Take a noble material like titanium, add the performance of a flyback chronograph movement with column wheel, and the result can be summed up in three words – Big Bang Integral. No ordinary timepiece, but a true one-off.
No surprise as it’s by Hublot, a brand that has won acclaim through its ability to develop a new aesthetic and technical language. For this watch, the emphasis has been on the case architecture and bracelet. The bracelet has been given a full redesign, and is now an integrated seamlessly with the case, giving the impression of a single object.
The bracelet’s architecture embodies the brand’s stylistic codes – the edges evoke not only the design of the pushers but also the shapes of the middle. The polished and satin finishes combine with the chamfers and bevels of the links to create the same effect of depth and contrast between case and bezel lug. The case has also been revamped, and has a diameter of 42 mm. It houses a small mechanical prodigy, the automatic UNICO movement, only 6.75 mm thick. It is made up of 354 components – some of these, like the column wheel, are visible on the dial. The calibre is protected by four patents, and its technical innovations include an oscillating double clutch and modular escapement.
Chronograph data is displayed by two counters, one at 3 o’clock and one at 9. Another feature of the Big Bang Integral is that it is guaranteed water resistant to a depth of 100 metres, no mean feat given the watch’s overall complexity. As well being offered in titanium, this model is also available in the All Black black ceramic version and in King Gold, a special alloy developed by Hublot in collaboration with the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale di Losanna (EPFL). This material is the only scratch-resistant 18 carat gold alloy.