Watches: Hublot Big Bang Pop Art Collection (+live pics)
By Thierry Ané on February 21, 2014
In my opinion, Hublot is the only fun brand in the high-end segment. But don’t get me wrong: fun is not pejorative, fun is good! I am a lively, joyful person and I don’t see why I should wear a dull watch on my wrist with a design that is so classical, so conventional that it makes me yawn every time I look at it! Timepieces are all about emotion and I don’t see how I would feel anything for a watch even my grandfather would have found out of style and boring.
Since the arrival of Jean-Claude Biver, Hubot has made it its trademark to shake up the narrow views of the muted world of Haute Horology. Of course the brand has managed to alienate the horological establishment with its daring designs, its iconoclast principle of fusion and its constant introduction of new limited editions! But really who cares when you manage to build such an important base of aficionados around the world?
The world of art is no different from that of fine watchmaking: there have always been self-righteous people to dictate what is tasteful and worth collecting and what should better be forgotten. Pop Art came as a reaction to this way of thinking that smothers creativity. It challenged the traditional thinking of fine art by bringing in images of popular culture in the same way Hublot is now challenging our definition of Fine Watchmaking and pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable in terms of designs or materials used.
Pop Art always emphasised the banal or kitschy elements in the objects of images of mass culture it twisted. Most of the time, it did so through the use of vibrant colours, like with the flashy works of Andy Warhol. With an explosion of colours, the new Big Bang Pop Art models joyfully evoke the spirit of this art movement.
Pink, blue, purple or green apple… these models surely showcase an unusual and extremely vibrant colour palette. Without imitating it, the dials of these watches pay homage to the look of silkscreen printings present in Warhol’s famous series of prints. Electric blue, these dials feature extremely contrasting counters and bicolour Arabic numerals and hour markers that seem to have been highlighted with a fluorescent “Stabilo” marker pen.
The purple and blue models are in stainless steel while the pink and apple green versions are in pink gold. They all have a bezel set with baguette-cut precious stones: pink sapphires for the pink model, topazes for the blue one, amethysts for the purple version, and tsavorites for the green apple watch.
To make each model even more colourful, they are mounted on pink, blue, purple or apple green alligator leather straps sewn onto rubber of the same colour. Limited to 200 pieces per version, these 41 mm timepieces are powered by the HUB 4300 self-winding calibre with a 42-hour power reserve and are water-resistant to 100 metres.
Although they all look great, when I first saw them in Geneva, I had a preference for the green apple version since I have a weakness for green in general, but after a carefully examining them, I must say that my preference goes to the pink model: it is the most flashy version of all and hence the one I find more in line with its Pop Art heritage.
In case you are interested for you or a loved one, and find it difficult to choose, here are our own pictures: