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NUBEO BLACK MAMBA

At Basel world 2009, Swiss watch maker Nubeo has announced a revolutionary new launch in collaboration with Kobe Bryant, one of the most standout players in NBA history. Widely referred to as “Black Mamba”, Kobe possesses an almost supernatural ability to evolve and transform. To honour Kobe Bryant, Nubeo has created the Black Mamba, a line of revolutionary and extraordinary timepieces.

The emergence of the Black Mamba stems from the collaboration between Kobe and Nubeo, a partnership driven by the mutual respect and admiration that exists between one of the world’s greatest athletes and one of the most exclusive luxury watchmakers. The collective objective is to create a timepiece that unites sports superstardom with extraordinary design and creativity.

Black Mamba Concept Model

Inspired by the “Black Mamba”, Kobe Bryant’s nickname, the Swiss brand launches an innovative collection combining state-of-the-art technology and blending of materials.

The Lakers shooting guard adopted the Black Mamba nickname early on in his career. Quite a warning for his opponents since the Black Mamba is considered to be the most dangerous snake in the world given its speed of movement – able to reach up to over 12 miles per hour – and its deadly venom.

Nubeo has drawn on the image of the Black Mamba and Kobe Bryant’s inspiration to produce its most recent and fascinating creation. The Black Mamba defies any pre-established notions regarding sports watches, combining the most advanced construction techniques with a spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime design.

The Black Mamba project is the largest and most complex of Nubeo’s endeavours to date. Along with the skills of Nubeo’s in-house team and its external collaborators, the implementation of new technologies has proven essential to bring this watch to fruition. The first step in creating the different parts and components to be assembled is 3-D computer software. The experience acquired by 4D – Nubeo’s concept and design department – has allowed the Swiss firm to combine two different modelling systems.

First is the mechanical module process geared towards the design of parts and components on the basis of a traditional approach. However, the sheer complexity of the Black Mamba case has required modelling of more complex surfaces with non-parametric values. Combining these two modelling systems is a Nubeo hallmark which is rarely present in the traditional methods of Swiss luxury watchmaking.

As to the materials used, the Black Mamba draws out the full aesthetic potential of the most innovative materials. Rubber, Grade 5 Titanium, and Ceramic are the primary materials used in manufacturing the Black Mamba. They are all notable for their light weight, high resistance and ergonomic features.

But they are not easy to handle, especially in a watch as complex as the Black Mamba, and this has lengthened the process of component design and manufacturing. Among the most striking features of the Black Mamba is the matt finish of its surfaces, along with DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) treatments which confer added strength to the components while providing the Black Mamba with a sophisticated and fascinating black finish.

Case

The case of the Black Mamba is probably the most complicated in watchmaking history. One-hundred and thirty-one components were used to manufacture the case, excluding movement, dial and bracelet.

[Number of components: 131 (Ceramic Case – 2; Bezel – 37; Titanium Inner case – 38; Crown – 14; Push Buttons – 24; Bracelet Fixation – 16)]

Unlike the vast majority of watches on the market, the Black Mamba case is made up of two distinct parts – the outer case, made of ceramic, and the inner case, made of Grade 5 Titanium. The outer case works like a protective shell for the watch’s parts, while the inner titanium case acts like a chassis housing the watch’s functional components.

The ceramic case has been subject to significant design efforts in order to ensure mutation of the “medusse” concept to the “snake” image that so defines the Black Mamba. Its lines clearly evoke the influence of the Jellyfish series, which was up till now the flagship of the Basel firm. A more aerodynamic design leads the way towards the serpent forms that make this watch such an original and inimitable work of art.

In conceiving and designing the outer ceramic case, Nubeo has used a nonparametric surface modelling system similar to that used for the bodywork of the most modern sports cars and luxury yachts. There are obvious differences in size, but the design process of the Black Mamba case is as complex as that of the bodywork of the ultimate high-tech car: over 200 instructions go into the modelling programme of the case to achieve the final result.

