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

BIG BANG UNICO SAPPHIRE ALL BLACK

hublot
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63'000 €

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When invisible visibility asserts its opposites

See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

The All Black becomes completely transparent

Ten years after the launch of the All Black concept, and to mark the anniversary of this current "must-have" trend, Hublot is disrupting the natural order. It uses transparency to foster a new connection between the visible and invisible. The exterior of the Big Bang watch is now invisible, so that the construction and movement of the timepiece are now fully observable. Through a fusion of materials, textures and finishes, Hublot has used the Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black to reinterpret the iconic all black style. 

"By its nature, black absorbs all visible radiation and does not reflect any light. In this original interpretation of our "All Black" concept, Hublot is once again playing with received ideas. The Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black is both transparent and completely robed in black. What is more, it does not absorb light. In fact, it lets light pass through. It embodies the dichotomy of the visible and invisible, the seen and the unseen". 

Jean-Claude Biver, Chairman, Hublot 

A decade ago, with its All Black collection, Hublot launched a brand-new and pioneering concept: "Invisible visibility". A philosophy symbolising the very essence of the brand. A timepiece whose transparent take on telling the time propelled it to the rank of iconic object. A powerful, emblematic design which became the height of fashion. Today, Hublot is still a pioneering figure in this monochrome, all black style. 

Visible invisibility 

"In the original All Black concept, the watch is visible but the time display is invisible. The Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black plays with transparency; technically it is invisible but, conversely, the time display is rendered visible. It makes our proprietary Unico movement fully and completely visible. A watch which has nothing to hide, which fully reveals its construction and its movement." 

Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot 

Exploring new ground, pushing back boundaries and taking on the impossible, the history of Hublot is punctuated with firsts and patents. True to its motto of "there is no future without innovation", it proves that technological progress is the fruit of experience, curiosity and the desire to constantly move forward. Difficulty is a challenge that motivates the brand and its teams. Following the exclusive presentation a few weeks ago of the Big Bang Unico Sapphire – a timepiece entirely made from sapphire which required months of development and multi-million investments – Hublot is doing it all again by presenting a piece so bold it is verging on impertinent. It is combining opposites – the visible and the invisible – in a piece which expresses the very essence of its All Black concept. 

Transcending the materials used in its creation, the Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black is crafted from blocks of sapphire crystal – sapphire that has been coated with metal. Enhanced by black, this sapphire maintains its transparent properties in a subtle balancing act.

Transferring the expertise amassed from machining very hard materials such as Magic Gold, Hublot has developed its industrial mastery of an extremely complex material, one of the hardest, most scratch-resistant and transparent in existence – sapphire. This method of machining sapphire enables Hublot to render this material — which can only be cut by diamond — more accessible, transforming its status as something unique, only seen in private collections, by using it to create a limited edition of 500 pieces. By sculpting sapphire into the complex shape of its iconic Big Bang case, Hublot is achieving a double feat with the Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black. 

Transparency combined with skeleton work allows the workings of the Unico manufacture movement to be laid bare. This complete visibility means that the column wheel positioned on the dial side is now no longer the only feature of the movement which can be seen. Even the strap combines transparency with the signature all black style. 

As 10 birthday candles are lit for the "All Black" concept, this is a worthy tribute to the pioneering and acclaimed monochrome icon.

Technical specifications

BIG BANG UNICO SAPPHIRE ALL BLACK 

TECHNICAL DETAILS 

Reference 411.JB.4901.RT – Limited edition of 500 pieces 

Case Diameter 45 mm, made from polished black smoked sapphire crystal 

Bezel Polished black smoked sapphire crystal 

6 H-shaped screws, countersunk, polished and locked, in black PVD-coated titanium 

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

Crown Black rubber and Black PVD titanium with satin-finish 

Push-buttons Black PVD titanium with satin-finish 

Case-back Polished black smoked sapphire crystal 

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

Dial Black polished transparent composite resin skeleton dial 

Appliques and hands With black luminescent coating 

Movement HUB 1242 UNICO movement with black PVD coating, 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 Black transparent structured, ribbed strap 

Clasp Black PVD 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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