The Big Bang
Throughout history there are many descriptions of The Big Bang and how the universe began, but today Hublot introduced the limited edition Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater, which impacts the watch universe as we know it. Combining two of the most regarded complications in horological design, a first-ever design, a minute repeater with a tourbillon escapement. Maybe not as amazing as how the universe was created, but considering how ceramic designs have captured the luxury watch industry, this is quite an accomplishment.
The brand crafted these beauties in two colors, a deep black and a milky white. Created with a 43mm ceramic case, the Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater has stayed true to the brand distinctive angular silhouette. The timepieces feature the familiar screw-fastened chamfered bezel, the planar lugs, a broad polished case side chamfers and recessed brushed case sides but allowing each color to have their own personality. The black model is very stealthy and edgy, quite mysterious in appearance, while the white model is very clean, and accentuates the look of a modern futuristic society. Both models have done quite the job in showcasing the brushed and polished facets, which is quite a feat for ceramic design. Beautiful in all aspects the timepieces have truly moved ahead for the future.
Anyone who is not familiar with a minute repeater would not appreciate how performance driven they are. The case for one of these is a true work of art, like a musical instrument. The case obviously protects the movement and dial of a timepiece, but this Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater case also acts as a resonator and amplifier for the internal chimes. The challenge here is the engineering balance for acoustics, and water resistance. The zirconium oxide ceramics is difficult to work with, and ceramics in general are not known for acoustical properties. Hublot was a genius in overcoming this issue with a very intricate machining that created a complicated internal resonator, it overcomes the inherent properties in ceramic and produces a beautiful balanced musical tone. The water resistance issue is a problem because in such a complex internal case structure it is very hard to keep things watertight, and while the timepiece is 30 meter water resistant, it is not something to write home about.
The full skeleton dial that the brand placed on these Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeaters is certainly modern and keeps with the visual flair that both colors represent. The movement puts on quite a show, and is on full display with the intricate web of skeletonized bridges, plates and wheels. Hublot provides modern finishes across all the elements, including vertical and radial brushing, polished anglage and perlage. Quite impressive is the in-house MHUB8001.H1.RH hand wound tourbillon minute repeater movement sitting on the inside of these two spectacular watches. The case back allows for a very direct view of the complete bridges and all the key elements of the gear train. Hublot has done a tremendous job on both of these black and white case variants, and finishes them with matching integrated ceramic bracelets. Eye catching elegance on both of these watches provides a firm step in the future for Hublot ceramics.