Hublot Big Bang Unico Orange Ceramic

Bold Manufacturing: A Close Look at the Highlights from Hublot at Watches and Wonders

Technologically innovative and daring in its design, Hublot can be described as both minimalist and realist. Proof of this lies in the continuously surprising and captivating models the brand revealed this week in Geneva.

By Isabelle Guignet

Since its inception in 1980, Hublot has emerged as a major player on the horological scene. And at this year’s eagerly anticipated Watches and Wonders, Hublot took the opportunity to unveil a host of new models, all while exploring innovation.

Let’s take a look.

Expanding the Family: The Big Bang Integrated Time Only 38mm

Hublot’s Big Bang collection needs no introduction because the model has been such a success for the brand that it will forever remain a timeless piece to explore, challenge, and reinvent, much to the delight of collectors.

Now, in 2024, the brand is releasing six new time-only references that will expand the Big Bang family while still paying homage to the era of the brand’s creation. More specifically, the cases of these references shrink from 40mm to 38mm, which, while closer to what was considered the standard case size in the 1980s, it is rarely found in Hublot’s current catalog.

However, more than a mere tribute, the 38mm diameter hits the sweet spot because it is accessible to all wrists and loved by both women and men.

In addition to the smaller case size, the bracelets are integrated into the case (hence, the “Integrated” part of their name). And for each reference, the case material and the bracelet material are the same. The choices of material are titanium, 18-karat King Gold, black ceramic, and a deep blue ceramic, all of which are satin-finished and polished, thus providing harmony and consistency to the timepiece.

As previously mentioned, there are six versions of the new Big Bang Integrate Time Only watches: two models are titanium, two come in 18-karat King Gold, one is in black ceramic, and one comes in blue ceramic.

The titanium and King Gold models come with either a polished black or a sunray-finished blue dial. Meanwhile, the blue and Black Magic models come with color-matched dials (polished for the Black Magic model and satin-finished for the blue model).

Of the six, we think the Black Magic version (which is made of a ceramic that is the “deepest black,” according to the brand) will charm enthusiasts the most thoroughly.

Finally, at the heart of these beauties is the automatic winding movement MHUB1115, which offers a date at 3 o’clock, hours, minutes, seconds, and a power reserve of 48 hours.

Orange is the New Black

Since 2018, Hulot has released a few vibrantly colored ceramic Big Bang Unico models, most notably in fiery red and Kill Bill yellow. Now, the Big Bang Unico family embraces a new dynamic color: intense orange. However, making ceramic with such original colors is no easy feat. Indeed, it’s quite the opposite.

“Hublot and ceramics, it’s our story,” explained Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of the brand, in a press release. “It’s in our DNA, from our first ceramic bezel in 2005 to the 100% ceramic cases, which we are now the only ones to master in such an array of colors.”

Therefore, to create this new orange ceramic, Hublot’s manufacture in Nyon explored different chemical formulas and manufacturing processes, intending to make a material ideally suited for wearing on the wrist. That means any brightly colored ceramic Hublot develops must be scratch- and wear-resistant. To do this requires research on durability and resistance, as well as numerous tests and trials.

Once the R&D department successfully creates a new vibrantly colored ceramic, the brand recreates the exact shade of the ceramic for application to the hands, counters, and integrated rubber straps. Finally, the entire surface of the piece is a mirror polished by hand.

Plus, the heart of the timepiece beats due to the MHUB1280 UNICO 2 Manufacture calibre. The latest generation of automatic flyback chronograph movement, the MHUB1280 UNICO 2 features a small seconds at 9 o’clock, a 60-minute counter and a date aperture at 3 o’clock, a visible column wheel at 6 o’clock, and a 72-hour power reserve.

Finally, the ultra-pop 42mm Big Bang Unico Orange Ceramic is limited to only 250 pieces, virtually guaranteeing that it will be highly sought after.

Good Things Come in Small Packages

For many years, the allure of the “vintage-inspired” descriptor in watchmaking has lain in the atypical and eccentric shapes, flashy hues, and sometimes whimsical creations bordering on genius born of bygone design eras. However, in the past year, we have seen another aspect of vintage watches making a comeback with many brands: their tendency to smaller case sizes.

Case in point, Hublot is now offering Classic Fusion models that are only 29mm in diameter (8mm thick). Whether the cases are titanium or King Gold, gem-set or not, with a black, blue, green, or gray rubber strap, these new Classic Fusions are as chic as they are pretty and officially claim the record for the smallest case size in Hublot’s catalog.

Of course, a smaller case also means a smaller movement. Thus, all twenty (yes, twenty!) of the new Classic Fusion 29mm models are equipped with the MHUB2915 quartz movement that indicates hours, minutes, and seconds and includes the date at 3 o’clock.

For more information about the brand’s Watches and Wonders 2024 releases, including pricing and availability, check out Hublot’s website.

(Photography by Pierre Vogel)

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