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Hublot - Big Bang Unico Teak Italia Independent

Hublot Big Bang Unico Teak Italia Independent

On 31st May, on the island of Capri, Hublot and Italia Independant unveiled a new timepiece paying tribute to Lapo Elkann’s passion and love for the sea.

It has been several years since Lapo Elkann, Founder and Artistic Director of Italia Independent and Garage Italia, and Hublot were discussing about a nautical-related watch. From his earliest childhood, Lapo was cradled by the movement of the waves, thanks to his iconic grandfather who was himself passionate about sailing. Lapo even won the Fastnet, with his brother aboard the mythical Stealth.

Lapo Elkann’s grandfather, L’Avvocato, Gianni Agnelli, had indeed an all-consuming passion for sailing. This was to such an extent that he was responsible for creating Azzurra, the first Italian team and challenge to win the America's Cup. During his enthralling life, he had several yachts built so that he could indulge in his favourite sport.

Big Bang Unico Teak Italia Independent

Lapo Elkann © Hublot

In the mid-1990s, he ordered from the naval architect German Frers an exceptional, unique sailing boat whose name Stealth was a nod to the American Air Force’s F-117 fighters which were capable of avoiding radar detection. Like these aircrafts and thanks to the visionary Gianni Agnelli, this superyacht displayed the technical characteristic, a first at the time, of the wide use of Kevlar carbon and other composite material. The yacht was characterised by cutting-edge geometrical shapes, which together with the carbon fiber black sails would have a great influence on Lapo Elkann’s work as a designer.

“This new project made us aware of the unsuspected links between the world of sailing and our watchmaking expertise, including, for example, the use of materials and techniques that are at the forefront of innovation we have managed to combine with traditional teak wood”, says Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot. “A perfect match between technology and tradition, or the very meaning of the Art of Fusion! Here, our partnership with Lapo Elkann and his brand Italia Independent takes on an emotional, creative and technical dimension.”

Based on the Big Bang Unico chronograph, the Big Bang Unico Teak Italia Independent uses the style codes of the yachts of the late Gianni Agnelli, Azzurra, Agneta, Extra Beat, Stealth and particularly the Tiketitoo, whose hull was stained a warm golden colour. The case and the push-pieces are machined in King Gold, a unique alloy of gold and platinum developed by the Hublot manufacture. On the dial, the indexes are in orange while its bezel is cut out of teak, a precious wood usually adorning the deck of the finest boats. With a 45-mm diameter and water resistance to 100 metres, the watch encloses the UNICO HUB1242 calibre house chronograph movement, which has a 72-hour power reserve and is visible through the sapphire glass mounted on the back of the watch.

Big Bang Unico Teak Italia Independent

Big Bang Unico Teak Italia Independent © Hublot

Each model of the Big Bang Unico Teak Italia Independent has two straps. The first, inspired by the world of regattas, is cut out of a real boat sail in Kevlar carbon with a rubber base. The second, which is orange and striped, is made entirely of rubber. The watch is fitted with the revolutionary One Click system which means that both straps are interchangeable at whim.

The 100 pieces of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Teak Italia Independent watches will be delivered in a case containing a pair of Italia Independent sunglasses whose frames uses the same teak wood as the bezel of the watch.

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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 to develop particularly audacious timepieces – most of them with a highly-developed sporting aspect.

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