Narco Bling: Top 6 Watches of Mexican Drug Lords

A redux of a topic I published on nearly six years ago (see: Narco Bling: The Watches of Mexican Drug Kingpins, July 10, 2009), self-proclaimed citizen investigative journalist website bellingcat.com recently published a review of the reach of Swiss luxury brands among the Mexican drug lords by analyzing social network profiles of three high ranking members of the infamous Sinaoloa drug cartel:  Ivan and Alfredo Guzmán, two of the most influential sons of El Chapo Guzmán, and José Rodrigo Aréchiga-Gamboa, alias “El Chino Ántrax” (who was arrested in Netherlands at the request of the US authorities in late 2013). The Top 6 Watches of Mexican drug lords, according the bellingcat.com’s analysis, are as follows:

      1. Richard Mille
      2. Hublot
      3. Rolex
      4. Audemars Piguet
      5. Urwerk
      6. Romain Jerome

While the top four brands are perhaps not surprisingly given the narco’s penchant for watches that are large, expensive and/or ostentatious, interesting occupants of the #5 and #6 slots were the more obscure independent brands Urwerk and Romain Jerome.  

There is disheartening commentary in the report as well.  The bellingcat author notes, “in times of economic hardship, the flamboyant lives of drug barons are appealing to millions of young and poor Mexicans abandoned by the state…”

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I must note that the quality of bellingcat’s analysis may be subject to scrutiny, particularly as the author notes that the authenticity of the social media accounts could not be verified (though, perhaps for obvious reasons).  And also, we all know how easy it is to make oneself look richer than one really on social media simply by taking photos from other accounts and claiming them as one’s own.  Bellingcat.com was launched via a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 and has been no stranger to controversial articles.  Even so, I think the analysis is worth a read.

Please click here to see the full story (including many more pics, commentary “Tracking Swiss Watches in Sinaloa: Top 6 Luxury Brands Among Mexican Drug Lords” over at Bellingcat>>>

Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Black and Blue Ceramic & Carbon Fiber for Bol D’Or Mirabaud

Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Black and Blue - ceramic and carbon fiber - Perpetuelle

For the third year running, Hublot is the Official Timekeeper for the Bol d’Or Mirabaud regatta which is held every summer on Lake Geneva.   As such, Hublot has created a Classic Fusion Chronograph with ceramic case and a dial and bezel in carbon fiber.  The strap further embodies the Hublot aesthetic — black carbon fiber sewn onto blue rubber.  The black and blue watch is limited edition of 77 numbered pieces, this being the 77th year of the Bol d’Or Mirabaud.  The two chronograph counters are in deep midnight blue, matching the color of the bezel and the strap stitching.

I am a fan of the Classic Fusion design and this one with its combination of black ceramic case and blue & black carbon fiber works for me.  A great example of the Hublot “fusion”.

Click through for more pics and specs

The New Hublot Big Bang Ferrari White Ceramic Carbon Watch

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari White Ceramic Carbon dial detail - Perpetuelle

A limited edition of 500 pieces, this 2015 release in Hublot’s Big Bang Ferrari series comes in a microblasted white ceramic case and carbon fiber bezel.  The case is fitted to a Schedoni leather strap (Schedoni is the official luggage supplier to Ferrari); inside is a Hublot manufacture caliber, the UNICO 1241.  The specific type of ceramic used by Hublot is “zirconium oxide” ceramic, a man-made material that can be produced in a handful of colors and tones (most commonly, black and white).  This type of ceramic is not proprietary to Hublot (Chanel uses the same type, I believe), but zirconium-oxide ceramic is a good choice for fine watchmaking given its high resistance to crack propagation.  It all comes together in a great looking piece here by Hublot.

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari White Ceramic Carbon

limited edition 500 pieces

45mm white ceramic case, automatic mechanical Hublot UNICO Cal 1241 (flyback column wheel chronograph, 72 hrs power reserve)

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari White Ceramic Carbon - Perpetuelle

more details at:

Hublot logo

Introducing the Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent, with aluminium-coated carbon fiber

Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent blue carbon fiber detail - Perpetuelle

Not a sexy name, but the look?  Well, maybe.  This collaboration with fashionable Italian eyewear/sunglasses brand has resulted in a case featuring a brand new material, Texalium® , whose design is exclusive to the Swiss watchmaking brand.  Texalium is unique in that it is aluminium-coated carbon fiber; the great advantage of this is that it can be designed in different colours and has a remarkable brilliance, with all the lightness of carbon fiber.   By now well accustomed to carbon fiber cases, you can see that Hublot has gone a step further to achieve a rather vivid color variation.  Actually, two colors are unveiled — blue and grey.  Each with Hublot’s in-house UNICO chronograph caliber.  A 500-piece limited edition of each of these two versions will be produced; each watch comes in a customised Italia Independent display case, complete with a pair of Italia Independent sunglasses, also made from Texalium.  And that studded denim strap?  Just a little something extra special for you Hublotistas.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent blue carbon fiber - Perpetuelle

Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent grey carbon fiber - Perpetuelle