Focusing on improved everyday wearability, Hublot has mastered the in-house manufacturing of ceramic. The sort of ceramic used in high-end watchmaking is incredibly challenging to work with precisely because of the material’s preferable attributes. First, ceramic is virtually scratch-proof – it can only be scratched by diamonds –, which means that a ceramic watch will forever look as beautiful as it did when it was brand new. Areas most frequently exposed to scratches like the clasp, the bracelet and the bezel of the watch will maintain their original finish, while timepieces crafted from steel, gold or titanium will pick up scratches everywhere they go. Second, ceramic can be worn even by those who develop allergic reactions to certain types of metals. Third, ceramic is around 30% lighter than steel and – a general rule in choosing your next timepiece – a lighter watch is always more comfortable to wear than a heavy one.
The Hublot Big Bang Integral Ceramic is built around this fantastically capable material that, for most of the last three decades, has exclusively existed in white or black. The reason for that is that the sort of ceramic used for watches has for long proven to be impossible to colour to vivid and interesting hues. Why? Because the immense heat required to manufacture ceramic spoils the pigments which show up as unsightly discolourations in the material, unworthy of a luxury watch.
Hublot has mastered coloured ceramic in ways no other Swiss watchmaker has managed. This proprietary know-how has opened an unmatched palette of colours for Hublot to choose from for its ceramic watches and the new-for-2021 Hublot Big Bang Integral Ceramic drives that advantage home.
The three new versions include a satin-finished and polished white, complemented by rather more high-tech-looking variations in blue and grey. The name Integral refers to the tight integration between case and bracelet: the last link in the bracelet is hugged by the lugs of the case, while the external links serve as a continuation of those lugs. The entire watch looks more like a bracelet than a traditional timepiece on a leather strap, leading to a more contemporary – although not entirely new – aesthetic on the wrist. For many, a nicely integrated case-bracelet design, such as this one, provides greater wearing comfort too.
With the light ceramic material, the more compact 42 millimetre-wide case, and the “Integral” design, this Hublot Big Bang Integral Ceramic has everything going for it to ensure superb wearing comfort throughout the day. The HUB1280 manufacture chronograph movement is revealed through the front and the back sapphire crystals, allowing for the easy appreciation of one of Hublot’s best-loved in-house movements available today.
Words: David B.