Hublot’s Big Bang celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and the brainchild behind the collection, Hublot’s charismatic chairman Jean-Claude Biver, rightly says that it has become an icon (at least in the horological world) in those ten years, selling over 300,000 units worldwide.
Mr Biver’s assertion during the brand’s celebratory press conference at Baselworld that “no book about the 21st century could fail to mention the Big Bang,” was, however, a little optimistic. But we expect nothing less from the man who named the collection after the event that created the universe as we know it. And the fact that the brand’s female ambassador, fashion model Bar Refaeli, flew in and out of Basel on the same day just to celebrate this anniversary is also perfectly normal for the brand that does its marketing with a capital “M”.
It is the sandwich construction of the case and the infinite colour and material combinations that have made the Big Bang so popular, examples ranging from carbon and ceramic to “King Gold” and Hublot’s very own scratchproof “Magic Gold”. The brand has also dared to venture where others feared to tread, and not just in its marketing. After leading the charge of watch brands into the world of football, it has also created new trends in watch design, being the first luxury brand, for example, to introduce denim straps.
Models presented for the anniversary are further proof of the diversity that is still possible within the range and include a mechanical alarm, Hublot’s first-ever perpetual calendar chronograph using the Unico movement as a base calibre and a tourbillon chronograph in Magic Gold that features a new calibre with a five-day power reserve. The relatively complicated models also hint at a move up range by the brand, particularly since Mr Biver has now introduced the endless possibilities of modular design to this year’s TAG Heuer collection. “The 50,000 to 100,000 Swiss franc price range is where we see potential,” said Hublot’s CEO, Ricardo Guadalupe, at the Big Bang anniversary press conference.
But these already high prices seem a snip compared with the million-dollar price tags found on some Big Bang models. After repeatedly beating its own benchmarks by launching models for one, then two and more recently five million dollars, Hublot celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Big Bang with a special limited series of 10 watches, each costing 1 million dollars. If you like bling, then these are your thing, even though they obscure much of the distinctive design that made the Big Bang famous in the first place.