Hublot Enters New Territory With The 40mm Big Bang Integral
Whenever Hublot announces new additions to its extensive collection, the first expectations are that we will have some extravagant timepieces. I can say that this year, the Nyon brand yet again does not disappoint in bringing some colorful timepieces. But the main eyecatcher for 2022 is the unexpected but completely logical Hublot Big Bang Integral Time Only in 40mm. This new release could become a very popular one for the brand. Next to that, Hublot also introduces the impressive Yellow Gold Collection and three new Sang Bleu II timepieces. Time to find out more.
Hublot doesn’t shy away from shocking us with its new releases. Over the years, the brand has proven that creating timepieces with distinctive colors and materials combined with technically impressive solutions and extravagant designs will have people talking. While I am not always the biggest fan of the brand’s often loud creations, I respect what Hublot has achieved over the last 15 years. And over time, I have grown to like some of the lesser extravagant timepieces, with the Classic Fusion as my favorite model in the collection.
Big Bang Integral Time Only
While the brand also announced a great new Classic Fusion model as part of this year’s introductions, the stand-out release for this year is the new Hublot Big Bang Integral Time Only. This 40mm time and date version — unlike the name would have you think — of the Hublot Big Bang Integral has the potential to grow into a popular release for the brand. It is the first Big Bang model to feature an integrated bracelet in the very popular 40mm size. On top of that, the Hublot Big Bang Integral Time Only has a sleeker profile. It ensures that it enters the arena of modern luxury sports watches with integrated bracelets that so many watch enthusiasts love.
Two years ago, Hublot announced the first Big Bang Integral models as part of the Big Bang Unico line. These 42mm Big Bang chronographs showed that the brand could design a great integrated bracelet for the smaller Big Bang models. The results were pretty impressive. The new Big Bang Integral Time Only comes in a full titanium version, a full yellow gold version, or a limited-edition full black ceramic version. While the yellow gold and black ceramic models are visually striking, the titanium model will attract the biggest audience. It’s also the model that first caught my eye despite its humble presence.
An impressively sleek profile
All three Big Bang Integral Time Only models feature a modern 40mm case. It’s a case that is only 9.25mm high and water-resistant to 100 meters. Looking at the face of the watches through the sapphire crystal, it stands out there is no dial. Most Unico models have skeletonized dials; these new watches feature a truly unobstructed view of the movement. The only “decorative” touches are the functional elements that display the time. The big hour markers, the date window at 6 o’clock, and the three hands for displaying the time get full attention. The Hublot logo is printed on the sapphire crystal, resulting in a very open and technical design. In particular, the titanium version feels very technical. The only hint of color is the red-on-black 60-minute track on the outside of the “dial.”
On the rear, you will be greeted by the sapphire crystal case back that shows more of the Hublot Caliber MHUB1710. This technical design of the watch matches the bracelet design perfectly. The three-link bracelet design is the same as on the chronograph models. It perfectly fits the angular case design of the watches. The links are all individually polished and satin-finished, chamfered, and beveled. The result is a bracelet that constantly plays with the reflection of light.
The Hublot Caliber MHUB1710
Inside the case, Hublot has equipped the watches with the Caliber MHUB1710. This automatic movement is based on Zenith’s Elite 670 movement that powers the Zenith Defy Classic. It operates at 28,800vph, has 27 jewels, and comes with a 70-hour power reserve. The movement perfectly fills the space inside the case. As a result, there are no empty spaces, and the design works well. It’s a movement that the brand also uses for its 39mm versions of the Spirit of Big Bang.
All the different surfaces of the movement have a satin finish. It ensures that they’re not distracting when reading the time. Combined with the iconic porthole bezel design with its famous screws and the integrated bracelet, the watch feels technical and utilitarian rather than flashy and extravagant. It’s a look that I certainly like. It’s why I can’t wait to put the titanium model on my wrist and test it out.
Pricing and availability
As mentioned, the titanium and yellow gold models are permanent additions to the collection. The full black ceramic version will be limited to 250 pieces. The titanium model will be available for €17,500. The 18K yellow gold model will cost a whopping €48,700. Lastly, the limited All Black version will cost €19,600. As mentioned, the titanium model will probably be the one that will attract the most interest. It will be interesting to find out how good the watch is. The first signs are promising. I have to compliment Hublot for creating its first-ever 40mm Big Bang models. And I, for one, can’t wait to find out more.
Hublot Yellow Gold Collection
A second series that Hublot announced is the Yellow Gold Collection. This special collection consists of six new models. Three of these models celebrate the combination of yellow gold cases and rubber straps. It’s the combination that started it all for the brand back in 1980. Seeing the combination of yellow gold and black rubber is a great reminder of Carlo Crocco’s brilliant concept of combining precious metals with rubber straps. It has become an industry standard over four decades later.
