To boost the movement’s robustness, Hublot has done some thinking outside the box (or case). The hour counter is driven directly by the barrel, and there is no jumper in the chronograph mechanism. These original developments simplify the chronograph system, and simplicity is the mother of reliability. (Thorough testing is the father.) This type of thinking means the Unico incorporates just 330 components. Other flyback chronograph movements with date can contain 375 or more components.
Peer through the red sapphire crystal and the clear sapphire dial, and you will behold another surprising development: the chronograph column wheel. Found in the finest chronographs, this sign of quality construction is typically visible only through the display back. With the Unico, Hublot turns watchmaking into a spectator sport.
Hublot is also famous for its regular use of high-tech materials. For example, the Big Bang Magic Gold, launched in 2012, was the first watch created using a scratch-resistant 18k gold, invented by Hublot. Inside the Unico, the pallet fork and escape wheel are made from silicon, which offers a perfect combination of light weight, hardness, and low friction. The HUB 1241 runs at 4Hz (or 28,800 vph) with a power reserve of approximately 72 hours.
Of course when you look at the BB FTC, the movement is not the first thing you notice. That would probably be the distinctive red crystal, followed quickly by the broad carbon-fiber bezel. The crystal’s color is chemically created during the development of the material that forms the crystal, rendering the red hue permanent and unalterable.
The carbon-fiber bezel is another component that Hublot designs and manufacturers in-house. The process is handled by a team of specialists that joined the company in 2012. The component is created using a multi-layer approach that involves stacking several sheets of carbon fiber (as many as 12 for the thickest components), pressing them into molds, and placing the molds in polymerization ovens. I looked this up, and polymerization is “the process of reacting monomer molecules together in a chemical reaction to form polymer chains or three-dimensional networks.” So yes, specialists would be needed. Hublot says the process eliminates bubbles and produces higher mechanical strength. The bezels are machined in-house on specially adapted five-spindle machines. The extra-strong bezel helps provide the 100-meter water resistance, which Hublot checks three times during the manufacturing process.
Each Big Bang Ferrari Titanium Carbon is supplied with two straps in black and red schedoni leather stitched onto black rubber. Hublot says the construction imparts a high degree of flexibility, comfort and durability.
The Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Titanium Carbon is limited to 1,000 pieces, priced at $28,600.
You can find out for yourself just how comfortable the BB FTC is on your wrist, and to try on many other new Hublot models, at IBG 2014. We hope to see you in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco. Click here for more on the event and to order tickets for one of the four event cities.