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The Next Hour Neuchâtel
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SWITZERLAND

Some call the Big Bang the cosmic explosion that marked the beginning of the universe. But its worldly status isn’t just about atoms. For the record producer DJ Snake, the most streamed French artist, it marks the start of his first ever watch collaboration with Hublot with the Big Bang DJ Snake.

As a rookie in the watchmaking world, words like tourbillon and anchor escapements are somewhat alien, and a touch overwhelming if you look through a glossary of terms for temporality. They’re foreign and for freshmen unacquainted with the nuances of this intricate world, it’s quite difficult to understand exactly how all these tiny pieces, or ‘movements’ as I’m taught, manage to fit in the tiny circular canvas of a watch. So how, in an industry that reaps and relishes in tradition, can you make a customary industry relevant to the next generation? By making it about what they do know, and making them feel a part of it.

No one likes to feel left out. The psychological effects are manifold, and while we’ve all experienced them at some point in our lives, the watchmaking industry has notoriously occupied a masculine space for those with expertise with invisible barriers to those that don’t know otherwise. But every wall falls down eventually, and with the test of time, it demands restructuring. Conscious of building a more diverse construction that doesn’t exclude outsiders, the Swiss manufacturer, Hublot, sets the tone for the future of watchmaking by drawing on cultural references that mean something; references that make people feel, like listening to music.

Admittedly, the coalition between both worlds isn’t an entirely novel one, and there’s been plenty of offerings to go about: try the American brand Bulova who launched a 3-year partnership with the Grammy’s for instance, or Tudor’s pairing with Lady Gaga. But if the watch industry is to truly tap into the glee we feel from a good song, then it’s about bringing that union directly to the user. In the 12th arrondissement of Paris, Hublot set to unveil not only their latest collaboration with the coveted DJ Snake, but that they’re really listening to an industry desperately clutching to beckon the attention of young wrists.

While the words ‘immersive’ and ‘experiential’ might be starting to feel a little stale, the goal is certainly not, with the demand for it amongst the next generation isn’t waning anytime soon. And Hublot isn’t missing a beat. If you’re going to partner with a musician and make people care about it, then bring the story to life with a music set and story that makes people connect. So with novices and aficionados joining forces in the French capital, Hublot’s staging of a 300 person event unveiling not only the newest watch model, but the leather-clad musician secretly waiting behind it with a set boasting his biggest hits with Justin Bieber to Major Lazer, gives hope to the world of horology. After all, tempo comes from the latinate word ‘tempus’ meaning time. 

So with an audience of guests – some better versed in the lyricism of Snake, others in time – a club-like experience offered a fragment in time for guests to unite their senses between sound and sight. While gathered tightly around the DJ booth, the feeling of community between the star and his audience wasn’t simply based on physicality alone, but by the timepiece bringing them a step closer to the enamored star. With phones raised in the sky, the flicker of flashing cameras capturing the moment of euphoria we’ve yearned for so avidly, Hublot proved that they’re dancing to their own beat and that it’s time, as conveyors of history, to start making more noise.

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Scarlett is a writer, editor, and creative consultant specializing in art, fashion, culture and digital strategy. Drawing on her work from previous titles including Dazed, LOVE Magazine, The Perfect Magazine, AnOther and 1 Granary, as the Editor-in-Chief of The Next Hour, Scarlett is leading the editorial vision toward new territories providing an alternative lens of social commentary to recontextualize the world of watchmaking for the next generation.