By Steve Huyton

Distant galaxies and the thought of potential planets with life forms have fascinated astronomers for centuries. It has also inspired writers and filmmakers to re-imagine certain possibilities. Ultimately this has filtered into costume design and various accessories.

Within the world of horology, several brands are conceiving futuristic creations that display time differently. Their work offer a perfect balance of innovative design and traditional mechanical watch technology. Here are five brilliant examples that have an intergalactic aesthetic.

Azimuth Land Cruiser

The Land Cruiser was developed over four years and carries the DNA of its predecessor, the SP-1 Landship. This incarnation has a much more curvaceous façade and futuristic appearance.

The Azimuth Land Cruiser

For this particular piece, Azimuth has opted for a 316L stainless steel case rather instead of a titanium case. Functionally the watch features regulator hour and retrograde minute complications. Beneath the sleek façade lies a specially modified Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with perlage finishing. This calibre comprises twenty-six jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28.800 vibrations per hour.

Gelfman IN-16 Nixie

The Gelfman IN-16 Nixie watch was officially nominated for the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2022 in the “Petite Aiguille” category. In my opinion, this watch is a brilliant example of modernistic design.

The Gelfman IN-16 Nixie

The timepiece exudes masculine proportions and has a hand-polished sculpted stainless-steel case measuring 45.9mm x 47.8mm x 20.5mm. Time is displayed on two IN-16 Nixie tubes and is programmable via a PC or Mac App. Functionally the watch features hours, minutes, date and battery percentage indications. This device also has an accelerometer with gesture recognition.

Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System

The MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System is one of the most distinctive pieces Hublot of produced to date. Incredibly, this watch required five years of fastidious research and development to create.

The Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System

With 592 individual components, two linear weights, one inclined tourbillon and a circular power reserve, this is definitely a formidable piece. What makes it so remarkable is the open-worked architectural 3-D dial that is devoid of hands. Hours, minutes, seconds and dates are presented on anodized black aluminum cylinders. Beneath the titanium micro-blasted chassis is a sophisticated self-winding inclined tourbillon movement.

MB&F Horological Machine Nº11 Architect

MB&F is synonymous for the production of exquisite timepieces, and they don’t come much finer than the Horological Machine Nº11 Architect.

The MB&F HM11 Architect

The original concept was first introduced by acclaimed designer Eric Giroud in 2018. However, it was several years before the completed version was presented to the market. By comparison, this particular timepiece is smaller than previous models released by the brand.

Nevertheless, the futuristic spaceship-style Grade-5 titanium case is designed to make a bold impression. Powering the watch is a highly complicated 29-jewel mechanical hand-winding movement that is composed of 364 individual parts.


SEVENFRIDAY is a progressive Swiss brand that has gained a solid reputation within the watch industry for its modernistic designs. Recently the brand decided to incorporate 3-D print technology into its flagship models.

Three versions of the SevenFriday FreeDb

The FreeDb is a new release that utilizes a special polyamide (PA11 & PA12) normally associated with the medical, aerospace, and racing sectors.

Its unique textural qualities give the timepiece a futuristic aesthetic. Hour, minute and second indications are displayed on domed discs.

At the heart of the watch is a Swiss automatic Sellita SW300-1 movement. This mechanism comprises 26 jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.

Steve Huyton is an industrial designer, illustrator and author who publishes Total Design Reviews

The latest entry to the Hublot Big Bang series is not so big and displays a bit less bang.

One of six debuts The new Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only collection.

The new Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only, one of many Watches and Wonders 2024 debuts from the Swiss watchmaker, takes Hublot back in time to its 1980 roots with its three-hand-and-date display within an integrated 38mm case. 

While 38mm models with similar dials can be found in the current Big Bang Original collection, all are higher-priced diamond models. (Most existing Big Bang Original models measure 41mm or 44mm in diameter.)

The existing models are all also attached to straps. The new models feature fully integrated bracelets that offer a clean, screw-free link with their case. 

The 2024 debut series maintains Big Bang’s so-called ‘ears’ on each side of the case, as well as the six H-shaped functional screws that secure the bezel. The new watches also displays time with the Big Bang’s familiar large skeleton hour hand and minute hand, each accompanied a seconds hand that is tipped with the Hublot ‘H’. And as you can see, the same even-numbered indexes mark the time on the dial.

As an added bonus, all the debuts feature soft ferromagnetic steel dials that protect the Hublot MHUB1115 automatic movement from the problematic effects of magnetic fields.

