Hublot made its first big splash in the world of “Connected Watches” in 2018, when it debuted the Big Bang Referee watch in coordination with its sponsorship of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The most expensive “smartwatch” on the market at the time, that timepiece, which was made for, and worn by World Cup match officials, pioneered a new and once-unthinkable market segment for the Swiss luxury watchmaker. Today, in a sign that Hublot has no plans of abandoning the category, it announced the launch of the new Big Bang e, which becomes the first Hublot watch to make its debut exclusively online.
The Big Bang e, probably moreso than its soccer-centric predecessor, is eminently recognizable as a descendant of the original, game-changing Big Bang model that revitalized Hublot when it debuted in 2005. It has a 42-mm case in either titanium or black ceramic, assembled in the model’s telltale “sandwich” construction and featuring a 12-hour bezel with metallized numerals. The design of the screws and pushers is consistent with those of mechanical Big Bangs, as is the sturdy rubber strap, which is equipped with Hublot’s patented One Click system for easy interchangeability.
Covering the scratch-proof sapphire crystal is an AMOLED touchscreen; inside the 42-part case is an electronic module powering the watch’s many functions, controlled by an integrated pusher in the crown. The mechanism was developed, Hublot says, in partnership with other brands within its parent company, the LVMH luxury group; presumably, one of these brand is fellow sport-luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer, which was the first of LVMH’s watch brands to develop and market a Connected Watch. In addition to its “Time Only” mode, the Big Bang e offers a variety of faces that display digital versions of traditional watch complications, like the recognizable Big Bang two-register chronograph, a perpetual calendar with an ultra-precise moon-phase, and a dual-time zone GMT with a realistic view of Earth.
Like its predecessor, the Big Bang e is powered by Wear OS by Google and compatible with devices running Android 6.0+ and above and iOS 12.0+ and above. And whereas the Referee watch from 2018 was released in support of the #HublotLovesFootball campaign (i.e., the brand’s timing partnership with FIFA and other soccer organizations), the Big Bang e is a showcase for the #HublotLovesArt movement and its continuous support of contemporary artists. For this watch, artist Marc Ferrero provided eight original, colorful dial images which change every three hours, thus creating a sequence every 24-hour period; as each hour changes, a five-second animation leads the wearer from one image to the next.
Both versions of the Hublot Big Bang e will debut exclusively on the Hublot website and on China’s Wechat network. Afterward the watches, priced at $5,200 in titanium and $5,800 in black ceramic, will be available in Hublot boutiques worldwide and across the brand’s traditional retail network.