hublot - BIG BANG UNICO SAPPHIRE
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
hublot - BIG BANG UNICO SAPPHIRE

BIG BANG UNICO SAPPHIRE

hublot

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In complete transparency

 

 Once again, Hublot is adding its innovation and expertise with materials to the history of watchmaking firsts. By transforming the ‘savoir-faire,’ Hublot has developed the manufacturing of unique and very hard materials, such as Magic Gold, the world’s only scratch-resistant gold. Now in 2016, Hublot has created 500 Big Bang Unico Sapphire models cut straight from sapphire, without losing sapphire’s unique and rare character. 

“Through the Art of Fusion, Hublot reveals all. A transparent case that reveals the soul of the watch—the Unico movement – and an absolute transparency extending to the strap, which has become invisible. Beyond the symbolism and the play on words, the Big Bang is laying itself bare. It has nothing to hide and everything to show.” 

Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot 

Sapphire—an extremely difficult material to machine—has until now been reserved for one-of-a-kind pieces or very private collections. After its ambitious MP05 “LaFerrari” Sapphire project, Hublot is capitalising on the challenge that it has just met and asserting its expertise in sapphire cutting by interpreting it in a series of 500 pieces. This is a first. Sapphire had never previously been cut “on such a large scale”. 

It is a collection of absolute transparency that consecrates the acclaimed architecture of the Big Bang model and the performances of the brand’s Unico movement. 

The case middle, bezel and back of the Big Bang Unico Sapphire are cut from blocks of sapphire, a material which is almost as hard and scratch-resistant as diamond (9 on the Mohs scale as opposed to 10 for diamond). Hublot has called on the expertise of a Swiss specialist as part of an exclusive partnership to develop the unique material. Only a few pieces forming the spine of the watch are made from titanium: the screws, the crown, which is over-molded with silicon, and the deployant buckle. Its skeleton dial, made from transparent resin, reveals all the gears of the proprietary Unico HUB1242 movement and its finishes. Complementing its ethereal silhouette, its strap – transparent – is invisible so that the skin can be seen through it. Available as a 500-piece limited edition, the Big Bang Unico Sapphire is water-resistant to 50 metres. 

A minimalist style, a very light timepiece, an inevitable new trend. 

Hublot, the art of mechanical watchmaking laid completely bare.

Technical specifications

TECHNICAL DETAILS 

Reference 411.JX.4802.RT – Limited to 500 pieces 

Case Diameter 45mm, made from polished sapphire crystal 

Bezel Polished sapphire crystal 

6 H-shaped Titanium screws, countersunk, polished & locked 

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

Bezel Lugs Polished transparent composite resin 

Crown Transparent silicone and satin-finished Titanium 

Push-pieces Satin-finished Titanium 

Case-back Polished sapphire crystal 

Water resistance 5 ATM, i.e. approx. 50 metres 

Dial Polished transparent composite resin skeleton dial 

Appliques & Hands White Luminescent 

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 Window at 3 o'clock 

Power reserve Approximately 72 hours 

Strap Transparent structured lined strap 

Clasp Titanium deployant buckle

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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