Collaborations and tie-ins are nothing new to Hublot. The brand thrives on them. And as part of the company’s release strategy, Hublot has also created numerous limited-edition watches to commemorate these relationships. For the most part, these limited-edition watches are variations of existing references – new dial colors, new case materials, new straps… that kind of stuff. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m sure many readers would prefer to see something a little different and special. It seemed like Hublot has heard our pleas because the limited-edition Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu is one of the more outstanding and unique limited-edition Big Bang watch that I have seen in recent times.
A little background is necessary before I talk about the watch because it is instructive to the design of the Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu. Sang Bleu was founded by Maxime Buchi, a Swiss tattoo artist, entrepreneur, and a watch lover. The company is described as a multimedia platform and creative agency. It consists of Sang Bleu magazine, a publication that focuses on contemporary art and culture; Sang Bleu Physical, a streetwear clothing label; Swiss Typefaces, a type-design studio that specializes in creating logos and corporate typeface; and finally, Sang Bleu Tattoo Studio. If you head over to their site, you see that it’s all edgy, hipster stuff, which is fitting because the Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu is one of the edgiest takes on the Big Bang design.
It won’t be a stretch to say that the Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu is a totally redesigned Big Bang. Available in titanium, titanium with diamonds, King Gold, and Black Ceramic, the case of the Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu measures 45mm wide, which is standard stuff for Big Bang watches. What is drastically different, however, as you may have already noticed from the photos here, are the case and dial.
Both the case and dial have been designed by Maxime Buchi and it is even more striking in the flesh as compared to the press photos that I have seen. The bezel, for instance, is now cut and beveled and features a hexagonal shape that contrasts greatly against the other Big Bang watches. The top side is satin-finished while the angled, beveled edges are mirror-polished. The facets act as surfaces on which light is reflected, giving this new Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu case a greater sense of depth. The only design element that seems to have been carried over to the bezel are the signature Hublot H-shaped screws. Water resistance is 100 meters, which as I have mentioned many times before, should be the absolute minimum for a luxury sports watch.
The dial also sees big changes, in place of hands and counters, what you see is a series of octagonal gold-plated discs with symmetrical lines within them, stacked upon each other. The effect of this is quite profound. I’m almost tempted to say that it looks somewhat tribal, but then I realized that the shapes here were inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man drawing, and I figured the word that I’m actually looking for is probably classical.
There are three discs in total, and if you look closely, you can see that the tips of two are them are coated with white Super-LumiNova. It’s actually quite easy to read the time once you know what you are dealing with: the outer and largest disc indicates the hour, whereas the smaller disc shows the minutes, and the smallest unmarked disc in the middle of the dial spins to indicate the seconds.
To aid owners in reading the time, the dial’s flange indicates the hours and there’s an inner minutes track that aligns with the minutes disc. An interesting detail here is that the numerals on the flange and minutes track are specially created by Swiss Typefaces, which, as mentioned earlier, is the type-design studio arm of Sang Bleu.
The theme of symmetrical lines and geometric shapes continues onto the case middle too with engraved patterns at both lugs. The leather straps, which are made by Italian leather purveyors Schedoni, are not spared too, with embossed patterns that form a very coherent look with the rest of the watch. Taken as a whole, the Big Bang Sang Bleu is easily one of the most special-looking Big Bang watches, and that’s what I like most about it.
Inside, the Big Bang Sang Bleu is powered by Hublot’s Unico HUB1213 movement, which is essentially a Unico movement with the chronograph function removed and the geartrain reworked so as to provide more torque to move the large discs. Power reserve remains unchanged at 72 hours, or three days.
Unique to the movement is the rotor, which continues the polygonal and symmetrical theme of the dial, featuring a silhouette of a triangle, surrounded by other symmetrical shapes and lines. It’s quite neat to see it spin when you give the watch a little shake.
Overall, the Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu is easily one of Hublot’s most remarkable and unique limited-edition watches, and hopefully future limited-edition Hublot pieces will use the Sang Bleu as an inspiration and strive to be more than just a simple variation of existing references. In fact, all brands should aspire to the same goals as the Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu. Limited-edition pieces shouldn’t just be an excuse to sell more watches, they should commemorate the watch for what it is and the Sang Bleu pulls this off successfully. It is easy to see that Maxime Buchi had a large role to play in the design of the Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu.
For fans of Hublot, the Big Bang Sang Bleu is an easy recommendation. It is a genuinely fresh take on the Big Bang collection and it is also really good-looking in the flesh. For other readers who are looking to buy into the Hublot family, the Sang Bleu is not a bad way also. You will be getting a Big Bang that is truly uncommon and special. The Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu is available in titanium, King Gold, black ceramic, and titanium with diamonds, and will begin pricing at $18,800 for titanium, $21,000 for black ceramic, $37,300 for titanium with diamonds, and $39,900 for King Gold. Each version is limited to just 200 pieces. hublot.com