Bang On! Hublot Unleashes Stunning New Big Bang and Square Bang Models at Watches & Wonders 2023
Hublot impresses in Geneva by releasing a new carbon fiber and Texalium Big Bang Tourbillon with an integrated bracelet, a double-axis tourbillon with a bi-retrograde display and four-day power reserve, and new Square Bang Unicos in sapphire and ceramic
At Watches & Wonders 2023, Hublot has once again put the spotlight on its materials innovation and mechanical mastery.
Let’s take a look at four of the Nyon-based brand’s dozen new releases at the marquee watch fair.
Big Bang Integrated Tourbillon Full Carbon
Lightweight carbon fiber and Texalium cases have been part of Hublot’s offering for the best part of a decade now, from the Big Bang Unico 45 Italia Independent to the Big Bang Unico Golf.
A fiberglass fabric with an aluminum coating on its surface, Texalium can be integrated into carbon fiber to not only make it even more impact- and scratch-resistant but to also add an eye-catching layer of color to it, like gray, green, blue, or orange.
Until now, Hublot has used this colorful Texalium and carbon fiber combination to fine effect for the case and bezel for some of its models, but never for the strap. But that all changed on Monday when Hublot unveiled the Big Bang Integrated Tourbillon Full Carbon.
Ergonomic, Featherlight Bracelet
As its name suggests, it’s not just this new model’s case and bezel made from gray-toned carbon fiber and Texalium; its ergonomic bracelet that integrates seamlessly with the 43mm case is made from these materials also.
Each link of the 26g bracelet has been individually machined and finished to obtain optimal surface quality. That is quite a challenge with composite materials like carbon fiber and Texalium because each element reacts differently to cutting, machining, and chamfering. With the watch head weighing 42g, the watch’s overall weight is a featherlight 68g.
Powering the hour-minute indications is the skeletonized HUB6035 manufacture automatic tourbillon movement with a three-day power reserve. It’s a calibre that we’ve already seen on a number of Hublot models, including the recent Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon SAXEM.
This time, however, it features a special openwork titanium back plate. This geometric, maze-like monobloc structure emerges behind the watch’s components and can be glimpsed dial side and admired in full through the transparent display caseback.
Priced at $127,000, the Big Bang Integrated Tourbillon Full Carbon is a limited edition of 50 numbered pieces.
Hublot MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde
Hublot’s MP collection of Manufacture Pieces is meant to represent the fusion between revolutionary technical movements and spectacular, disruptive designs. And it is primarily aimed at collectors seeking “the watchmaking of tomorrow.”
At Watches & Wonders 2023, Hublot has served up another slice of its vision of futuristic horology with the new MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde. And impressively, it boasts a triumvirate of features rarely, if ever, packaged together: a double-axis tourbillon, a dual bi-retrograde display, and a movement with a four-day power reserve.
Hublot claims to be one of only a few watchmakers capable of manufacturing a double-axis tourbillon in-house, having first done so with the MP-09. Six years after the MP-09, the new MP-13’s tourbillon completes a full rotation every minute on one axis and every 30 seconds on the other. Plus, not only is the skeletonized and suspended tourbillon hypnotic to look at, but it also plays a chronometry-enhancing role by averaging out positional errors due to gravity.
To amplify the visual effect, the 44mm satin-finished natural titanium case and bezel have been “opened up” at 6 o’clock to put the tourbillon on show in its own curved, sapphire crystal-covered display space.
Easy to Use
As for the manual-winding HUB6200 calibre, this is the first time Hublot has designed a bi-retrograde movement for both hours and minutes. While the minute hand sweeps across steadily, the hour hand jumps instantly from one hour to the next. Meanwhile, the generous power reserve can be checked via the indicator located at 11 o’clock.
Hublot has designed the MP-13 so that it is easy to use. As such, the crown has one position and passing through the minutes automatically moves the hours forward. As for winding it, you can only do so in one direction to avoid potential damage caused by winding the hands backward, a weakness often found in retrograde displays.
A 50-piece limited edition, the MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde is priced at $158,000 and comes on a black lined rubber strap.
Hublot Square Bang Unico Sapphire
At last year’s Watches & Wonders, Hublot made waves when it launched the Square Bang Unico, a square-shaped watch inspired by the Big Bang. Part of the brand’s “Shaped” collection, the Square Bang Unico’s 42mm case features a sandwich-like construction and six H-shaped screws around the straight-sided bezel.
So far in the Square Bang Unico line-up, we’ve seen cases in titanium, king gold, an all-black ceramic edition, and either titanium or king gold mixed with black ceramic. For the 2023 show, Hublot has given us three more stunning Square Bangs to contemplate.
Indeed, the enthusiastic reaction of collectors to the Square Bang has encouraged Hublot to take this model back to the drawing board and harness the maison’s sapphire production skills to create the mesmerizing Square Bang Unico Sapphire.
Despite the challenge of its square format and the case’s multi-layered sapphire construction, Hublot’s engineers have still managed to guarantee a 5 ATM water resistance.
HUB1280 Unico 2 manufacture calibre can be seen from several angles. Plus, this automatic column-wheel flyback chronograph movement, which offers a 72-hour power reserve, adapts itself naturally to the Square Bang’s square format.
Priced at $95,000, the Square Bang Unico Sapphire is offered in a limited run of 250 pieces and comes on a transparent, structured rubber strap.
Hublot Square Bang Unico in White & Black Ceramic
On top of that, Hublot has once again displayed its prowess in ceramics by presenting two new editions of the Square Bang Unico, one in white and one in black.
The Square Bang White Ceramic and Square Bang Black Magic are each priced at $26,200 and paired with either an all-black structured rubber strap or white structured rubber strap with black borders.
On all the new Square Bangs – which feature titanium crown guards – owners can also take advantage of Hublot’s One Click interchangeable strap system to personalize their watch by choosing from a generous selection of size 642 optional straps.
For more information about Hublot’s Watches & Wonders 2023 releases, visit the brand’s website.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)