The first model is the 42mm Classic Fusion Chronograph that looks stunning in yellow gold and black. I love seeing this release because I think it’s the best the brand has to offer. Essentially, it is the same watch as the regular 42mm chronograph models available in titanium, King Gold, or a combination of both. The Classic Fusion Chronograph features a 42mm × 11.9mm yellow gold case that has 50 meters of water resistance. The watch is powered by the automatic Hublot Caliber MHUB1153, which operates at 28,800vph and has 35 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve. The Classic Fusion Chronograph will be available for €26,500.
A magical combination
The second model is the yellow gold Big Bang Unico. It also features a 42mm yellow gold case that is 14.5mm thick. The watch comes on a lined black rubber strap and is powered by the Caliber MHUB1280. This in-house UNICO 2 self-winding flyback column-wheel chronograph movement operates at 28,800vph. It consists of 354 parts, has 43 jewels, and features a 72-hour power reserve. The watch will be available for €36,200.
The last model that completes the trio of yellow-gold-and-rubber models is the Spirit of Big Bang. The rectangular model also looks impressive in the yellow-gold-and-black color combo. The watch is powered by the automatic Caliber MHUB4700 that operates at 28,800vph. It consists of 278 parts, has 31 jewels, and features 50 hours of power reserve. The watch will be available for exactly €40,000. As you can see, all of these three watches look at their best in yellow gold and black rubber. I love seeing the Classic Fusion in this color combination, and on top of that, the 42mm case makes it a really attractive offer.
Full gold Big Bang Integral
The three other models are 18K yellow gold Big Bang Integral models. Up until now, Hublot had released the 42mm chronograph versions of the Big Bang Integral in titanium, different colors of ceramic, and Hublot’s own King Gold. The brand adds a full yellow gold version, a yellow gold pavé version set with 138 diamonds, and a yellow gold jewelry version set with 54 baguette-cut diamonds. If you are looking for something over the top and ultra-flashy, this is the way to go within the Yellow Gold collection.
But you have to bring a big bag of cash to buy one of these models. The Yellow Gold comes in at €51,800, the Yellow Gold Pavé at €98,700, and the over the top Yellow Gold Joaillerie can be yours for a whopping €208,000. These complete the six watches that make up the Hublot Yellow Gold collection. For once, I love the most affordable option out of all six available watches. That doesn’t happen often.
Hublot Big Bang Unico Sang Bleu II
The last series of new Hublot introductions I would like to touch upon is a series of three new Unico Sang Bleu II models. Hublot and Sang Bleu founder, tattoo artist, and all-around creative mastermind Maxime Plescia-Buchi have collaborated on extravagant and spectacular timepieces since 2016 that are not everyone’s cup of tea. In 2019, Hublot introduced the Sang Bleu II model, characterized by its geometric patterns featured across the entire 45mm case, the hexagonal bezel, the sapphire crystal, the hands, and the strap. As someone with a professional design background and a deep love for geometric design, I have a tremendous soft spot for these timepieces.
The three newest additions to the Sang Bleu II line-up are a black ceramic version, a green ceramic version, and the impressive Magic Gold version. In particular, this last version on a black rubber strap with its special color looks pretty amazing. The special hue of Hublot’s patented and scratch-resistant 18K gold alloy works very well with the outspoken design of the watch. The watches are substantial in size at 45mm diameter and 16.5mm high. They are all water-resistant to 100 meters.
The magic of Magic Gold
Inside the case, Hublot equipped the watches with the Caliber MHUB1240. It’s is an in-house-developed automatic column-wheel chronograph with a flyback function that consists of 330 parts. The 38-jewel movement operates at 28,800vph and offers 72 hours of power reserve. But no matter how impressive the movement is, these watches are there for the fans of this remarkable design. It’s why I would love to check out the Magic Gold version up close to find out just how special it is.
The Big Bang Unico Sang Bleu II in Magic Gold will be produced in a limited run of 100 pieces. It will be available for €41,400. The black ceramic version will be produced in a limited run of 250 pieces. It will cost €26,900. Lastly, the green ceramic will be produced in a limited run of 250 pieces and cost €26,900. Those are some high prices for the Sang Bleu II models. While these pieces’ extravagance and overall looks are an acquired taste, there is definitely an audience for these unique watches. As mentioned, I would love to see that Magic Gold version up close and look at all the intricacies of its unique design.
Overall, Hublot has announced watches that we have come to expect from the brand. While they are not targeted at the traditional watch crowd, it is interesting to see what the brand comes up with every time. And with the new Big Bang Integral Time Only, Hublot has created a watch that will have crossover appeal to the more traditional watch fans. The same goes for the 42mm Classic Fusion Chronograph in 18K yellow gold. Seeing the traditional Classic Fusion silhouette return to its original combination of materials and colors proves to be a great move. All in all, kudos to Hublot for introducing a great variety of timepieces for 2022.