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The MECA-10 ranks among the cooler and more novel in-house movements of the last decade. It’s niche, it’s not exactly practical, but once you dig into it, you’ll see that it’s an obscure love letter to mechanics. Ariel has chatted with the “movement engineer” at Hublot who was part of the two-year process of taking it from concept to reality. Now, the Hublot Big Bang MECA-10 “Nicky Jam” wraps that impressive movement in an, ahem, impressive number of diamonds and weird-colored defunct alligators.

It’s a real head-scratcher of a watch for me. At first sight, it looks like a prop from hip-hop videos — and at all the subsequent sights, this impression unpleasantly continues to linger around. But if it’s a bedazzled, “Look at me, did I tell you I got rich fast?” watch that you are after, boy does the MECA-10 “Nicky Jam” pass muster. If you still have a bit of sense left between your pierced ears, you’ll be quick to note that this piece from the top of the Nicky Jam limited-edition food chain is priced at €364,000, making it rather expensive, even by diamond-clad watch standards.

The next question is who, outside of Nicky Jam, would want to drop €364,000 on a watch that pays tribute to Nicky Jam, or anyone outside the manufacturer for that matter? That’s one very expensive way to say: I really am fond of Nicky Jam. For the record, I couldn’t say I have a better understanding or appreciation of six-digit-priced watches attributed to race car drivers, athletes, etc. So, if you are a fan of Nicky Jam and have dropped (or are planning to) €364,000 on this piece — or just €23,800 or €52,900 on either of the two other limited editions — drop a comment below and share why, exactly, because I genuinely am curious.

Where the Hublot Big Bang MECA-10 “Nicky Jam” really shines (ha!) is in the quality of its setting. The setting is so good it is almost wasted on this weird watch. Well, maybe “wasted” is too strong a word. It’s more like Claude Lorrain painting — not the The Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba, but a Nicky Jam concert. In all seriousness, the quality of the setting is easily on par with anything I have seen — and I have seen so many bejeweled watches that I need glasses now.

Having looked at my images and macro images closely, it definitely ranks among the top three insanely bedazzled watches, as far as the quality of the work is concerned. The setting used here to fix the 307 baguette-cut diamonds to the case is called “invisible setting,” as the stones are holding each other in place. This requires extremely thorough separation of the base material, the cuts, and the setting itself — Hublot has its in-house gem-setting atelier in Nyon, so big kudos to the craftspeople there. Many workshops and designs leave lots of space (thick material) around invisibly set stones to leave extra room and overall make the work a bit more safe and easy.

Here, every part of the bezel and case is but a thin veneer of 18k King Gold (Hublot’s red-gold alloy), and the rest is filled to the brim with accurately cut stones. The icing on the cake can be appreciated when the watch is held at just the right angle. When the stones are all set perfectly, their top facets will lay in exactly the same plane, making for a flat reflection on all of them. To see this happen across so many stones in so many different parts of the watch is exceedingly rare because it’s very difficult to achieve — and therefore is a testament to the dexterity of the gem-setters. Top work on what is, at best, a questionable-looking watch.

The MECA-10 movement we have written about, time and again; if you want to nerd out over it, please check out Ariel’s article (linked to in the first paragraph) or this MECA-10 hands-on debut from 2016. In essence, it is a powerful movement, both in terms of looks and performance, with 10 days of power reserve displayed through a complex and proprietary system on the front. If you want a bespoke, genuinely new movement, this is the one to get — and you may want to keep in mind that prices for the MECA-10 start at €19,600 in titanium and, for a bit more, you can get a ceramic-clad version.

Was I smitten when I put the utterly ridiculous Hublot Big Bang MECA-10 “Nicky Jam” on my wrist earlier this year? For sure, I was, and I was awed by the unabashed amounts of bling and diamonds, all pure excess. More to the point, what really impressed me was the work performed on this music video prop watch that was so good it put most others to shame.

I still don’t know who would buy the Hublot Big Bang MECA-10 “Nicky Jam” at a price of €364,000, but hey, what the hell do I know? Anyhow, I tip my hat to Hublot because, as a watch-lover, I appreciate them remaining on the unapologetic and entertaining side of horology. The boring competition that plays it safe will always rank a lot lower in my eyes.

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