In the world of Haute Horlogerie, it doesn’t get much cooler than seeing Hublot reveal its first 100% ceramic minute repeater: the Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater Ceramic. What is a first for the Hublot brand – and the watchmaking world – never before has there been a watchmaker design, manufacture and assemble a Cathedral Minute Tourbillon Repeater entirely in ceramic.
This watchmaking feat is important for a few reasons. Ceramic is an extremely hard material both to machine and finish. While the colouring of the ceramic requires exceptional precision to obtain a perfectly homogeneous result, until now, it has never been possible to really guarantee any level of water-resistance of the case. It also hasn’t been possible to obtain a clear and concise sound within a 100% ceramic case.
Hublot has changed this, achieving a watchmaking-first that should be celebrated.
It should be noted that this is not, however, a 100% ceramic watch but rather a 100% ceramic-case watch. For example, the screws secured in the bezel and the folding clasps are made of titanium. For the black ceramic model, you’ll find PVD black titanium. The calibre movement is also not ceramic.
That aside, of course, this was no overnight success story. It took some 20 years of mastering the unique properties of ceramic to achieve this incredible result. With just one single mistake in the watchmaking process, you have to start again from scratch. The Big Bang Integral Minute Repeater Ceramic is therefore not only a triumph in the function of ceramic material, but rather a declaration of complete watchmaking mastery, spanning all the skills of Haute Horlogerie.
“Being the first, different and unique has never been truer than for this Big Bang Integral Minute Repeater Ceramic. The first ceramic minute repeater in the world, the first Integral Big Bang in black ceramic, the first with a tourbillon: Hublot is pushing the limits of fine watch making far, very far,” says Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot CEO.
“But as always, we do not see it as a zenith: it is a milestone which, in turn, will open up new horizons leading us to other horological explorations.”
For those that don’t know what a minute repeater is, essentially, a repeater is a complication in a mechanical watch that chimes or rings the time on demand by activating the dedicated pusher or slide-piece. push or a slide piece. An interesting fact, before the widespread use of electricity, reapeters were used as a means of dictating the time in the dark or in times where vision might have been impaired. Today, minute repeaters are highly sought after complications in modern watches by collectors, as they truly exemplify the craftmanship of precision mechanical engineering.
The Big Bang Integral Tourbillon will not be a limited edition timepiece. In fact, Hublot will present 36 pieces, each measuring 43mm in diameter divided into 18 pieces in black ceramic and 18 in white ceramic. The black ceramic is the first time that Hublot has produced this version, and it will be the first time that the Big bang Integral collection includes a tourbillon, crafted entirely in-house.
The stunning open movement MHUB801 calibre is a true marvel, utilising a manually wound grande complication calibre. You can expect to receive an impressive 80 hours of power reserve from this in-house movement. The bracelet is also quite stunning. Vertically brushed on each top facet and polished on the surrounding flanking facets.
The Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater retails for $295,000 USD and is available now as a special edition of 36 pieces, with 18 in white and 18 in black.