The complexity of the Black Mamba’s outer case is enhanced by using ceramic in the manufacturing process. The difficulty of the process is due to two factors: the size of the outer case and the many angles used in the design to achieve perfect union with the remaining components – the inner case, bezel, case back, crown, push buttons and bracelet turbines.

The outer ceramic case is produced in three stages. Firstly, the ceramic component is injected into the mould. In the second stage (heating) the part is placed in a furnace at very high temperatures to achieve the strength and resistance required. During the heating process, it is normal to see a 25%-26% reduction in the volume of the part. In other industries, a one-point difference in the final result might be acceptable, but not for Nubeo which uses tolerance levels of up to 0.05 millimeters.

Such high demands of accuracy explain that 40% of the parts are rejected by Nubeo because they exceed tolerance levels. Once the injection process is completed the part is then machined. This third stage is known as grinding, during which the parts are drilled and shaped for subsequent assembly with the remaining parts of the watch.

Given the strength of the material and the requirement of accuracy, grinding of the case can only be performed using an advanced diamond tool. Finally, the outer case surface is treated with a microbead blasted process to ensure a matt finish.

Bezel

The sheer number of parts used in manufacturing indicates that this is one of the most complex bezels ever made. The bezel of the Black Mamba was manufactured thanks to the experience gained by Nubeo in producing the Black Jellyfish. Both share a similar bezel structure. The 24 titanium numbers are cut using an electro-erosion device with a copper wire less than 0,05 millimeters in diameter. They are later welded individually using a technology employed before only in the production of medical devices.

The watch’s final appearance is also complex in terms of the numbers; their surface is in line with the spherical shape of the entire bezel. In terms of arrangement, the numbers have to be placed slightly lower than the outer rim of the bezel. With this type of adjustment, the numbers are protected against scratches and knocks. To ensure seamless assembly of the titanium numbers in the rubber ring, modelling of the parts includes the checking of 352 independent surfaces with a tolerance range of +/- 0.03 millimeters.

Given the use of a ceramic chassis, when assembling the bezel it is important to take into account the 1% deviation due to the injection process. Nothing can be left to chance because fitting the ceramic disc with the rubber ring involves controlling up to 74 independent surfaces, all with a tolerance level of +/- 0.03 millimeters.

Titanium Inner Case and Case Back

The Grade 5 Titanium inner case is without a doubt the most crucial part in the watch since it is where the remaining components are assembled. It holds the outer ceramic case, the bezel, movement, push buttons, bracelet fixation turbines and rubber bracelet.

The perfect union of all the parts with the inner case is essential to guarantee that the watch is airtight and reliable. Again, total coordination in manufacturing the parts is imperative to ensure that the case back – also made of Grade 5 Titanium – has the same curvature as the outer ceramic case.

Along with the ergonomic complexity of the case back, there is an added difficulty, namely the mechanical process using a 5-axis tool to carve the 72 scales. The case back is fixed with six titanium pins, with special heads, treated with DLC (Diamond Like Carbon).

A watch like the Black Mamba would be impossible to manufacture without state-of-the-art tools. The most advanced procedures are applied throughout the entire process – from the initial design right up to the presentation of the finished product.

All the watch’s components are studied in detail to achieve top-notch performance, both technically and aesthetically. For instance, the case back is decorated with a pattern that resembles the motifs found on current coins. But while the relief on coins ranges between 0.05 and 0.1 millimeters, the engravings on the Black Mamba’s back case reach 0.6 millimeterss.

Crown

The fact that such a small component as the crown includes no less than fourteen parts clearly highlights the complexity in manufacturing the Black Mamba’s case. In current watchmaking, the crown is normally made up of two parts. The Black Mamba’s crown is also made in Grade 5 Titanium, with a multi-layer manufacturing approach.