Hublot debuts the Big Bang Integrated Time Only series with six models. Two are made with a brushed titanium case and bracelet, with a black or a blue dial. The next two versions are in King Gold, also with a blue or black dial. 

Two more versions are in cased in ceramic. One is entirely navy blue with a blue dial while the other is a familiar Black Magic style (above) known to Hublot collectors. The watch’s case, bracelet and dial are black, which makes it the first Big Bang Black Magic with a 38mm diameter (with an exception within the Classic Fusion series.)

Prices: $13,100 (Titanium), $15,300 (blue ceramic and Black Magic) and $47,100 (King Gold). 

Smaller Fusion Too

We’ll have more downsizing from Hublot in future posts. These smaller new models include of the 29mm Classic Fusion Original and Classic Fusion series in various case metals, with or without diamonds.  Here’s a preview: 

Two examples of Hublot’s new Classic Fusion models available in a wide range of 29mm case metals.

Hublot teams once again with the British band Depeche Mode, launching the new Spirit of Big Bang Depeche Mode watch in support of a new album, a world tour and to raise funds for several charities.

The new the new Spirit of Big Bang Depeche Mode watch.

The new watch, a limited-edition Spirit of Big Bang 42mm tonneau-shaped black ceramic watch, depicts a skull-and-hourglass motif on its dial.

The Swiss watchmaker first partnered with the band fourteen years ago to raise awareness and funds for environmental and humanitarian causes. Since that time, the ongoing partnership has raised more than $2.3 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust and Charity:Water.

With the new watches, Hublot is assisting the band as it raises funds and awareness for Conservation Collective, a global charity that unites a network of regional philanthropic foundations working to protect, conserve and restore natural environments.

Taking a cue from the title of the new Depeche Model release called Memento Mori, Latin for ‘remember you must die’ and intended to prompt reflection on the transience of life, Hublot filled portions of the dial’s skull design with small black ceramic spheres that symbolically flow back and forth as the wrist moves.

Depeche Mode initials DM appear at the bottom of the dial while the indexes are pyramid-shaped studs made to mimic the pattern Hublot has etched the watch’s black ceramic bezel. The caseback, pictured above, offers logos of the band and of the Conservation Collective.

Hublot’s Spirit of Big Bang case measures 42 mm across and is constructed of sand-blasted and polished black ceramic. Inside Hublot fits its superb automatic HUB1710SD movement with a 50-hour power reserve.

For this model Hublot offers two straps, each interchangeable. One strap is made of Velcro and recycled materials to echo the Conservation Collective’s plastic pollution initiatives.

The second, a ‘rock and roll’ strap (pictured below), is made of black rubber with a black titanium folding clasp and the same pyramid-shaped studs seen on the bezel and dial.

Each watch in this 100-piece limited edition is shipped with a 10” vinyl single of Depeche Mode’s 2023 song Wagging Tongue. The single, produced using green energy and recycled PVC, is only available as part of this package.

Price: $34,100. 

Hublot unveils the MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System Titanium, the watchmaker’s tenth Manufacture Piece (MP) and a technical standout among a wide-ranging set of debuts for the Swiss watchmaker during LVMH Watch Week.

The new Hublot MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System Titanium.

Additional debuts include a colorful green model within Hublot’s Unico Saxem series, new yellow and light blue Orlinsky tourbillon models, two new Big Bang Integrated time-only ceramic models and a host of Spirit of Big Bang gem-set watches. 

No Hands

Continuing the avant-garde focus of the MP series, the MP-10 shows the time without hands, instead indicating hours and minutes via an aluminum roller display built directly within a linear movement.

Seconds are shown directly on the tourbillon case on the lower section of the dial. All three of these primary indicators utilize the same white lacquer typography and red triangular marker.

A fourth indicator displays the state of the watch’s 48-hour power reserve. This is shown with red and green disc.

Hublot powers the automatic movement and its 35-degree-inclined tourbillon via two linear weights, one of either side of the movement.

Hublot explains that its watchmakers have developed a patent-pending system of shock absorbers for these weights in order to wind the movement bidirectionally. 

In addition to its automatic system, the MP-10 can be wound manually by rotating the crown at 12 o’clock. The time is set using a second crown on the case-back.

Hublot notes that while the two-piece titanium case (54.1 mm by 41.5mm by 22.4mm) is relatively straight-forward, the sapphire crystal that sits on top is the watchmaker’s most complex yet as it combines inclined planes on three axes. The same applies to the integrated rubber strap, which Hublot calls “the most refined ever designed by the Manufacture.”

