The Hublot Big Bang Blue is a new version of the brand’s Big Bang flyback chronograph, perfect for the beach (more beach watches here). Its blue color scheme, with blue and white natural rubber strap or blue alligator strap with white rubber lining and blue stitching, recalls Hublot’s collaborations with the brand’s ambassador Lapo Elkann, for whom blue is an important part of products by his lifestyle brand Italia Independent. Lapo was present with Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe at the opening of two new boutiques in Cannes and Saint-Tropez.
A chronograph for beach lifestyle
The watch is a flyback chronograph with a skeletonized dial and all the classic Hublot features such as the H-type spline screws in titanium, and the Unico flyback chronograph movement. It’s a large watch at 45 mm diameter, 16.3 mm thickness, and its water resistance of 10 atm (100 metres) makes it perfect for the beach where it will stand up to water splashes and even light surface swimming.
The case and bezel are in blue ceramic, with bezel, lug and caseband details in white composite resin. The watchglass has the Hublot logo printed on the inner side; the caseback is in ceramic with a sapphire crystal glass revealing more details of the movement. The hour numbers and hands are rhodium-plated, coated with areas of white luminescent paint. Crown and pushers are in titanium.
The deconstructed dial offers a great view of parts of the movement, such as the crown wheel visible towards 6 o’clock. The skeletonized date wheel can also be seen, and the numerals are highlighted in the date window at 3 o’clock, on the chronograph minutes counter. One of the features of the Hublot Big Bang’s design is this date window, whose positioning makes it impossible to take chronograph readings of durations from between 12 and 18 minutes. This is typical of a sort of doublethink in which a sophisticated movement is combined with a display that makes accuracy impossible, a characteristic of many watches whose function is linked more to lifestyle than timekeeping. Not a criticism, just the way the world is going.
The movement is the HUB 1242 UNICO calibre, which has been an important part of Hublot’s production since its introduction in 2010. Previously, Big Bang chronographs were powered by a modified ETA Valjoux 7750. Jean-Claude Biver and Hublot purchased movement manufacturer BNB Concept along with movement designer Matthias Buttet, and this led to the introduction of Hublot’s first in-house movement, the Unico. The movement, with 330 components and 38 jewels, has a modular construction, with an escapement assembly fixed to a removable platform that can quickly be removed for service. The use of silicon for the pallet fork and escapement wheel reduces friction and helps it attain a 72-hour power reserve. The movement has a double horizontal clutch, and it runs at 28,800 vph, 4 Hertz.
Price and reference
The Hublot Big Bang Blue is reference 411.EX.5129.RX, and it is a limited edition of 100 units. It costs 20,400 Swiss francs, €21,200. It is already available (from July 2017) in Hublot’s Mediterranean boutiques (Cannes, Saint Tropez, Porto Cervo and Capri) and will be available in other boutiques over the next few weeks. Read more on the Hublot website.