The first layer corresponds to the outer surface. It has a matt finish – thanks to surface treatment with a microbead blasted process – and is completed with the Nubeo logo. Two parts in DLC treated titanium are located at an intermediate level. Their structure, with 16 bionic scales, is reminiscent of the shapes found in nature, a feature that is ever present in Nubeo’s creations.

The body of the crown is located at a third level. It is assembled with an anodized orange aluminium disc whose function is essential – when the user sees the orange disc he or she knows the crown is open. It must be closed in the event of submerging the watch.

Push Buttons

Push buttons that activate the chronograph are as complex as the crown. A total of twenty-four components are used to put it together – twelve for each of the push buttons. These parts are also made in Grade 5 Titanium, and they include a screw-in system that ensures that the case is water resistant.

The head of the push button is also DLC treated, while the second and fourth rings stand out as a result of their surface’s circular graining. The same finish is applied to the protective cylinder assembled in the case which holds the complete set of pushers. Finally, a third rubber ring is used to ensure that the case is airtight.

Turbines

The bracelet fixation turbines are one of the key features of the Black Mamba. Its design clearly reflects Nubeo’s intent to reinforce the watch’s image as a single element and this requires total union between the case and the bracelet. The fixation method used by Nubeo consists of a set of turbines, two on each side of the case. The solution devised by the Basel firm ensures much safer attachment of the bracelet than the usual system based on the sliding pin.

Another sophisticated five-axis carving tool is used in manufacturing the fixation turbines. The small size of the parts requires this tool to work with a cutting bur as small as 0.15 millimeters in diameter.

The angle changes and the inertia borne by the engraving device are such that drilling/cutting times are lengthened as well as the surface treatments applied to each of the parts. From the aesthetic point of view, the fixation turbines share the same bionic shapes as the crown and push buttons.

They are also manufactured in titanium, with DLC treatment and circular graining. The symmetry of the various components that surround the case of the Black Mamba once again highlights the influence of the shapes found in nature that Nubeo is so keen to bring into its creations.

Bracelet and Buckle

The bracelet of the Black Mamba is not counted as one of the case’s 131 components, although it is a unique and indivisible part of it. Manufactured in black rubber, when seen in a 3D image one discovers the influence of the Jellyfish series, which draws inspiration from the backbone of fish.

Likewise, the straps and bracelets created by Nubeo are flexible and resistant at the same time, designed to fit any wrist while ensuring good attachment of the case. Two resin inserts have been placed on the sides of the strap which couple to the fixation turbines in a male-female configuration. The buckle comprises five parts all made in Grade 5 Titanium with DLC treatment similar to that applied to the remaining case components.

Dial

Stealthy and efficient like the Black Mamba, the dial of this watch is a technical wonder that fully meets the standards set for the case. All its elements are in line with the black monochromatic notion that characterises the Black Mamba.

The contrast achieved in the surfaces, with markings in white, not only underlines the personality of the watch, but it also provides outstanding legibility. As a result of the dial’s multi-layered design, the manufacturing process is as complex as that of the case.

The transition between bezel and dial is achieved with an inner raised chapter titanium ring indicating seconds, fractions and hours. At intermediate level you can discover the Nubeo logo and an independent second hand, along with three orifices for chronograph counters and date screen which are all finished with metallic rings and bionic scales. The innermost layer, housing the chronograph counters, completes the dial. All in all, five pieces are used in its manufacture.

Bionic Hands

True to its philosophy of utmost attention to detail, Nubeo designers have brought the spirit of the Black Mamba even to the minute hands of the dial. Made in titanium, their bionic and futuristic appearance calls to mind the scales of the deadly snake. In the central part, the scales are coated in white Superluminova for ease of vision in poorly lit areas.

Movement

The sporty quality of the Black Mamba has been introduced in its mechanical component by incorporating a highly advanced self-winding chronograph. It features outstanding precision and functionality and it is customised especially for Nubeo. Movement diameter is 30 millimeters (13 ¼ lines).

