Can the introduction of an integrated bracelet for a watch ever be big news? It is when it concerns a timepiece that quite literally was a ‘Big Bang’ in the world of watches. Fifteen ago, Hublot launched the Art of Fusion at Baselworld with the Big Bang, a watch that has become in no-time an icon in its own right. It propelled the then niche brand to the forefront of luxury watchmaking. A key element has always been the rubber strap, which has been the signature of Hublot ever since its founding.
This doesn’t mean that Hublot never offered its watches on a bracelet, but to have an integrated one on their signature model is quite a thing. While Hublot’s straps are a benchmark in the industry, some clients prefer a bracelet instead. At this tier of the watch market, bracelets are a thing, with so many excellently constructed signature designs out there. Yet where the bar is set high, Hublot likes to raise it.
They met this challenge, not by a complex design but instead going back to basics. A relatively simple three-link design is based upon the chamfered chronograph pushers of the Big Bang from 2005. What gives this bracelet its real power is the finish that Hublot applied. A high gloss polish alternates with a satin-finish, both applied with care and expertise. The bracelet is not only striking to see but also sits very comfortably on the wrist. To achieve this Hublot also redesigned the case of the Big Bang to ensure a perfect fit and seamless transition from case to bracelet.
While these are all details, they matter because they make a difference. They make the bracelet an intricate part of the overall design, which is quite an accomplishment for a watch that was initially designed to have none. Hublot is launching the Big Bang Unico Integral in three varieties, all with the same finish, yet made from different materials. Titanium, King Gold, and the ceramic All Black each give the timepiece a character of its own. Another way in which all three differ slightly from the Big Bang on a strap is the indices, which replace the Arabic numerals. Again, a small part with a significant impact, as it creates more unity with the design of the bracelet. So while this watch was a ‘Big Bang’ fifteen years ago, it is the attention to the small details that make its bracelet big news today.