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Review: C’est Bleu – The Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu II in Blue

by Frank Chuo on April 13, 2020
Reviews
Overview
Brand

Hublot

Complication / Type of Watch

Chronograph, Date

Recommended Retail Price

Titanium: EUR24,800
King Gold: EUR46,600

The Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu II in Blue

If the Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu II sounds really familiar to you, don’t worry – it’s not the cabin fever talking. The Big Bang Sang Bleu II was indeed introduced only a year ago in 2019, and it itself is a reinterpretation of the original Sang Bleu that debuted in 2016. As a brief reminder, both watches were born out of the collaboration between Hublot and Swiss tattoo artist Maxime Buchi. The two timepieces have been well-received by the watch community for its striking and unique geometric design. In true Hublot fashion, this year we are getting more limited edition variations to the Big Bang Sang Bleu II. And while it’s just a dial colour change, the impact it produces is fairly positive. Here, we bring you the details and our thoughts on the new Big Bang Sang Bleu II with blue dial.

The Case, Dial, and Hands

The new Big Bang Sang Bleu II watches are available in 18K King Gold or titanium, much like the 2019 release. In fact, there are no changes to the design of the watch apart from the colour of the dial, or more specifically the colour of the chronograph counters and the hour and seconds track. Instead of black, they are now rendered in a trendier blue. As far as watch manufacturers are concerned, blue is apparently the new black. The same jaw-dropping angles, lines and corners on the case with contrasting finishes are still there. The dial still has the same displays and layout, the same geometrically funky hands (or discs, rather), and is as unapologetically illegible as ever.

The case of the Big Bang Sang Bleu II is the result of brilliant manufacturing and design. It is indeed the highlight of the timepiece.

Again, all that’s different is the dial colour. And while we feel that the black in the 2019 variants could do no wrong, this year’s blue dial brings about a more youthful vibe. It’s not exactly a paradigm-shifting, earth-shattering change, but it offers more options to clients of the brand and fans of the Sang Bleu watch.

The idea of using spinning discs with Maxime Buchi’s signature geometric pattern design is on point. The execution, however, could be improved on; finer finissage could go a long way here.

The Movement

Driving the Big Bang Sang Bleu II is the HUB1240 Unico manufacture movement. It has a respectable power reserve of 72 hours while operating at a modern 4 Hz beat rate. Looking through the sapphire crystal case back, one will find a gorgeous winding rotor that spans the entirety of the movement. The rotor is partially openworked with Sang Bleu’s signature geometric design, meaning glimpses of the movement can be seen through it. The finishing of the movement is very contemporary; although nothing too spectacular, it is neat and attractive. This is the exact same movement used in the Big Bang Sang Bleu II from 2019.

The HUB1240 Unico manufacture movement, as seen through the exhibition case back.
The column wheel for the chronograph can be seen through the openworked dial, at the 5 o’clock position.

The Competitive Landscape

The Big Bang Sang Bleu II in blue is not a novel watch by any means. It simply features a dial colour alteration. Some fans of the watch may even be upset with the new additions to the existing model, because it dilutes any morsel of exclusivity that the Big Bang Sang Bleu II had. Prior to 2020, the model was limited to 200 pieces in titanium and 100 pieces in King Gold, with black dial of course. This year’s new variation in blue adds a further 200 pieces in titanium and 100 pieces in King Gold. The former is priced at EUR24,800; the latter, at EUR46,600. Make no mistake, Hublot’s marketing strategies notwithstanding, the watch offers a pleasant experience, if you can stomach the 45 mm case diameter. Our favourite part of the watch is obviously the case, and it is sculpted and finished to perfection. The important questions now is: is it worth the money?

The watch is absolutely mesmerising on the wrist. Definitely not one to be hidden under sleeves (not that it can be done, anyway, given its size).

To answer that question, we need to compare the Sang Bleu II to other like-watches. In our opinion, nothing else is as comparable as the Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski. It would be totally forgivable to mistake one for the other. The Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski, which is also a chronograph-date timepiece, features a faceted case like the Big Bang Sang Bleu II but with only a polished finish. The dial is openworked as well, but a tad more legible than the Sang Bleu II. The Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski in titanium is priced at USD17,800, making it a more affordable alternative to the Sang Bleu II in the same material. Both timepieces are stunning in our eyes, but the design of the Sang Bleu II goes a step above and therefore we feel that the price premium is justified.

The Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski.

When it comes to funky designs, nary a manufacturer can best Hublot. But we have to give an honourable mention to Girard-Perregaux (yes, you read that right) for the Laureato Absolute Chronograph in carbon glass. The use of carbon glass here by Girard-Perregaux – a world first in watchmaking – results in an electrifying sports chronograph watch that wouldn’t look out of place in an Hublot catalogue (and we mean that in the utmost positive sense). Here’s the best part: the Laureato Absolute Chronograph in carbon glass, which comes with an in-house movement with chronograph and date functions, is priced at a competitive SGD23,300 (or EUR15,000). If you’re into ultra-contemporary sports chronograph watches, the Laureato Absolute Chronograph in carbon glass in a must-consider.

The Laureato Absolute Chronograph in carbon glass is undoubtedly one of Girard-Perregaux’s most left field watches ever. It is, however, fantastically executed and a pleasure if you don’t mind something unorthodox.

Final Thoughts

The Big Bang Sang Bleu II isn’t going to redefine horology as we know it. It’s not even a new model, and just a dial colour change. But the Sang Bleu series of watches has been one of Hublot’s bestsellers, so it’s only logical that a harmless new variant (or two) is introduced to satisfy market demand. You could say that it enlarges the pool of limited edition Sang Bleus and thus devalues it, but really, if you were buying the Sang Bleus with the intention of flipping them for profit, you’re doing it so very wrong. Best not to think too much of it and enjoy the beauty of the watch and its new, hip blue dial.

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