Price: $264,000. Hublot is offering the  MP-10 Tourbillon Weight Energy System Titanium as a limited edition of fifty watches. 

At the end of the year, it’s time to note our favorite 2023 debut watches. Starting today and through the end of the week, we’ll re-acquaint you with a few of our favorite timekeepers of the year. 

Starting today, we list our favorite watches in no particular order and from all price ranges.


Bulgari: Aluminum Chronograph

Now measuring a slightly larger 41mm in diameter, Bulgari’s Aluminum Chronograph (which won the GPHG Iconic Watch Prize in 2020) is now available in a version sporting an all-black dial, a black rubber bezel and a black rubber and aluminum bracelet. Price: $4,640.



Porsche Design: Chronograph 1 – Rennsport Reunion 7 Edition

As an enhanced edition of the famed Porsche Design Chronograph 1 from 1972, this watch retains the original’s pioneering black livery. But instead of the original’s PVD steel case, the new models are forged using a more scratch-resistant titanium carbide case. But the revived watch still enthralls with same matte black dial and 41mm case size as the original. 

For this special edition, Porsche Design engraves a ‘7’ on the strap to celebrate the seventh Porsche Rennsport Reunion. Turn the watch over to see more commemorative markings, including a platinum-colored winding rotor in the form of the RS Spyder wheel rim with a colorful Porsche Crest (used exclusively for this edition). The rotor winds the superb COSC-certified Porsche Design caliber WERK 01.140. Price: $12,500 (limited to seventy-five pieces in celebration of 75th anniversary of Porsche.) 



Oris: AquisPro 4000m 

Not only is this debut the most water-resistant diver’s watch we’ve seen from this independent Swiss manufacturer, but its also the sportiest Oris watch to include Oris Calibre 400, a superior automatic mechanical movement that boasts the aforementioned five-day power reserve, plus strong anti-magnetism and chronometric accuracy.  At 49.5mm in diameter, the watch is a wristful, but given its 4,000-meter water resistance rating, thin is out of the question. The watch’s titanium case frames an easy-to-read blue gradient dial with a seaworthy wave pattern. Oris fits a blue ceramic insert with the requisite minutes scale into the unidirectional bezel and caps off the case with a blue rubber strap. Price: $6,200.




Bulova: Oceanographer GMT

This nicely retro-styled model retains the look of the existing Bulova Oceanographer ‘Devil Diver’ models, but with a new GMT hand to account for a second time zone. Look for three models in the new collection. One combines brown and black tones with an IP-plated rose gold tone steel case and bracelet. 

A second steel-cased edition features a familiar red and blue GMT design often built into dive watches as well as a matching steel bracelet. The third Bulova Oceanographer GMT model (above) boasts a more monochrome look with a gunmetal IP-plated case and bezel set with a full luminous white dial. Prices: $1,295 (luminous dial and rubber strap) and $1,395 (steel bracelet).



Hublot: Big Bang Unico Nespresso Origin

Hublot combined two of our favorite things (coffee and watches) into one green-hued watch when the watchmaker teamed with Nespresso to create an environmentally friendly Big Bang watch made using recycled Nespresso capsules and coffee grounds.

The new Hublot Big Bang Unico Nespresso Origin is a 42mm limited edition watch with a case, crown, bezel, and pushers made from recycled aluminum. The watch’s caseback and movement container are both made from recycled titanium. In a world first, Hublot and Nespresso have transformed used coffee grounds into watch straps. Price: $24,100.



Grand Seiko: GMT Series

Grand Seiko continues to commemorate the quarter-century anniversary of its excellent Caliber 9S mechanical movement series with a new release of two GMT watches —one sporty model and one dressy edition—each powered by a specific edition of the caliber. 

Both watches feature dials that echo the skies over Mt. Iwate, in the Iwate Prefecture in Japan, where Grand Seiko hand-assembles its watches. The sportier edition (the Sport Collection GMT Caliber 9S 25th Anniversary Limited Edition SBGJ275, ) features a first for  Grand Seiko: a clear caseback on a mechanical watch with water resistance of 200 meters. 

On the front, you’ll see a sapphire blue and white rotating bezel marked to indicate three time zones. Grand Seiko fits its Hi-Beat GMT Caliber 9S86 to power the watch, providing a frequency of 36,000 vph and very stable  precision. The 2,000-piece limited edition is priced at $7,600. 

We’ll post more 2023 favorites tomorrow and through the end of this week.