For almost a full year, Jean-Claude Biver, head honcho at Hublot, has been talking about the next great material. He has been hinting at that totally “Transparent” watch — dangling it in front of watch lovers and journalists like a proverbial carrot. Well – here it is: Introductng the Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire watch.
Hot on the heels of the brand’s Magic Gold (truly scratch-resistant gold), Hublot unveils this masterpiece. Each model — 500 will be made — is cutstraight from sapphire, without losing sapphire’s unique and rare character. Though this development, the entire movement from top to bottom,side to side, is visible through the case.
According to Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot, “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.”
Sapphire—an extremely difficult material to machine—has until now been reserved for one-of-a-kind pieces or very private collections. Heretofore, according to Hublot, sapphire had never previously been cut on such a large scale. For this watch, the case middle, bezel and back of the Big Bang Unico Sapphire are cut from blocks of sapphire, which is almost as hard and scratch-resistant as diamond (9 on the Mohs scale as opposed to 10 for diamond).
It should be noted that just a few pieces are made from titanium: the screws, the silicon covered crown, and the deployant buckle. The skeleton dial is made from transparent resin, and reveals all the gears of the proprietary Unico HUB1242 movement and its finishes. Similarly, the strap is also transparent an is made of structured linen.
So- the all-important question … How Much? $57,900 retail.
CASE: Diameter 45mm, made from polished sapphire crystal
Bezel and casebook: polished sapphire crystal
Crystal: sapphire with interior/exterior anti-reflective coating
Crown: transparent silicone and satin-finished titanium
Water resistant: 5 ATM, i.e. approx. 50 metres
Dial: Polished transparent composite resin skeleton dial
Hands: White Luminescent
Movement/Functions: 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 dial side
Power Reserve: Approximately 72 hours
Strap: Transparent structured lined strap with Titanium deployant buckle