What better way to reveal the complex inner workings of a watch than keeping its case clear? Transparent watches are making their way again to the modern watchmaking industry. They’re interesting to look at, sparking curiosity with their horological feat. Watch enthusiasts can see the movements, appreciate the tourbillon as well as the skills and effort to put them all together.
Transparency is the new thing. For this year’s Watches & Wonders, Swiss luxury watchmaker, Hublot, introduced a quartet of eye-catching watches and one of them is completely made of sapphire.
The Birth of Transparent Watches
The first transparent wristwatch was likely commercially introduced in 1980 by Corum with its Golden Bridge. It was a pioneer in wearable transparency and catapulted the interest in such timepieces. Later in 2012, Richard Mille took a modern twist to this design with the introduction of the RM 056 Felipe Massa Sapphire—a million-dollar, limited edition watch with a fully transparent case that reveals a set of complicated gears that work together to power a split-seconds chronograph movement. It has 70 hours of power reserve, function indicator, and torque indicator, all of which are nothing short of mesmerizing.
Today, these rare and often limited-edition timepieces continue to pop up every once in a while. The last time in significant quantity was in 2016 when Hublot introduced its Big Bang Unico Sapphire, which combines the sapphire crystal parts with a transparent resin to provide more affordable and durable options while keeping the same wow factor. It was available in two editions with 500 pieces each and priced at nearly $58,000.
New Hublot Watches Released at the 2021 Watches & Wonders
If you, too, are interested in the idea of a fully iced-out watch, the new Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Full Sapphire could be your best option today. Check it out along with the other releases from Hublot.
The Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Full Sapphire
This full-sapphire watch is a conclusion of a five-year research and development, featuring a 43mm Big Bang with a sapphire case and a coordinating sapphire bracelet. However, what’s far more interesting with this piece is that it’s free of any visible screws and even uses a movement with parts made from translucent sapphire.
Overall, the bracelet consists of 156 pieces, 22 of which are made of sapphire, and where each component is intentionally designed to support its transparent look. For example, the titanium inserts are made small to keep them from blocking any light.
With the amount of time and effort that went to produce this watch, it’s not surprising that it’s limited to 30 pieces and retails for a staggering $422,000. It uses the in-house HUB6035 automatic and tourbillon-equipped movement, which appears to be floating inside the translucent case.
The Big Bang Integral Tourbillon High Jewellery
The Big Bang Integral Tourbillon High Jewellery is an integration of everything Hublot is known for: an in-house automatic tourbillon caliber, striking architecture with a total of 484 baguette-cut diamonds, complex mechanics that is fully visible on the dial side, and fully integrated aesthetics.
Besides the 31-carat diamonds, the 43mm watch also features an 18k white gold base—a combination that commands a $685,000 price tag. Every year, for the past 14 years, the brand creates a piece or a collection of High Jewellery and this watch is the 30th piece of its kind.
The Big Bang Sang Bleu II
If you’re not a fan of sapphire or diamonds, Hublot has also released a new trio of ceramic references to its Big Bang Sang Bleu family. Presented in blue, gray, and white versions, these 45mm watches have the same sharp, angular, and complex design as the 2020 Sang Bleu II All Black. They run on the in-house HUB1240.MXM movement with a flyback chronograph.
These watches are limited to 200 pieces for each color. You can get your hands on any of these watches for $27,300.
The Big Bang Unico Yellow Magic
The Big Bang Unico Yellow Magic is claimed to be the first bright yellow ceramic watch to date. At its core is a 42mm ceramic-cased automatic chronograph with a column wheel and flyback chronograph encased in a patented ceramic material and matching yellow rubber bands.
With its vibrant canary color, it’s arguably the most dramatic and eye-catching watch in this batch of new releases. It retails at $26,200 and is limited to 250 pieces.
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A Hublot Big Bang Watch Just for You
It’s an exciting time in the world of watchmaking as different Swiss luxury brands continue to capture our attention with different watches, boasting playful features and surprising innovations. With this array of options, would you rather go bold with a full-sapphire watch or keep it subtle with ceramic pieces? Your call.
Which of these new Hublot Big Bang watches is your favorite? Let us know by leaving a comment below.