The word from Hublot, who have another variation on their successful Big Bang theme; This model has capitals in the press blurb, like many other watch brands insist on using, and we are going on strike today regarding using grammatically incorrect capitals. Stop shouting everyone, we love your watches OK?
Following on from its black ceramic, Hublot has launched its BIG BANG INTEGRAL in three new ceramic colours: white, navy blue and grey, all with built-in scratch-resistance, durability and hypoallergenic properties. Its monobloc architecture – an integrated bracelet on which the first link is fused with the case – affirms Hublot’s integral single-colour, single-material style.
A signature material at Hublot, ceramic represents the perfect fusion of hardness and lightness (two to three times harder than steel and 30% lighter). A high-tech material that is difficult to machine, used here to create a case, bezel, case-back and bracelet. An unparalleled material in perfect harmony with the skin – soft to the touch and a delight to wear thanks to its low thermal conductivity. A watch made entirely from ceramic except for the bezel lugs, which are in black, dark blue or grey composite, and the rubber elements on the crown and the pushers, for added user comfort.
The Big Bang Integral can be distinguished from the other Big Bang models by its fully integrated bracelet, which is fused with the 42-mm case. Launched in 2020, this represents a historic first for the 15-year-old Big Bang. Its aesthetic signature is powerful enough for it to be instantly associated with that of the Big Bang. Three links: one central and two lateral, the polished and satin-finished surfaces, and the bevelling and chamfering of the links create the same effect of depth and contrast as between the case and the bezel lug. Other stylistic retouches include the pushers, which mirror those found on the 2005 original, and whose bevels and chamfers lead into the bracelet with alternating polished and satin finishes.
The model is powered by the Unico proprietary manufacture movement in its V2 incarnation, the HUB1280, a modified version of its predecessor, the Unico HUB1242. Changes include the loss of the escapement platform, a thinner automatic winding system with a slimmer 1.3-mm movement, four new patented technical innovations (oscillating seconds clutch, chronograph friction system with ball-bearing adjustment, ratchet retaining system with unidirectional gears and index-assembly fine adjustment system). This updated version of the Unico features a redesigned architecture for easier assembly and more legible functions.
So, immaculate white, classic navy blue or a grey as deep as titanium itself? The choice is yours.
Verdict? This 42mm case sized model is quite restrained for a Hublot, which is some ways is a good thing. You can always tell thieves that you are wearing a Casio Edifice and if they’re really gone on crack, they may believe you. On the downside, it’s made from pottery, and we are no fans of ceramic bracelets, because they always break, sooner or later. On a £1200 Rado, that’s perhaps no big deal, but with a Big Bang you are looking at £400-£650 to get the broken link replaced and this ain’t no Timpsons job. It’s a fragile part, and a delicate operation replacing ceramic links.
No word on UK prices, but expect about £17,000-£20,000.