Watches: Hublot Big Bang Alarm Repeater (+live pics)
By Thierry Ané on May 15, 2015
With the “new Big Bang” (I am referring to the new case here) Hublot is sending a message to all their detractors who think that this praiseworthy Manufacture is merely doing a “cosmetic” job introducing one limited variation of its famous Big Bang model after another with nothing more than new material and colour combinations.
It all started in 2013 with the unveiling of the Big Bang Unico models featuring the brand’s first in-house chronograph movement, a highly reliable self-winding calibre characterised by its unique construction that places the column-wheel in plain sight on the dial side an allows all the components to be admired through a sapphire-based dial and skeleton date disc.
The lesson in Fine Watchmaking then continued with the introduction of the Bi-Retrograde Chrono offering a highly legible and intuitive way of timing either football or basketball games with a retrograde chronograph taking centre stage on the upper part of the dial. This year, the horological exploration reached new heights with the stunning Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve presenting the symbol of Haute Horlogerie under a beautifully crafted curved skeleton bridge and an impressive 5-day power reserve as well as with the Chrono Perpetual Calendar combining the always appreciated chronograph function with the usefulness and complexity of a perpetual calendar.
But in this year of celebration for the tenth anniversary of the iconic “Big Bang”, the luxury brand did not stop there: they also revisited one of the oldest complications, the alarm clock, with the superb “Big Bang Alarm Repeater” available in two limited editions of 250 units in Titanium or King Gold. To offer all the required functionalities to frequent travellers, the manually-wound HUB 5003 calibre powering these impressive timepieces also offers a second time zone on a 24-hour scale.
The presence of all these functions does not prevent this “Big Bang Alarm Repeater” from maintaining the see-through aesthetic of the collection: thanks to a 3-dimensional architecture superimposing metal and sapphire and a clever overall design, the watch remains highly legible and faithful to its “new Big Bang” heritage. At 10 o’clock, a large off-centred black chapter ring with index markers and white and red minute track provides the local time with three hands. A triangular window placed at 1 o’clock gradually shows the day/night indicator for this reference time, an important information since it is the reference time for the alarm function. Embedded inside this dial, a small sub-dial situated at 11 o’clock indicates the second time zone on a 24-hour scale.
Below, at 5 o’clock, another overlapping disc reveals the programmed alarm time with two hands while the on/off indicator at 6:30 tells you whether this function is active or not. Just above the hammer and gong of the alarm function can be admired. The former is coated with Super-LumiNova and can thus even be seen in the dark. The pushers on either side of the rubber-overmoulded crown pick up the general aesthetic of the brand’s chronograph models but are used in this instance to adjust the time of the Home Time (2 o’clock) and activate the alarm (4 o’clock).
The beautiful 45 mm case also retains all the characteristics that have already made this “new Big Bang” successful including the six “H” screws. It is crafted in Titanium or King Gold depending on the version and paired with a black ceramic bezel in both cases as well as a ribbed black rubber strap. The usual quick interchangeable system (note the trapezoid-shaped pushers on the lugs) allows you to conveniently replace if by an alligator strap should you wish to do so.
The beautiful finish of the timepiece extends to the movement. From the dial side, this anthracite ruthenium-coated calibre features micro-blasted bridges, a circular-grained, satin-finished gong and a satin-finished hammer with polished angles. The back of the movement, though, alternates snailing, satin effect and circular graining finishes with polished angles.
Hublot is indeed a true Manufacture dedicated to Fine Watchmaking and the “Big Bang Alarm Repeater” is just one the latest outstanding examples of the extent of their expertise both from a technical point of view but also in terms of contemporary design. A beautiful achievement that would look great on any wrist!
For more information please visit the Hublot web site.