Hublot releases 4 new variants of their Big Bang Integral. They come in 4 different colors, namely Beige, Green, Sky Blue and Indigo and are in full ceramic with a limited edition of 250 pieces for each model.
Review: Hublot Big Bang Integral in Ceramic
The case, dial and hands
The case is similar to the Big Bang Case. A round bezel sitting on top of an angular, tonneau-like shaped case. New with the Integral is the integrated bracelet.
The flow from the case sides into the bottom, into the bracelet is visually harmonious. A full ceramic case adds to the overt color contrast as opposed to more traditional watch colors. Considering how the watch is particularly striking, they are likely more a fashion statement and style. The bracelet comprises of three links, one central and two lateral. The edges of the links echo the aesthetic of the pushers, and architecture of the middle with its cutouts.
The pushers are block shaped, and a return to the original model of 2005, with the design cues taken from the style of the bracelet. The interplay of angles and chamfers, alternating polished and brushed surfaces echo each other. The integrated bracelet is nicely designed and well thought out and the overall is that we agree with the Hublot press blurb which says, “you would think that it had always existed.”
For Hublot, materials are an integral part of their watches’ design. They must complement their design, while protecting their mechanism and withstand the test of time. As such, the Manufacture has chosen to use high-tech ceramic for certain bezels and cases; it is an ultra-tough and almost entirely scratch-proof material (apart from the diamond) with a base of zirconium sintered at very high temperatures.
The dial and bezel are identical to the existing Big Bang 42mm model, with the exception that the indices are now bar shaped with chamfered sides, and infilled with Superluminova, instead of a mix of bar indices and Arabic numerals in the existing model. The 5 minute Arabic markers on the sloped rehaut is also enlarged for better legibility. The minute totalizer is now on a smoked sapphire disc, hovering over the main dial, with a cutout to show the date.
The Unico 2 caliber was designed to equip smaller chronographs and also open the world of Hublot to new enthusiasts. It retains the unique design of its former version with a double coupling system visible from the dial side as well as a 72-hour power reserve. But thanks to various technical optimizations, including the introduction of a new, flatter automatic winding system, it has been reduced by 1.3 mm in thickness.
Movement finishing remains good, falling just short of levels of decoration required for the high end haute horlogerie. But all the important engineering aspects are well taken care of. Activation of start, stop and reset of the chronograph is smooth, and precise.
The Hublot Big Bang Integral is not the mainstream designs we are used to. The colorful cases with a full bracelet may suit a wearer with a playful personality and not a subtle choice. The watch is priced at US$24,100 and are limited to 250 pieces for each colour.
For those who are looking for a full ceramic watch, the Hublot Integral ticks all the boxes for a well designed chronograph with an integrated bracelet. It is well-finished with a good looking open worked dial and movement. Ultimately, it is more for the wearer who wants variety, and individuality.