START­ING A REV­O­LU­TION

In 2005, Hublot rev­o­lu­tion­ized the watch world with the in­tro­duc­tion of the Big Bang. Its com­plex case con­struc­tion and the un­usual com­bi­na­tion of ma­te­ri­als are keys to its enor­mous suc­cess.

WatchTime - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Jens Koch

| In 2005, Hublot rev­o­lu­tion­ized the watch world with the in­tro­duc­tion of the Big Bang. Its com­plex case con­struc­tion and the un­usual com­bi­na­tion of ma­te­ri­als are keys to its enor­mous suc­cess.

—The Big Bang was much more than a suc­cess­ful new be­gin­ning for Hublot – it changed the watch in­dus­try and started a rev­o­lu­tion. Not many such ex­am­ples can be found in the watch world. Most watch de­signs are based on the past. Man­u­fac­tur­ers are proud of their long and wellestab­lished tra­di­tions and con­tinue pro­duc­ing their his­tor­i­cal de­signs. Value is de­fined by the tra­di­tional art of watch­mak­ing: How metic­u­lous is the ex­e­cu­tion of the dec­o­ra­tive fin­ishes? What com­pli­ca­tions and clas­si­cal func­tions are in­cluded?

In­stead, the Big Bang em­bod­ies a new type of lux­ury where de­sign is the prom­i­nent fea­ture: no longer look­ing back to the past but striv­ing to­ward the fu­ture. e Big Bang de­fines lux­ury be­yond tra­di­tion­ally dec­o­rated com­po­nents, re­ly­ing on com­plex, in­no­va­tive de­signs, the use of high-tech ma­te­ri­als and un­usual com­bi­na­tions. You see it all at first glance. at’s how the Big Bang came to be, and still is, so suc­cess­ful.

e el­e­ment of sur­prise is key. Ma­te­ri­als are com­bined in a sin­gle watch that would never be paired un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances – car­bon and gold, ce­ramic and steel, even denim and di­a­monds. Hublot em­ploys un­usual ma­te­ri­als that have never be­fore been used for watches. And Hublot has de­vel­oped its own sub­stances, too. e brand cre­ated a new al­loy known as Magic Gold, an 18-karat gold mixed with ce­ramic to give the sen­si­tive me­tal new prop­er­ties. is mod­ern sub­stance – the hard­est gold in the world – re­sists scratches from all other sub­stances ex­cept di­a­mond.

For the Big Bang mod­els cre­ated for the de­sign brand Italia In­de­pen­dent, Hublot used the mod­ern ma­te­rial known as Tex­al­ium. It’s a com­pos­ite made of fiber­glass and alu­minum that has an in­trigu­ing struc­ture and op­ti­cal depth, with a hi-tech as­pect. It is of­ten com­bined with bright col­ors like blue or green, and even has a cam­ou­flage pat­tern. It’s how Hublot in­cor­po­rates cur­rent fash­ion trends into its watches, some­thing that other watch brands rarely do.

Hublot also started its own trend with its All Black mod­els that com­bine a black case and black dial with black hands and mark­ers. Here de­sign is em­pha­sized over leg­i­bil­ity, even when it is pos­si­ble to rec­og­nize the shiny black hands above the matte black dial. And Hublot’s ladies’ mod­els stand out with in­tri­cately em­broi­dered skull de­signs on their di­als and straps.

To bring th­ese sur­pris­ing ma­te­rial com­bi­na­tions to life, the case must have a de­sign that’s dif­fer­ent from the con­ven­tional, three-part case. Many more parts are nec­es­sary. e Big Bang’s case is com­prised of ap­prox­i­mately 50 com­po­nents.

Big Bang Unico GMT Car­bon (2017, $23,100) Big Bang Unico Blue Sap­phire (2017, $85,000) Left to right: Big Bang Meca-10 Magic Gold (2017, $34,600)

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