It includes thirty-one rubies and offers 42 hours of power reserve at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. Fine adjustment in five positions guarantees efficient performance. The chronograph version inaugurates the Black Mamba collection although Nubeo is already working hard to prepare for this revolutionary watch to meet even more complex challenges in the future.

The basic version of the Black Mamba will be launched in a limited edition of 810 pieces. This figure refers to the 81 points scored by Kobe Bryant on January 22nd 2006 when playing against the Toronto Raptors. His performance that evening is recorded in NBA history as the second highest point total ever scored by an individual in a single game.

Technical details

Model: Black Mamba Configuration Model NUB06151050L

Case
Total of 131 components
Dimension: 48mm diameter
Outer ceramic case with matt black finish
Grade 5 Titanium inner case

Bezel
Ceramic base, titanium numbers in relief and top ring in injected rubber. The top is fixed using special Infinity-head titanium screws with black DLC finish.

Case back
Titanium Grade 5 with engraving of 72 scales
3D engraving with the Nubeo logo the caption “Black Mamba – Limited Edition”
Printed number of limited edition
Fixed with 6 Infinity-head titanium screws with black DLC finish

Crown
Grade 5 Titanium, screwed-in and equipped with O-ring gasket
Warning system to alert user when it is not screwed in properly

Chronograph push buttons
Grade 5 Titanium, DLC finish

Bracelet fixation turbines
Grade 5 Titanium, DLC finish

Crystal
Flat sapphire with anti-glare treatment

Movement
Self-Winding with chronograph function
30 mm diameter
31 rubies
42 hours power reserve
Frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour
Adjusted in 5 positions

Functions
Hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph

Dial
Multi-layered in matt black finish
Réhaut with seconds and hours, fractions scale
12 hours chronograph counter at 6 o’clock
30 minutes chronograph counter at 12 o’clock
Small seconds at 9 o’clock
Date at 3 o’clock
Chronograph counters are protected by discs decorated with scales

Hands
Titanium body and black DLC finish
Circular graining on surface and central point coated in white Superluminova

Bracelet
Rubber with 3D scale-shape pattern
Buckle in DLC-treated Titanium Grade 5

Water-resistant
100 meters

Limited edition
810 pieces

Black Mamba Ultimate & MVP versions

With the arrival of the Black Mamba collection, Nubeo’s creative team has had the opportunity to invent a new concept – the jewel timepiece – exclusively masculine and sporty.

Both the Ultimate and the MVP versions master the setting of sapphires to express the combination of sport, masculinity and sophistication, terms which describe Kobe Bryant himself so well. The three choices of color express the three-fold personality of the Black Mamba: black is masculine, orange is sporty and whisky colored sapphires represent sophistication. This is a whole new take in the world of men’s watches.

To create the right image of the jewel timepiece, a number of features were included to strengthen the masculine identity of the Black Mamba. The luxury that precious stones bring to women’s timepieces, becomes a note of discretion in the Black Mamba. Sapphires are moved to the inner part of the dial, located around the outer ring.

At first glance they almost go unnoticed since they merge with the black finish. But they show all their splendor given their exceptional ability to reflect light. The natural quality of sapphires is further enhanced by the trapezoid shape and baguette cut of the 48 gems in the ring. An accuracy of 0.02 millimetres was achieved to guarantee perfect finish of the pieces.

Nubeo chose black sapphires instead of black diamonds because they are more suitable for a watch like the Black Mamba. The color of sapphires is more intense and their strength – 9 grades, similar to that of rubies – guarantees adequate setting in the inner ring. The unparalleled purity of the black sapphires used by Nubeo suggests that the market value of these stones is probably three times higher than that of black diamonds.

