Showing at WatchTime IBG 2014: Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Titanium Carbon

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari TitaniumWatchTime and noted watch collector and expert Jeff Kingston are teaming up again to present the 2014 edition of the popular “Inside Basel.Geneva” collector event series, and we’re kicking things off September 5 in Chicago. We’ll also visit New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. We’re fortunate to have Hublot as a core sponsor, and at the show, you will be able to try on the new, limited edition Big Bang Ferrari Titanium Carbon.

Hublot launched its collaboration with Ferrari in 2012. The partnership has already produced some memorable timepieces, including last year’s MP-05 LaFerrari with its world-record 50 days of power reserve. This year, Hublot has launched three new Ferrari Big Bang models, and at each of the IBG shows, you will be able to see, touch and try on this showcase model, the Big Bang Ferrari Titanium Carbon (BB FTC), which features Hublot’s now-famous red sapphire crystal.

The BB FTC is powered by Hublot’s in-house HUB 1241 Unico movement, which is designed, developed, machined and assembled by the micro-mechanical engineers, engineers and watchmakers at Hublot. The Unico stands as a testament to Hublot’s determination to achieve manufacture status. As we will see, Hublot designs, develops and manufactures other components in this watch, so perhaps it has achieved “manufacture-plus” status.

The BB FTC is a flyback chronograph, and the movement incorporates some unique features. For those who may not know, a flyback is a chronograph that can be stopped, reset, and immediately restarted, all with a single push of a button. The BB FTC features a Ferrari-red central chronograph hand, and the totalizer at 3 o’clock keeps track of up to 60 elapsed minutes. The date display is located inside the minute counter.

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Titanium

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.

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Titanium = dial detail

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.

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  1. Without being too rude, I could never bring myself to wear any Hublot watch. The Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Titanium Carbon is gaudy, difficult to read, and simply silly. There is an inverse relationship here between price and beauty.

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