A shared appreciation of industrial design and function characterises the new partnership between Samuel Ross and Hublot. Both have demonstrated a willingness to experiment with atypical materials in commercial contexts. Ross says: ‘It was a very natural process of meshing these key value systems, bringing them together and having an informed dialogue about what a collaboration could look like, what type of materials we would bring forth and what type of techniques and treatments would be encouraged.’

To mark the new partnership, Ross has created both a sculpture and the scenography for Hublot’s 40th anniversary exhibition, currently showing at the Hublot manufacture.

samuel ross hublot

Ross’ sculpture juxtaposes granite with steel in a marriage of organic and industrial materials, a hybrid previously seen in the Hublot Fusion. It is an idea explored further in the sculpture’s finish, which contrasts a traditional mirror polish with technologically advanced CNC milling. The resulting angled polygon, crafted in aluminium, plays on notions of transparency with holes in the structure. Much like a watch it is designed to be handled, and two aluminum rods are there to be played with in a celebration of tactility.

These themes are echoed in the exhibition itself which includes a showing of artefacts Hublot has collected over the last four decades. ‘My role here was to work with the theme in regards to a mood and a value system that these artefacts and design elements permeate to a certain degree,’ says Ross. Ergonomic design, lightweight materials and perforation all distinguish the space, with design elements holding cultural resonance or nodding to Hublot’s championing of sporting prowess.

‘An essential design element would definitely be the stainless steel perforated aluminum display tables,’ he adds. ‘They have a beautiful LED lighting rig which sits underneath the supporting frame and edge of the unit display. We also produced concrete cast watch holders to bring in that texture and character which is associated with Hublot.’ Each piece explores the duality of transience with motion: ‘I’ve tried to capture that through quite linear centralised modular display units. For window displays, there’s this notion of movement, modularity and transparency that runs throughout all the articles and design elements produced for the exhibition.’ §

samuel ross