on that philosophy. Everything in gastronomy is made with sauces as it is the seasoning of the dish. The sauce is the verb in French cuisine. You need a verb to make a story, and sauce is the verb. You have it in the past, in the future and now. I love sauces, and I created a new way of making them. Meaning I cook at the perfect time with the right temperature and add the elements one by one. These elements give the taste to the liquids. At the beginning of human history, you have to consider that sauce is the pillar of cuisine. If you want to move towards making modern cuisine, you have to work on the sauces.
What is the most exciting culinary fusion you’ve come across?
French cuisine. France is in the middle of Europe so they have the ability to attract from foreign cultures. Fusion is in our culture.
Speaking about fusion, how would you describe Hublot’s exclusive ‘Art of Fusion’ signature?
What I like about the Hublot brand is the way that they look at life. The watches are done for different elements, and they try to be in that element – it’s never the same philosophy. The technology is fantastic. For men, it’s like jewellery you can wear.
In your opinion, what’s the link between gastronomy and watchmaking?
The link is the time. I wrote a book about time and how everything must change, and you must have a different approach to food. We can observe that everything was super-fast in the past years, and I think we need to go back and not necessarily slow down, but we need to be sure that we are doing things the right way, for everything. This is a philosophy you need to have. You need to have the view to act, and when you act on something, you need to feel, see and learn. The idea is to change the sequencing of the act and the time.
To start with time, how did your relationship with Hublot begin?
A long time ago, with Jean-Claude Biver, in Italy, and around the white truffle (laughs). This conversation around Hublot brought us to pleasure.
Can you tell us about the Damascus Steel?
That kind of metal is fantastic. In the mind of the way you make it, it’s the strongest metal. They use heat to compress it together and you can find it very deep in history. It’s the best knife you can buy for life and the watch is the same. It’s durable, it’s strong. It also gives you possibilities. It’s a fantastic design from nature and it’s very durable.
What is the essence of time in gastronomy?
For us, it’s all about the time. You need time to make the sauce, time to think, time to roast and to dance with the fire (laughs). Time is everything.
Do you think that Dubai is a city of culinary experiences?
Yes, I think it’s true. We got two stars in Dubai but if you compare the future of time, Dubai can be, in history, the way that France grew in terms of food. Because we spoke about France being in the middle of Europe. Today, Dubai is in the middle of the world. The entire world comes through Dubai and everyone is coming with their own cultures and experiences. When you have to share these experiences in the kitchen, there’s a melting pot of cultures and generations. I believe they will have “Dubai Cuisine” made by the cultures that are around. I think we will measure it in the future.
To discover more about Hublot’s Big Bang Unico Gourmet, head to Hublot.com.