In association with the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, Hublot unveils a diver's watch able to withstand the pressure exerted at a depth of 4,000 metres.
It is a symbolic watch. The 4000 m watch. A watch developed for pushing the limits of what is rational and possible. It has taken 18 months of research, development and testing to present, today, the Oceanographic 4000, a watch which can be worn on dives to depths of 4,000 metres, under extreme pressure - an exceptional technical achievement.
For the first time, the famous Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, with the Institut Océanographique Fondation Albert 1st Prince de Monaco - names renowned throughout the world in the fields of marine studies, research and conservation - has agreed to be associated with a watch. Quite some symbol.
Thus, on 6 June 2011, in the main aquarium in Monaco dedicated to the preservation of specimens of marine animals, the "Oceanographic 4000" has been officially unveiled in the presence of HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Robert Calcagno, CEO of Oceanographic Institute, Sir Alex Ferguson and Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot.
By choosing to support the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, Hublot has decided not only to honour the history and unique heritage of the prestigious Monaco institution, but has also chosen to give its active support to the study and preservation of the oceans by making a financial contribution to the missions and scientific surveys conducted by the Institute. The first official meeting of the partnership will be the "DEEP SEA Conference"to be held on October 13 at the Oceanographic Institute of Paris.Hublot will be the main partner.
A genuine instrument with technology developed to the extreme, ergonomics for efficiency and ease of handling, this watch was conceived and designed to push the limits of the possible.
Almost all the features of the Oceanographic 4000 are exceptional, in terms of design, development and manufacturing. To be described as a "montre de plongée" (diver's watch), resistant to the pressure exerted at the record depth of 4,000 metres, the watch had to meet the exacting specifications of the international standards of Swiss watchmaking (NIHS).
Starting with its seal, tested by Hublot in a Roxer tank, submerged and pressurised to the equivalent of 5,000 metres. To ensure the watertightness of the watch and to resist this extreme pressure, the synthetic sapphire crystal is 6.5 thick.This is thicker than normal, but is reasonable for this level of resistance.The case back is screw-down, a sine qua non for reaching such depths. It is made of grade 2 titanium, an extremely strong stainless material.
As its case is made of titanium or, in its other, All Black version, carbon fibre (both materials chosen for their extreme lightness and technical features appropriate for the specifications), the Oceanographic 4000 is still light on the wrist - although its diameter of 48 mm and its volume are substantial.
From the brightness standpoint, the time and elapsed time measured by the flange must be legible from a distance of 25 cm in the dark. To meet this requirement, the dial, the flange and the hands of the Oceanographic 4000 have been optimised to have a larger surface area treated with SuperLuminova™, a luminescent material emitting a green colour in the titanium version.
The reading method has been made as safe as possible, using an internal rotating flange which is unidirectional and rack-driven, with a dive time indicator. The dive time indicator being placed as close as possible to the dial minimises the risk of inadvertently altering the dive time. It also makes the dive time easier to read. In accordance with the standard, the Oceanographic 4000 has a minute scale on which the five-minute periods are clearly highlighted.
The watch is fitted with two screw-down crowns (a protective measure that helps ensure water resistance by compression of an O-ring seal).The flange crown which sets the dive time is placed at the 2 o'clock position for easy access and more comfortable use.It is unidirectional, again for safety reasons, with a bayonet fitting and protected by an oversized crown guard, for extra safety and easy operation when handling diving equipment. The second crown, for winding and setting the time and date, is positioned at 4 o'clock to avoid obstruction.
Finally, the Oceanographic 4000 has a helium valve, a feature essential to any diving watch capable of descending to great depths.An essential feature when the watch is used in diving chambers, the helium valve allows gases that have infiltrated the watch during the descent to safely escape during the ascent. The valve fitted to the Oceanographic 4000 is made of stainless steel, positioned at 10 o'clock, visible from the left-hand side lug.
The watch comes with two tongue and buckle straps ("Town" & "Diver"). This type of fastening is more secure than a folding clasp for this type of use, and is also easier to handle and close when using gloves. Note that the design of this buckle is original (because the use of a tongue is rare in the normal Hublot collections) and that its method of attachment to the case is even more so with two small push buttons built into each end of the case to allow the strap to be changed instantly without the use of a screwdriver or any other accessory.The "Town" strap is in black rubber. The "Diver" strap, a blend of rubber and nylon, longer than a standard strap, has been developed to be worn over a diving suit up to 8 mm thick.
The Oceanographic 4000 has been designed to meet the most demanding requirements of both professional divers and watch enthusiasts. It will enter the history of diving watches which have become legendary.