A skeletonised tourbillon movement? Check. A micro-rotor visible from the dial side? Check. A fully carbon fibre case that makes it look like a bloody supercar? Check. Hublot’s latest and greatest high-complication Big Bang has a lot going for it…
Hublot’s HUB6035 movement is easily one of the prettiest and most impressive movements in modern watchmaking. Stunning to look at thanks to its aforementioned dial-side micro-rotor mounted at 12 o’clock, it’s also technically very impressive, boasting bridges made out of sapphire crystal and a meaty 3-day power reserve.
In short, it’s quite high-tech. But the latest watch Hublot’s chosen to contain this impressive movement is also just as high-tech and visually dramatic: meet the new Big Bang Integrated Tourbillon Full Carbon (ref. 455.YS.0170.YS).
As the name implies, it features a case made completely of carbon fibre – but with a twist. Upon first appearance, it appears that’s not the case; that it’s simply topped with carbon fibre fillets. But looks can be deceiving.
It’s actually pretty ingenious. That woven stuff on top of the black stuff? It’s a proprietary compound called Texalium, a new fusion of materials combining a fibreglass core with a thin top layer of aluminium and encased in a special resin. The Texalium fillets protect the carbon fibre (the black stuff) underneath.
Carbon fibre can be rather brittle and not very scratch-resistant – that’s why you often see brands who use it, like Richard Mille or Roger Dubuis, ‘cap’ or sandwich the carbon fibre with another material. Hublot has done the same thing here with Texalium, but Texalium is just as light as carbon fibre while being exponentially more impact-resistant. The result? A watch that’s tough, light and visually very unique.
How light? It’s 68 grams, including the bracelet, which is one of the lightest bracelets ever devised in watchmaking. Really, the bracelet is arguably the most exciting part of the Big Bang Integrated Tourbillon Full Carbon: each link is individually machined and finished, which is a real challenge with composite materials like Texalium and carbon fibre, Hublot explains.
Flip the Big Bang Integrated Tourbillon Full Carbon over and you’ll also notice that Hublot has created an exclusive openwork back plate for this watch with a parquetry-like pattern that refers to the interwoven nature of carbon fibre and Texalium. This backplate lets even more light permeate the watch’s movement to emphasise its lightweight character.
“The Big Bang Integrated Tourbillon Full Carbon embodies Hublot’s mastery of materials… Fusing tradition and innovation, we created a tourbillon movement housed in a carbon fibre and Texalium case, offering incredible resistance yet weighing just 68 grams, with an ultra-comfortable integrated strap. We are redefining the rules of contemporary watchmaking by offering unique and innovative materials and designs,” Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe says.
Limited to only 50 pieces, the Hublot Big Bang Integrated Tourbillon Full Carbon retails for $176,000 AUD. Find out more about this stunning piece at Hublot’s online boutique here.