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GPHG - Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève
Hublot - Big Bang Tourbillon Power Reserve 5 Days High Jewellery Impact Bang

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Power Reserve 5 Days High Jewellery Impact Bang

An uncompromising gem-set watch that looks like the coalesced ejecta from some cosmic collision

You don’t need to be an astrophysicist to know that the term “Big Bang” refers to the stupendous explosion that created our universe. According to scientists, the universe underwent a period of exponential expansion, or “cosmic inflation”, to use the technical term. Big Bang is also the name of a watch collection by Hublot, and the terms “inflation” and “explosion” are particularly apt for the Big Bang Tourbillon Power Reserve 5 Days High Jewellery Impact Bang, which has been shortlisted by the jury of the GPHG for this year’s Jewellery prize.

In addition to the anecdotal hyperbole and verbal inflation (its name contains no fewer than ten words and one number) surrounding this model, it also inspires an avalanche of figures: 484 white baguette diamonds paving the dial, white gold case and clasp, totalling 30.55 ct.; 240 hours of painstaking gem-setting for each piece; and a power reserve of 115 hours. And let’s not forget the price tag of CHF 650,000 which, though not the most expensive, puts the watch in second place in the Jewellery category, behind the Chanel Signature Garnet Secret Watch.

In this watch of excesses, the explosive power of the Big Bang is not merely symbolic, it’s also figurative. For this model, Hublot created an entirely new type of gem-setting, which it calls “Impact Bang”, which is not a bad way of describing the shape of the stones. The mosaic of different-sized gems creates the impression that fragments of some enormous diamond shattered into a thousand pieces after a titanic impact. This innovative patented setting, developed in collaboration with Swiss stone-setting expert Salanitro, is characterised by juxtaposed tesserae of baguette diamonds cut into unconventional and irregular shapes, which are matched up using the invisible close setting technique.

Big Bang Tourbillon Power Reserve 5 Days High Jewellery Impact Bang

The dial paved with 64 diamonds appears to have been subject to two separate impacts, and the resulting holes have ragged, irregular edges. The first, at 6 o’clock, frames the deep black tourbillon carriage nestled inside the HUB6016 calibre, a hand-wound manufacture skeletonised movement beating at 21,600 vph. The second tear at 9 o’clock reveals a discreet power reserve scale in red and black.

This 45 mm diameter jewellery watch comes with a black rubber-lined alligator strap secured with a clasp set with 33 diamonds cut into different shapes.

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From the outset, Hublot has embodied design and innovation that differ markedly from the established watchmaking order. With the impetus provided by Jean-Claude Biver, by 2004 these values had already become the basis of a new DNA, leading the brand, which is currently headed by Ricardo Guadalupe - its CEO since 2012, to develop particularly audacious timepieces – most of them with a highly-developed sporting aspect.

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