Black Mamba Ultimate

There are two different versions in the most radical Black Mamba proposal. This sophisticated model replaces the dial’s outer ring scale engraving with a complete set of 48 baguette cut and trapezoid sapphires. The Black Mamba Ultimate is available in the 48 black sapphire model, or the sports version with 36 black and 12 orange sapphires or 12 whisky sapphires – the latter mark the dial’s first quarter.

Since the scale on the outer ring is no longer present, this information is now moved to the surface. In addition, the dial acquires greater depth compared with the basic version, since it includes a fourth dial level and the two chronograph counters which are decorated with 72 black sapphires in brilliant cut.

Each of the two Ultimate versions are presented in a limited edition of only 240 pieces; this figure refers to Kobe Bryant’s number 24.

Technical details

Model: Black Mamba Ultimate

Case
Total of 131 components
Dimension: 48mm diameter
Outer ceramic case with matt black finish
Grade 5 Titanium inner case

Bezel
Ceramic base, titanium numbers in relief and top ring in injected rubber. The top is fixed using special Infinity-head titanium screws with black DLC finish

Back
Titanium Grade 5 with engraving of 72 scales. 3D engraving with the Nubeo logo the caption “Black Mamba – Limited Edition”
Printed number of limited edition
Fixed with 6 Infinity-head titanium screws with black DLC finish

Crown and pushers
Grade 5 Titanium, screwed-in and equipped with O-ring gasket
Warning system to alert user when it is not screwed in properly
Chronograph push buttons – Grade 5 Titanium, DLC finish

Bracelet fixation turbines
Grade 5 Titanium, DLC finish

Crystal
Flat sapphire with anti-glare treatment

Movement
Self-Winding with chronograph function
30 mm diameter
31 rubies
42 hours power reserve
Frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour
Adjusted in 5 positions

Functions
Hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph

Dial
Multi-layered in matt black finish
Outer ring set with 48 sapphires (black, orange or whisky, depending on version)12 hours chronograph counter at 6 o’clock
30 minutes chronograph counter at 12 o’clock
Small seconds at 9 o’clock
Date at 3 o’clock
Chronograph counters are protected by discs decorated with scales

Hands
Titanium body and black DLC finish
Circular graining on surface and central point coated in white Superluminova

Bracelet
Rubber with 3D scale-shape pattern
Buckle in DLC-treated Titanium Grade 5

Water resistance
100 meters

Total Gems
120 gems, 4.34 carats

Limited Edition
240 pieces per version

Versions

Reference NUB06228050L

Outer Case – Ceramic with matt black finish
Inner Case – Titanium Grade 5 matt surface
Bezel – Ceramic black base, titanium numbers with DLC and top ring in black rubber.
Dial – Black matt dial with black counters and Gems Réhaut
Outer ring Dial Gems – 48 baguettes cut Natural black sapphires
Dial counters Gems – 72 round brilliant cut Natural black sapphires.
Bracelet – Black natural rubber with buckle in titanium grade 5 with DLC coating.
Total Gems – 120 Gems , 4.34 carats.
Limited Edition – 240 pieces.

Reference NUB06231150L

Outer Case – Ceramic with matt black finish
Inner Case – Titanium Grade 5 matt surface
Bezel – Ceramic black base, titanium numbers with DLC and top ring in black rubber
Dial – Black matt dial with black counters and Gems Réhaut
Outer ring Dial Gems – 36 baguettes cut Natural black sapphires and 12 orange Sapphires
Dial counters Gems – 72 round brilliant cut Natural black sapphires
Bracelet – Black natural rubber with buckle in titanium grade 5 with DLC coating
Total Gems – 120 Gems, 4.34 carats
Limited Edition – 240 pieces

Black Mamba MVP Limited Edition

The Black Mamba is undoubtedly a sports watch; its MVP version highlights its more sophisticated side. It is similar to the Ultimate with the use of sapphires and the style of the dial. The main scale is at the surface and chronograph counters are decorated with 72 black sapphires in a brilliant cut. The differences center on the bezel, a component that makes the piece even more spectacular.

