Hublot takes pride in being the first watch manufacturer to make sapphire cases on an industrialized scale, starting in 2016 with the first Big Bang Unico Sapphire, and even greater pride in its leading role in creating new color variations in that difficult-to-machine material, from reds to yellows to blues. For the undisputed headline piece of its 2021 offerings, unveiled during LVMH Watch Week, Hublot introduces an entirely new colored sapphire case, but it didn’t stop there, equipping the Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Orange Sapphire with an all-new self-winding tourbillon movement with a few sapphire goodies of its own.
The watch, limited to just 50 pieces, catches the eye with its 45-mm case machined from orange-tinted translucent sapphire, a world-first material achieved through a manufacturing process that incorporates titanium and chromium. Its finely polished surfaces are accented on the bezel by the six H-shaped titanium screws that are emblematic of the Big Bang collection. The case, which is water-resistant to 30 meters, attaches to an orange, structured rubber strap with lined relief pattern; the strap and the case are equipped with Hublot’s patented One Click interchangeability system.
A revolutionary case, it follows, deserves a similarly groundbreaking movement, and the Hublot Caliber MHUB6035 qualifies: it’s the “Art of Fusion” brand’s first self-winding tourbillon caliber and it achieves its three days (72 hours) of running autonomy by means of a 22k gold micro-rotor, placed unconventionally at 12 o’clock on the dial side of the skeletonized movement. Equipped with ceramic ball bearings and Hublot’s advanced winding system, and enhanced with haute horlogerie decorations including beveling, sunray brushing, and sandblasting, the movement’s aesthetically balanced architecture positions the microrotor, with its openworked “Hublot” logo, directly above the one-minute rotating tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock. Also noteworthy are the three movement bridges made of sapphire, used here for the first time: the barrel bridge, automatic bridge, and tourbillon barette. Ensuring legibility despite all of this mechanized complexity are hands and hour numerals filled with orange Super-LumiNova.
The Hublot Big Bang Sapphire Tourbillon Automatic Orange Sapphire, limited to 50 pieces, is priced at $169,000. Hublot has also installed the new automatic tourbillon caliber in two other new models: one with a case and bezel in Texalium, a lightweight material that fuses carbon fiber and aluminum (limited to 100 pieces, $94,700); the other, also a limited edition of 100 pieces, in a “Black Magic” black ceramic case ($94,700).