This is the most complicated watch released to date by Hublot, and it demonstrates their desire to move in the direction of making all their own movements. CEO Ricardo Guadalupe said, “Several years ago, our objective was for Hublot to the join the ranks of the most prestigious brands by producing almost all new materials and our own movements (including complications) in-house.” This piece is powered by the HUB 5003 movement, which is made by Chronode SA, a company in La Locle, based on their calibre 501. It has been extensively personalized for Hublot, and seen through the caseback it is an interesting sight.
It’s an unusual watch from the front too, with an asymmetric dial design that recalls Harry Winston. The 45.5 mm case is the 2013-version Big Bang, with the six H-screws on the bezel. Time is shown on the largest display, and there is a day-night indicator at one o’clock, though I can’t see exactly how it operates. Something happens to the triangular indicator. Anyway, at 11 o’clock there is a subdial showing the second time zone, and the alarm time is displayed on the 24-hour subdial at the bottom right of the dial. At the bottom, there is an indicator showing whether the alarm function is activated or not, and to the left of this, you can see the hammer which has stripes of SuperLuminova so that you see this in the dark, in addition to the time indications. When the alarm goes off, the hammer strikes the gong repeatedly for about 16 seconds. I heard it at Baselworld and wrote “mid-loud” in my notebook.
The original Big Bang is a chronograph and this watch maintains the chronograph pusher arrangement, though the functions are of course different. The pusher at 2 o’clock adjusts the time of the second time zone (each push advances the time by an hour), and that at 4 o’clock activates or deactivates the alarm. So to switch off the alarm after it has started chiming, you just have to press the button at 4 o’clock.
The movement is hand-wound, with 356 components, and 72 hours power reserve. There are two barrels, one for the movement, and one for the chiming system, and the skeletonized barrels visible through the caseback provide an empirical indication of power reserve. The crown is used for winding, setting alarm time, and local time, and Hublot advises users to rewind the watch whenever the alarm has been used.
Price and reference
The watch is available in two versions, a 250-piece limited edition in titanium ceramic (reference 403.NM.0123.RX), and another 250 piece limited edition in King Gold ceramic (reference 406.OM.0123.RX). The titanium version costs 49,000 Swiss francs (about €45,200), the King gold version costs 65,000 Swiss francs (about €60,000).