Hands-On Pics: Hublot’s New Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon SAXEM and Classic Fusion Original
We went hands-on with three more of the brand’s recent LVMH Watch Week 2023 releases to see how they shape up on the wrist. Crazy colors, high-tech materials, and the revival of an iconic design are all on the menu.
So, having already taken a look at the new Big Bang Unico SORAI in gray ceramic, Big Bang Integrated and Integrated Time Only King Gold Rainbow, and Big Bang One Click 39mm Sapphire models released during the show, today, we check out three more of the Swiss watchmaker’s impressive novelties from the first major watch fair of 2023.
Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon SAXEM 44mm
Hublot has previously showcased the eye-catchingly translucent material SAXEM to fine effect. First came the Big Bang MP-11 in 2019, then the Spirit of Big Bang, and both featured cases made from emerald green SAXEM. Now at LVMH Watch Week 2023, the Nyon-based brand unveiled the even more visually striking Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon SAXEM 44mm.
Standing for “Sapphire Aluminum oXide and rare Earth Mineral,” SAXEM is an alloy of aluminum oxide – the basic component of sapphire – with rare-earth elements such as thulium, holmium, and chromium.
Originally developed for the satellite industry, SAXEM is not just very resistant; its cubic crystalline structure guarantees the same shade and intensity of color irrespective of the angle from which you view the case.
Here, the 42mm greenish-yellow case spectacularly frames the openwork MHUB6035 micro-rotor tourbillon movement, which is dramatically displayed on the dial side and through the transparent caseback.
Limited to 50 pieces and priced at $211,000, the Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon SAXEM 44mm is complemented by a neon yellow rubber strap with titanium folding buckle that can be quickly changed out using the brand’s One Click system. Its matching hue is such that it gives the appearance of being fully integrated with the remarkable case.
New Classic Fusion Original 33mm, 38mm, and 42mm
Of course, Hublot wouldn’t be where it is now if it wasn’t for Carlo Crocco. His company, MDM Genève, turned watchmaking convention on its head when it audaciously presented a precious metal watch on a rubber strap at Baselworld 1980, a combination previously unheard of in the watch world. Named the Hublot, meaning “porthole” – because it resembled one – the convention-defying watch would eventually lend its name to the whole brand. Meanwhile, the timepiece itself would become known as the Classic Fusion.
For LVMH Watch Week 2023, Hublot has revisited the iconic design that started it all. Plus, now it’s available in three different sizes – 33mm, 38mm, and 42mm – and three different materials – 18K yellow gold, natural titanium, and black ceramic, or “Black Magic,” as the brand calls it.
At first glance, the new Classic Fusion Original – with its porthole-like bezel, glossy black lacquer dial, and smooth black rubber strap – appears pretty much a like-for-like homage to the 1980s design.
But if you compare and contrast, you’ll see the lugs are now broader, the appearance of blackened lateral case protrusions, and six screws rather than twelve secure a slightly wider bezel. Dial-wise, the hands are beefier, and the date window’s black background now matches the surrounding dial.
Like the Classic Fusion back in the day, the new 33mm edition is powered by a quartz movement, though the 38mm and 42mm editions house a Swiss-made mechanical movement, the solid Sellita SW300-1. Nothing to shout about, admittedly, but then again, you’re unlikely to be buying the new Classic Fusion for its mechanics, more so for a slice of the brand’s – and 1980s watchmaking – history and what it stands for.
Of course, in terms of the Classic Fusion’s backstory, yellow gold is the most iconic of the materials available here. But if mechanical and understated casual is your thing, as it is mine, then the titanium and black ceramic 38mm and 42mm editions – more modestly priced between $7,900 and $10,000 – just might be for you.
Spirit of Big Bang Tourbillon Carbon Sky Blue
Finally, Hublot capped off LVMH Watch Week 2023 by launching two new high-tech, tonneau-cased Spirit of Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve models.
One is a 50-piece limited edition with a 42mm purple sapphire case, priced at $206,000.