hublot - BIG BANG UNICO MAGIC GOLD
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
hublot - BIG BANG UNICO MAGIC GOLD

BIG BANG UNICO MAGIC GOLD

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This watch features probably the most scratch-resistant gold bezel ever designed: it can only be machined using diamond.

See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

Hublot presents the Big Bang Unico "Magic Gold".

It is the perfect fusion of respect for tradition and 20th century creativity. 

Pure Hublot DNA. The fusion of a revolutionary material – the famous Magic Gold, which is the world's only scratch-resistant gold, certified as 18K and developed by Hublot – and the iconic design of the BIG BANG, with its Manufacture Chrono: the UNICO. 

Three years after Hublot unveiled its celebrated Magic Gold - still the only scratch-resistant gold - a noble material protected by patents, certified as 18 carats by the Central Office for Precious Metals Control, and developed by Hublot in Switzerland alongside the prestigious EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), several months of fine-tuning took place in the manufacture to machine the famous alloy. 

Hublot's gold - Magic Gold - is the hardest in the world, and by some margin: it can only be successfully machined using diamond. Its hardness of almost 1000 Vickers eliminates the traditional weak point of gold and its alloys, which are very easily scratched. It is worth noting that "standard" well-designed 18 carat gold is only rated at 400 Vickers, with most hardened steels at around 600 Vickers. 

Since November 2011, when Magic Gold was unveiled to the world's press, Hublot has equipped itself with the means to produce this material in-house from start to finish thanks to its high-tech foundry at the Nyon Manufacture, which is home to the ceramic sintering and high-pressure metal casting processes. 

As you are probably already aware, this revolutionary material is a fusion of 24 carat gold (nature's ultimate noble material) and the latest high-tech materials expertise. Components made from this material are produced using a complex process: A boron carbide powder is pre-formed in moulds very similar in shape to that of the finished parts, in this case the watch's bezel. The pre-formed powder is then hardened at a very high temperature, creating a rigid, porous structure. After this operation, 24K gold alloyed with 3% molten liquid gold is injected under very high pressure with inert gas at a high temperature, allowing the metal to fill the ceramic pores and creating a "fusion" of the two to produce Magic Gold. 

Almost three years of collaboration and research have gone into achieving this impressive result: a completely new type of gold, an almost inalterable precious metal which retains its own characteristics. The first watches made from Magic Gold were presented at BaselWorld2012 in a very limited Big Bang Ferrari edition which reflected the shared DNA of the 2 brands: Exclusivity, innovation and technology. 

Hublot has now decided to produce the Big Bang Unico with a bezel in Magic Gold...naturally. The bezel is indeed one of the components most susceptible to scratches. Its unique, instantly recognisable colour and mechanical properties will be of particular interest to enthusiasts.

Technical specifications

TECHNICAL DETAILS 

 

Reference 411.CM.1138.RX 

Case Diameter 45.5 mm, made from micro-blasted black ceramic with polished sides 

Bezel Polished Magic Gold 

6 H-shaped black PVD treated titanium screws, countersunk, polished & locked 

Crystal Sapphire with interior/exterior anti-reflective coating and gilt Hublot logo 

Bezel Lugs Black composite 

Lateral inserts Black composite 

Crown Black PVD titanium with Hublot logo and black overmoulded rubber 

Push-pieces Black PVD titanium 

Case-back Sapphire crystal with interior/exterior anti-reflective treatment 

Micro-blasted black PVD titanium 

Water resistance 10 ATM, i.e. approx. 100 metres 

Dial Matt black varnished skeleton 

Red varnished minute track 

Satin-finished gilt counter ring at 9 o'clock (small second) 

Satin-finished gilt counter ring at 3 o'clock (chronograph minute) 

Gilt plated indices with black Superluminova™ 

Hands Satin-finished gilt plated with black Superluminova™ 

Gilt plated and red varnished chronograph hand 

Movement HUB 1242 UNICO movement with black PVD treatment, developed and manufactured in-house by Hublot Automatic flyback chronograph with column wheel and double clutch visible on the dial side 

Date Dark grey window at 3 o'clock 

Oscillating weight Black PVD coating 

Power reserve Approximately 72 hours 

Strap Structured, ribbed black rubber. Interchangeable system. 

Clasp Black PVD titanium deployant buckle with black ceramic inserts

Who's who

“I’d known Jean-Claude for 20 years. When he took over Hublot, I offered to open a dedicated store in Paris. He came to see the premises. We talked together for barely 45 minutes before reaching an agreement.” The relationship between Chronopassion and Hublot is built on mutual trust, spontaneity – and firm convictions about the projects with the greatest potential. As Lauren Adams would say, “there’s no point discussing what’s already been agreed.” It’s the perfect adage when it comes to the personalities of former Hublot CEO Hublot Jean-Claude Biver and Laurent Picciotto, the founder of Chronopassion. Rather than simply being the story of a brand and its products, Hublot and Chronopassion is above all a story with a strongly personal touch. When Carlo Crocco created the Hublot watch with a gold case and a rubber strap in 1980, it was the first time in the history of watchmaking that a precious material, gold, had been used alongside rubber. In the mid-1990s, rubber became prized by many leading watchmaking brands, demonstrating that Hublot’s decision had been the right one. For the brand, rubber was anything but a fad – rather, it embodied its philosophy and became its hallmark. Having headed up Hublot for fifteen years, Carlo Crocco became increasingly busy with work for his MDM Foundation, so he set out to find the right person to take the helm of the watchmaking firm. That was when he met Jean-Claude Biver, who had just left Blancpain. Biver put Hublot back on the road to recovery, becoming head of the company from May 2004 through to 2012. “Our paths crossed in 2006,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. “Jean-Claude had already brought the brand right up to date, with lines like Big Bang, Classic Fusion and King Power. This was the beginning of the rebirth of Hublot. He drew plans, diagrams, rebuses and roadmaps for me. When he stepped down from his position as CEO in 2012, I realised that he had had his entire roadmap in mind right from the word go. Not only that, but that he had completed it – ahead of time.” The takeover of BNB Concept proved to be a key turning-point for the brand. The company had been subcontracting for Hublot since 2004, dealing with complication watches, particularly tourbillons. At a time when BNB was struggling financially, Hublot offered to buy out the firm. The brand thereby became a “manufacture”, enabling it to supply haute horlogerie models, notably a large number of tourbillons and Minute Repeaters, as well as more atypical pieces such as the Key of Time. Together, Laurent Picciotto and Jean-Claude Biver forged a partnership rather than a commercial relationship. The two men created a number of custom series and set about laying the foundations of what was to become Hublotista, the community of Hublot owners. At the end of the day, they are still motivated by passion – and guided above all by instinct.

 

Journalist : Olivier Müller

 
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