“The art of fusion is really our key element, and this is our DNA,” Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot, told Departures. “We must really respect that and always come with watches that have this connection between tradition and innovation. The key element is really to respect the tradition of the watchmaking arts, but to bring always an innovation […] through materials.”
And with the freshly launched additions to its most popular Big Bang line, the company has not only stayed true to its DNA by inventing a new ceramic colorway and a completely see-through timepiece made by sapphire, but it also continues to elevate its high jewelry offerings by introducing a stunning piece set with a whopping 484 diamonds.
We caught up with Guadalupe on the occasion of the annual Watches & Wonders Geneva trade show, a private event for media, retailers, and VIP customers. This year, it is taking place on a single virtual platform from April 7-13, followed by in-person sessions in Shanghai from April 14-18. This week, as part of the event’s digital initiative, Hublot and some 38 more of the world’s most prestigious watchmakers reveal their latest products for 2021.
Without further ado, here’s a breakdown of Hublot’s new offerings:
Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Full Sapphire
It’s been five years since Hublot introduced its first sapphire watch—the Big Bang Unico Sapphire—and today, the brand is revisiting the style. The new Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Full Sapphire features an integrated case and bracelet, both made from sapphire. The company gave the 42 mm case a complete makeover removing almost all visible screws and changing the case’s general geometry to integrate it with the sapphire bracelet. Speaking of the bracelet, it consists of a whopping165 components, 22 of which crafted from sapphire.
Working with this particular material comes with some challenges, though.
‘Sapphire is the hardest material on Earth—only a diamond can scratch sapphire, but at the same time being so hard, it's quite fragile. So if you milled it, if you don't put the right thickness at certain points, where you have the screws, for instance, where you have the movement of the links, it can break. So the real challenge is to be able to find the right proportion, the right construction of each component that is solid enough to be able to be worn by the consumer and not break after few weeks of wearing the watch,” explained Guadalupe.
The Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Full Sapphire retails for $422,000.
Big Bang Unico Yellow Magic
The brand continues to build its portfolio of brightly-hued ceramic watches with the addition of Yellow Magic—the first timepiece in the world crafted from vivid yellow ceramic. The complicated process took four years to develop and fine-tune to find the perfect balance between temperature and pressure, enabling the ceramic to be sintered without burning the pigments.
The timepiece has a 42mm case housing a skeleton dial with yellow indexes, flange, minute and seconds counters, Arabic numerals, and hands. The Big Bang Unico Yellow Magic is fitted with a rubber strap, and its production is limited to 250 pieces.
“We have been really a specialist in developing and introducing ceramics since 2005,” said Guadalupe referencing the year when the company introduced its first black ceramic timepiece. “This [watch in] vivid yellow ceramic demonstrates the know-how of Hublot in the research and development of materials, and specifically ceramic.”
The new Big Bang Unico Yellow Magic will retail for $26,200.
Big Bang Sang Bleu II
Hublot is also extending its collaboration with London-based tattoo studio Sang Bleu by adding three more colorways to its Big Bang Sang Bleu II Ceramic line—grey, blue (a nod to the name of the style, which means blue blood in French), and white. Each of these new Big Bang Sang Bleu II timepieces has a 45mm ceramic case crafted to sculptural perfection and houses the UNICO Manufacture self-winding chronograph movement.
“The idea that today we must create and produce a piece of art—watchmaking is an art— but we think that we can be inspired by other universes, other forms of art. And it's our motto ‘Hublot loves art,’ and Sang Bleu is part of it,” Guadalupe said. “More recently, we did this Takashi Murakami watch as well, that was inspired by the art of Murakami, and the result is also amazing. And those watches are not just conceptual, they're really also an incredible commercial success.”
The Big Bang Sang Bleu II is priced at $27,300.
Big Bang Integral Tourbillon High Jewellery
While high jewelry watchmaking is not necessarily the bread and butter of Hublot, for the past 14 years, the brand has created 29 stunning timepieces that showcase the exceptional expertise of its craftsmen when it comes to working with precious materials such as diamonds. This year’s Big Bang Integral Tourbillon High Jewellery is the most impressive of all.
Set with 484 baguette-cut diamonds, 304 of which in the bracelet alone, the timepiece has a 43 mm case housing a white gold skeleton dial and Hublot’s HUB6035 automatic tourbillon movement.
The Big Bang Integral Tourbillon High Jewellery comes with a price tag of $685,000.