Hublot and Depeche Mode’s New All-Black Collaboration Watch packs a Macabre—but Ultimately Positive—Message

The Spirit of Big Bang Depeche Mode is limited to 100 pieces

We met up with the band, Hublot and the green charity the piece will benefit at the watch’s launch in Berlin. 

All you ever wanted, all you ever needed—from a watch? Depeche Mode—four and a half decades, more than 100 million record sales worldwide and one Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction after they formed in Essex, UK in 1980—have teamed up with Hublot again, to create to a new riff on the Spirit of Big Bang.

Citation Longitude
Citation Longitude

The new timepiece offers a nod to the band’s latest album, Memento Mori. This is a Latin phrase meaning “be mindful of death”, but the message, as founding member Martin Gore told Robb Report at the timepiece’s launch in Berlin, is ultimately a positive one—albeit one born of tragedy. “Just before we started making the record, Andy[Fletcher], our bandmate, died,” he says. “And I started using the approach of not letting the small stuff get in the way. I think ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ is a really good approach to life, really.”

The Spirit of Big Bang Depeche Mode

Limited to 100 pieces, the all-black Spirit of Big Bang Depeche Mode has a 42 mm tonneau-shaped ceramic case whose ceramic bezel is given a rock and roll edge by pyramid studs around the bezel. Dominating the black-plated dial are a skull emblem and an hourglass shape, containing tiny black ceramic spheres that flow back and forth with wrist movement, to symbolise the passing of time. Indeed, 

The automatic movement, HUB1710 caliber—visible through the exhibition caseback—offers a 50-hour power reserve. Owners can choose between a black rubber strap with more of those pyramid studs or a more understated option in recycled fabric.

Since Hublot and Depeche Mode first came together 14 years ago, the partnership—which stemmed from a chance meeting between Gore and then Hublot MD Jean-Claude Biver in Prague—has raised over £1.8million for the Teenage Cancer Trust and charity:water

This particular timepiece will raise funds and awareness for Conservation Collective—a network of locally focused environment foundations which, according to founder Ben Goldsmith (brother of Zac), “make it possible and easy for individuals, for brands, for bands, for companies to provide money and time towards fixing the greatest issue of our time, which is the breakdown of the natural systems on which we depend for everything.” 

Plastic pollution, he adds, will be the focus of the projects being supported by the collaboration. “We’re funding a group in Sri Lanka that’s removing marine fishing plastic waste from reefs. The plastic has then been turned into curtains and furniture and all kinds of other things, creating livelihoods. When people on the ground see these good things happening, it creates a societal shift, which ripples outwards. So what this is about is leverage. It’s about creating big impacts with relatively modest sums of money.”

The Spirit of Big Bang Depeche Mode

Asked about measures taken to make the tour more environmentally friendly, Gore adds: “We have Green Nation involved, which is the touring arm of Live Nation, and that helps to reduce all of the single use plastic, makes water available everywhere, donates all the food that is not used after the shows. And it makes a big impact, if you look at the numbers over the course of the tour.”

Asked what makes Hublot and Depeche Mode compatible, CEO Ricardo Guadalupe adds: “We can see a crossover between fans of Hublot and fans of Depeche Mode. And we share values about giving back and caring about what’s going on in the world.”

The Spirit of Big Bang Depeche Mode is priced at around €34,000.

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