The MVP bezel does not have rubber inserts and titanium numbers. Instead, the timepiece includes a setting of 48 baguette cut and trapezoid sapphires. The number of stones and type of setting is similar to the set in the dial’s raised chapter ring. The degree of sophistication of the Black Mamba MVP is even greater in its spectacular version using whisky colored sapphires, a rare variety in this type of precious stone.

In addition to the whisky sapphire model, the Black Mamba MVP is also available with black and orange sapphires. Given that it is virtually impossible to find two stones with a similar color tone, each Black Mamba MVP watch is a unique and unrepeatable piece. In honor of Kobe’s jersey number, Nubeo is limiting its MVP line to 24 timepieces for each of its unique and highly-exclusive designs.

Technical details

Model: Black Mamba MVP

Case
Total of 131 components
Dimension: 48mm diameter
Outer ceramic case with matt black finish
Grade 5 Titanium inner case

Bezel
Ceramic base, with complete set of 48 baguette cut, trapezium shaped sapphires, with black, orange or whisky finish, depending on version

Back
Titanium Grade 5 with engraving of 72 scales
3D engraving with the Nubeo logo the caption “Black Mamba – Limited Edition”
Printed number of limited edition
Fixed with 6 Infinity-head titanium screws with black DLC finish
Crown
Grade 5 Titanium, screwed-in and equipped with O-ring gasket
Warning system to alert user when it is not screwed in properly

Chronograph push buttons
Grade 5 Titanium, DLC finish

Bracelet fixation turbines
Grade 5 Titanium, DLC finish

Crystal
Flat sapphire with anti-glare treatment

Movement
Self-Winding with chronograph function
30 mm diameter
31 rubies
42 hours power reserve
Frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour
Adjusted in 5 positions

Functions
Hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph

Dial
Multi-layered in matt black finish
Outer ring set with 48 sapphires (black, orange or whisky, depending on version) 12 hours chronograph counter at 6 o’clock
30 minutes chronograph counter at 12 o’clock
Small seconds at 9 o’clock
Date at 3 o’clock
Chronograph counters are protected by discs decorated with scales

Hands
Titanium body and black DLC finish
Circular graining on surface and central point coated in white Superluminova

Bracelet
Rubber with 3D scale-shape pattern
Buckle in DLC-treated Titanium Grade 5

Water resistance
100 meters

Total gems
168 gems, 10.98 carats

Limited edition
24 pieces per version

Versions

Reference NUB06928250L

Outer Case – Ceramic with matt black finish
Inner Case – Titanium Grade 5 matt surface
Bezel – Ceramic black base, titanium numbers with DLC and top ring in black rubber.
Bezel Gems – Set of 48 baguette cut, trapezium shaped black sapphires
Dial – Black matt dial with black counters and Gems Réhaut
Outer ring Dial Gems – 48 baguettes cut Natural black sapphires
Dial counters Gems – 72 round brilliant cut Natural black sapphires
Bracelet – Black natural rubber with buckle in titanium Grade 5 with DLC coating
Total Gems – 168 Gems, 10.98 carats
Limited Edition – 24 pieces

Reference NUB06918150L

Outer Case – Ceramic with matt black finish
Inner Case – Titanium Grade 5 matt surface
Bezel – Ceramic black base, titanium numbers with DLC and top ring in black rubber
Bezel Gems- Set of 48 baguette cut, trapezium shaped whiskey sapphires
Dial – Black matt dial with black counters and Gems Réhaut
Outer ring Dial Gems – 48 baguettes cut Natural whiskey sapphires
Dial counters Gems – 72 round brilliant cut Natural black sapphires
Bracelet – Black natural rubber with buckle in titanium Grade 5 with DLC coating
Total Gems – 168 Gems, 10.98 carats
Limited Edition – 24 pieces

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