Reviewing 10 Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Watches
Hublot released the first Big Bang Ferrari watches, products of a collaboration with the famed Italian automaker, in 2012. Since then, the brand has expanded the Hublot Ferrari collection each year, with all models equipped with Hublot’s in-house Unico movement.
In early 2013, the brand released three new models headlined by the Hublot Big Bang “Red Magic Carbon.” Its Unico movement incorporates a flyback chronograph mechanism that uses two push-buttons and can be reset at any time. Unlike many other chronograph movements, it has a column wheel visible on the dial side, an hour counter driven directly by the barrel, and no jumper in the chronograph mechanism. Its pallet fork and escapement wheel are made of ultra-light silicon and affixed to a removable platform. First released in 2009 (and, according to Hublot, continually adjusted ever since), the movement has 330 parts, a high frequency of 28,800 vph, and a power reserve of 72 hours.
The case, which is also designed and manufactured in-house at Hublot’s facility in Nyon, Switzerland, is made of carbon fiber that has been constructed in a “multi-layer” process, which involves stacking up to 12 sheets of the material before pressing it into molds and then baking it in polymerization ovens. With this method, there is no bubbling, thus providing the finished product with better homogeneity and higher mechanical strength. The in-house machining, by a team of specialists in this production method that recently joined Hublot’s in-house watchmaking team, is done on a special machine with five spindles.
The red-tinted sapphire crystal gets its hue from the addition of chemical components directly to the material during its development, which makes the color unalterable. The Big Bang Ferrari “Red Magic Carbon” — as do both other models — comes with two straps, in black and red schedoni leather stitches onto black rubber; it is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces, priced at $32,100.
The “King Gold Carbon” model is limited to 500 pieces (price: $43,600) and has a carbon fiber bezel with six H-shaped black-PVD titanium screws. Like the “Red Magic Carbon” model, its hands are coated with White Super-LumiNova. The crown and pushers, like the 45-mm case, are in Hublot’s proprietary “King Gold.”
The Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Ceramic (below) has a black ceramic case and bezel; the bezel has a brushed finish, a rarity in ceramic watch cases, most of which have polished finishes. Its hands are coated with black Super-LumiNova. Like the King Gold, its titanium bezel screws are coated in black PVD; those of the Red Magic are in polished titanium. This model is limited to 1,000 pieces, at $29,800.
During SIHH 2014, Hublot released the second wave of its Hublot Big Bang Ferrari line extensions, each also containing the Unico movement and featuring big 45-mm cases offering several different materials, and combinations of materials, as per Hublot’s “fusion” concept. Here are the three 2014 models:
The Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Titanium Carbon is limited to 1,000 pieces; its price: $28,600.
The Hublot Big Bang Ferrari King Gold is limited to 500 pieces; its price: $45,900.
The Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Ceramic Carbon is limited to 1,000 pieces; its price: $29,800.
The newest Big Bang Ferrari models, introduced at Baselworld 2015, are named for their coloring: the Big Bang Ferrari Black Ceramic and the Big Bang Ferrari Grey Ceramic. They have 45-mm cases made fully in ceramic. Push-pieces for the chronograph, situated at 2 and 4 o’clock, are made of titanium and either satin finished (on the gray model) or PVD treated (on the black). The reset pusher beneath the crown is topped in titanium with the Ferrari name in red lacquer running across it.
The loudest feature on the 2015 Big Bang Ferrari is its strap. Made of black rubber and leather by Schedoni of Modena, Italy, each strap has a racing stripe running down its center. The Black Ceramic has a blue-and-white stripe to contrast the red, and the Grey Ceramic has black-and-white to play off the gray with somewhat greater subtlety. (Hublot says that the colors are meant to evoke Ferrari’s classic red and the gray of the North American Racing Team.) The straps have a titanium deployant buckle, engraved with the Hublot name.
The dial is where we find all the Ferrari touchstones. The car brand’s logo, the prancing horse, appears at 9 o’clock. Across from it is the chronograph minutes counter window at 3, with a yellow-backed date aperture inside of it. (Through the openworked dial you can see the skeletonized date numerals in a rotating ring.) But the most prominent and novel feature of this Ferrari dial is the latticework that functions as a dial. This mesh echoes the grilles on Ferrari cars; it also lets you look through to the movement. Above the grille, the hands and indexes have Super-LumiNova coating and are either rhodium plated or coated in black for the gray and black models, respectively.
The most recent Ferrari pieces use the HUB 1241 Unico movement. This automatic caliber is a flyback chronograph with a power reserve of 72 hours. The movement can also be seen through the ceramic caseback, which includes a sapphire window.
The new Hublot Big Bang Ferrari watches will be produced in a limited edition of 250 pieces: prices range from $28,600 to $43,600. Gentlemen, start your engines.