Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium

Hublot’s Spirit of Big Bang collection has always piqued my interest, and when a 42mm variant was released back in 2016 – I paid attention. Primarily because I saw the size as more accessible, and the design more refined and in proportion. In fact, back then I wrote about this exact model — The Hublot Spirit Big Bang Moonphase Titanium — for another publication. Surprisingly though – it took a good four years before I actually went hands-on for proper inspection. After a couple of weeks on loan, I’m happy to report back on what it’s like to wear the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang around town.
As far as first impressions go, the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang is bold, brawny and makes quite the splash. Although fairly monochromatic in design, the SOBB feels significant, carrying an aura of cool on wrist. The size isn’t outrageous, it’s comfortable to wear, and from a distance, the Skeleton dial seamlessly blends into the titanium case. Although watch enthusiasts will instantly recognise the tonneau case shape, the Spirit of Big Bang maintained an ‘under-the-radar’ feel to it – which I found appealing.
On the wrist, the Hublot SOBB sits snugly thanks to the curve on the underside of the tonneau case, which balances its height. Coming in at a reasonable 42mm, the case has a balanced blend of polish and satin finishing. Initially, I found the height took some getting used to, being a little thicker than my usual. The Hublot Spirit of Big Bang isn’t going to fit under any shirt cuff, but with a watch like this – that’s sort of the idea. As the SOBB has both small seconds display and a moon phase, the height is likely a result of a larger movement thanks to the dual complications.
Framing the dial is an industrious titanium bezel, which also has a mixture of polished and satin finishing and the quintessentially Hublot ‘H’ screws. The high-quality rubber strap itself was comfortable, supple, and luxurious. The matching stainless steel deployant buckle was easy to use and adjust, featuring a solid amount detail. Fuelling the SOBB is the Hublot Caliber HUB1770, which is visible thanks to a sapphire caseback. This Caliber also has a 50-hour power reserve, and the SOBB is water-resistant to 100 metres.
Visually, there’s a fair bit going on, and being an openwork dial – legibility naturally takes a bit of a back seat. That said, I had no issues with readability thanks to the strong lume-filled hour markers and hands. The hands themselves are brushed stainless steel, and part skeleton (at the base) and part lume filled, politely matching the case. The oversized and exposed date wheel at 12 o’clock (or thereabouts) balances nicely with the sub-seconds dial at 6 o’clock, and of course – the moon phase display at 6 o’clock. Like the rest of the dial, the moon phase has an industrial feel to it and brings a touch colour to the dial. Additionally, we see red accents sprinkled on the black inner-bezel, with a dark red minute (or seconds) track.
There are so many features of the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang that excite me, from the skeleton dial to the lightweight titanium tonneau case. This is not a low key timepiece, and it’s not supposed to be. The Spirit of Big Bang maintains plenty of Hublot’s DNA, and the barrel case doesn’t stray too far from the Big Bang family. If you’re after a watch you can wear daily, and your days lean more towards luxury streetwear than suiting – the SOBB could be the watch for you.
Based on what I normally wear, the SOBB felt like a holiday to an exotic destination that you wouldn’t normally have chosen, but you’re glad there once you arrive. It’s a welcome reminder to leave your comfort zone once in a while, and to try out new designs – like open-worked dials!