How boring the watch industry would be without Hublot's charismatic Jean-Claude Biver. He is simply unstoppable. His knack for forming business partnerships where previously there were none ensures that his list of "friends in high places" continues to grow and grow - which must leave the CEOs of other brands more than a little perplexed. For Hublot's latest release, the Oceanographic 4000, the brand form an alliance with the prestigious Oceanographic Museum in Monaco ( - ingenius!) and the watch is, of course no ordinary diver's watch. It is capable of withstanding the pressures of a recorded depth of 4000 metres. And it's quiet a looker.
At such depths, as you can imagine it is all about survival, so for a wristwatch to cope with such conditions without imploding required substantial research and development and the addition of a few safety features. The seal has been tested to 5000 metres and it passed. The sapphire has a thicknesss of 6.5mm. The screw-down case back is made from super strong grade 2 titanium. On the case side are two screw-down crowns. At 2 o'clock is a unidirectional crown to set the dive time protected by an oversized guard which is not only a life saving feature, but is also quite swanky too. The other crown at 4 o'clock is used for winding and setting the date and the time. Both are perfectly positioned for ease of use. To alleviate the watch equivalent of "the bends", a stainless steel helium valve is positioned at 10 o'clock just out of shot on these images.
High readability is ensured. Everything that you need to see has a liberal coating of SuperLuminova including the internal rotating flange which counts down the dive time. Otherwise the dial is uncluttered, clean and clear.
At 48mm it's big and chunky, but it's not unwieldy thanks to super-light case construction. Two versions are available, titanium case edition limited to 1000 pieces and All Black carbon fibre edition, limited to 500 pieces. Inside is the automatic winding HUB 1401 movement with power reserve of 42 hours.
The King Power 48mm Oceanographic 4000 comes with two lengthened tongue and buckle straps, a style rare for Hublot, but more manageable while wearing diving gloves.