Already 10 years. Only 10 years! 10 years have passed since Hublot unveiled its first Big Bang – the Big Bang Gold Ceramic. In spring 2005, Jean-Claude Biver, now President of Hublot and President of the Watch Division of LVMH, along with his team, led by Ricardo Guadalupe, the brand’s CEO, created this new Hublot model – the starting point for a new collection. And how far they have come since 2005: the BIG BANG, now the brand’s signature collection, has met with phenomenal success. A perfect illustration of the Fusion concept so dear to Hublot, the iconic design of the award winning BIG BANG, now a watchmaking icon, this year celebrates its 10th anniversary.
“Nothing can be born without a good idea,” states Jean-Claude Biver. His good idea came in 2005, when he came up with the name “BIG BANG”. In fact, the term “BIG BANG” is based on an idea which is central to the art of fusion: the combining of objects and materials which never appear together under normal conditions, for example rubber and gold. The former is harvested from a tree, the latter mined from deep inside the earth. While they never normally appear together, the BIG BANG combines these materials in a striking contrast which appears to bring together past and future. The BIG BANG is based on the element of surprise at encountering materials that are not normally found together: carbon and gold, ceramic and steel, denim and diamonds, etc. To illustrate these surprising combinations of materials, it was essential to create a case that was different to traditional three-part models and which comprised more components. With its 70 components, the BIG BANG embodies the concept of luxury, distinguishing itself through a vast range of subtle refinements.
To celebrate the anniversary, Hublot has unveiled a series of sixteen “Manufacture” photographs, each representing a key stage in the design of a Big Bang watch: the Origin with Jean-Claude Biver, Ricardo Guadalupe and the Design team, Casting with the preparation of Magic Gold, the Research & Development department, the Complications department, bar turning, hand fitting, etc. Fred Merz, an independent Swiss photographer based in Geneva and renowned for his portrait artistry (he also created the Hublot Loves Football portraits in 2014), focused on each of these to create impressive artistic pieces that open the door to the world of Hublot.
Exceptional pieces for an exceptional event. For Baselworld 2015, Hublot is celebrating the 10th anniversary with three new BIG BANG models:
Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold
Big Bang Tourbillon 5-day Power reserve Indicator Full Magic Gold
Big Bang Unico “10 years” Haute Joaillerie
These “anniversary” models have not been chosen at random: They each feature unique and fundamental Hublot elements.
Firstly, Hublot presents a new version of the Big Bang Unico. In 2013, the original Big Bang was modified to house the proprietary UNICO movement, a column wheel chronograph with double clutch visible on the dial side – unique in the industry. Its design changed. The screws, push-buttons, crown, indices, numerals and counters underwent both a technical and aesthetic redesign. Playing on the themes of interchangeability and adaptability, the Big Bang Unico was also equipped with a new, unique “One click” strap attachment system allowing the strap to be switched extremely quickly and easily while guaranteeing optimal security.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the BIG BANG, Hublot is unveiling a version in Full Magic Gold, the brand’s unique, scratch-resistant 18K gold, at Baselworld. The piece features a powerful and stylish mechanical 45 mm diameter case.
Following this, a new Full Magic Gold version of the Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve Indicator unveiled during the Geneva Days in January 2015. The first Tourbillon in the new generation Big Bang line, with a beautiful skeleton movement and an added practical power reserve indicator function on the dial side. Designed, developed and produced entirely by Hublot’s micro-mechanics, engineers and watchmakers, this proprietary movement is a traditional tourbillon with a cage measuring 13.6 mm in diameter – a minute tourbillon that performs one revolution every minute – and whose construction featuring a barrette on the dial side ensures its stability.
Finally, an exceptional and unique “anniversary” collection, the Big Bang “10 Years” Haute Joaillerie. A first for Hublot, the collection includes 10 watches, each priced at $1 million. Exceptional in that, to create these pieces, three of the most complex setting techniques have been used: invisible setting, Clou de Paris setting and rail setting. The figures speak for themselves: 653 black baguette diamonds totalling 41.84 cts (full black diamond version), 653 baguette diamonds totalling 40.02 cts (full white diamond version), 653 baguette diamonds and blue baguette sapphires totalling 40.41 cts (blue sapphire version), or 653 baguette diamonds and baguette rubies totalling 40.93 cts (ruby version). Unique in the complexity of its creation.
For the first time at Hublot, the bezel is set with invisible inverted trapeziums. It is the most complex part to set using this method, as there is no material between the baguettes. On each piece, the colour of the flange on the bezel recalls the colour of the indices and the strap push-pieces.
In another first, the counter surrounds on the dial are also stone-set. The complete dial, including the stone-set indices, comprises 62 baguettes.
The piece features a total of 132 baguettes with invisible setting, 127 set on a rail and 394 with a Clou de Paris setting. The piece is completed by a black alligator strap.
400 hours of Research & Development and production, plus 350 hours of setting, are required to create one piece.