In cosmology, the Big Bang marks the beginning of time; in the watchmaking universe, it is associated with Hublot’s flagship watch. Launched in 2005, the Big Bang exploded on the scene with its unusual combination of materials and bold design. Today, Hublot presents a watch it claims to be the world’s first full-ceramic minute repeater. It is true that ceramic has almost never been used to create minute repeaters, yet there have been a few examples in the past, such as the AP Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication in white or black ceramic, which includes a minute repeater function but is worn on a rubber strap. Produced in limited editions of 18 pieces in white ceramic and 18 pieces in black and available exclusively in Japan, here’s the Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater.
We’ve seen plenty of skeletonised and transparent tourbillons in the Big Bang line-up, including the latest groovy purple model and even colourful full-ceramic models in the Big Bang Integral sub-collection presented in 2020. Minute repeaters may not be not quite as prevalent as tourbillons at Hublot, although the brand took home the Striking Watch Prize for its Classic Fusion Cathedral Tourbillon Minute Repeater at the 2014 edition of the GPHG. Powered by the manual-winding HUB 8001 (which first appeared in 2010), the latest minute repeater also runs on this calibre but marks the first time the Big Bang family welcomes a Grande Complication on board in a full-ceramic case. In essence, this world-first Big Bang is a fusion of Hublot’s Fusion Tourbillon Minute Repeater and its Integral Ceramic line.
Ceramic has been used extensively in watchmaking and even featured as isolated components in grande complications like minute repeaters. However, this is the first time a minute repeater appears from head to toe in ceramic. By “Full Ceramic” Hublot is alluding to the fact that the case and bracelet are made out of ceramic, which obviously integrates metallic elements for the assembly process. The intrinsic hardness of ceramic makes it difficult to machine and finish, and colouring the ceramic requires precision firing and timing to obtain a homogeneous result. In this new model, the case is water-resistant to 30 metres.
Furthermore, the watch is fitted with cathedral gongs, which are nearly twice as long as classic gongs, and enrich and enhance the power of the sound as the hammers strike the gongs. The dial, revealing the openworked movement, has black or matte grey indices with black or white Super-LumiNova, as do the skeletonised hour and minute hands.
CALIBRE HUB 8001
Entirely crafted in-house, the MHUB8001 calibre is manual-winding and provides a robust 80-hour power reserve. Fitted with a one-minute tourbillon escapement and minute repeater mechanism, the movement is comprised of 319 components and is visible on both sides of the case.
Available in black or white ceramic, the case has a diameter of 43mm and a thickness of 14.15mm. The ceramic case, caseback, bezel and bracelet display a combination of satin-finished and polished surfaces.
availability & price
Each colour is limited to 18 timepieces and engraved with “ONE OF 18 PCS” on the caseback, and, as we mentioned, the 36 watches will only be available in Japan. The black and white ceramic Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater retail for CHF 280,000, EUR 291,000, USD 295,000, GBP 244,000 or JPY 31,190,000.
For more information, please consult Hublot.com.