9 ‘Big Bang’ Watches That Take Us Inside Hublot’s Successful Journey
The Big Bang Collection revived Hublot’s fortune almost two decades ago and then went on to become one of the world’s most famous luxury watches
After having revived the fortunes of storied brands like Blancpain and Omega in the 1980s and 90s, in 2004 the legendary watch professional Jean Claude Biver took on the job as the CEO of Hublot, a little-known Swiss brand that was founded in 1980, which despite its early success had remained largely on the sidelines of the fast-growing luxury watch industry in Europe. Biver was known for his marketing insight from his time at Blancpain and Omega, and for his first major Hublot collection, he came up with something very radical. He created an oversized 44.5 mm chronograph that combined Hublot’s signature porthole design (Hublot is the French term for porthole) with modern materials and design sensibilities.
The multi-layered case was developed in two versions, in 18K red gold with black ceramic or tantalum bezel, and the other in steel with black or white ceramic bezel. The over-stretched ceramic bezel was adorned with six sunken screws, polished and blocked with ‘H’-shaped slots. The dial was stamped in carbon, and the watch was equipped with a glorious looking natural black rubber strap that appeared to pass directly through the case due to the clever addition of a Kevlar insert. The strap would go on to become a Hublot signature.
Biver named the watch `Big Bang’, connoting both a new beginning of the Hublot universe and the high voltage hoopla that followed. The watch was launched at the Basel fair in 2005 and was an almost instant success among buyers. It won the Best Design prize at the Grand Prix d’Horologie de Geneve that year, making it even more famous. Overnight, Hublot was thrust into the top rung of luxury watch brands, where it has remained ever since.
Biver’s genius was that he didn’t allow Big Bang to rest on its early glory. Every few years, new iterations were launched with new movements and innovative materials, including Hublot’s own Magic gold, a scratch-resistant 18K gold alloy. All these have contributed to making the Big Bang one of the most recognised watches in the world over the years.
- Big Bang Original (2005)
The pioneering watch featured a fusion of materials such as gold and ceramic, Kevlar, rose gold, tantalum and rubber.
- Big Bang All Black (2006)
‘The case and the bezel were created entirely in ceramic, and a matt black dial and black rubber strap.
- Big Bang With A Feminine Touch (2009)
Automatic Big Bang in a 41 mm, 18K rose gold case with a green strap.
- Big Bang Unico (2013)
Named after the column wheel chronograph movement with a dual horizontal coupling visible on the dial side, it came in four variations titanium ceramic, titanium, King Gold Ceramic and King Gold.
- Big Bang Unico Sapphire (2016)
Big Bang with a case made entirely from polished sapphire crystal, a skeleton dial made from transparent resin, and a transparent strap.
- Big Bang Meca-10 Magic Gold (2017)
Skeleton watch in Magic Gold that reveals an original interlocking power reserve on the dial side.
- Big Bang Integral (2020)
First Big Bang with an integrated metal bracelet with the first link fused with the case. The watch itself was in black ceramic, King Gold or titanium.
- Big Bang Integral Ceramic (2021)
A variation of the 2020 version with its integrated bracelet, this watch is entirely in ceramic, including the strap. Comes in three colours white, blue and grey.
- Big Bang One Click 33MM (2021)
Ladies watch in stainless steel or in King Gold with a multitude of colourful interchangeable straps. The `one click’ in the name refers to Hublot’s patented fastening system that allows strap change in seconds.