Hublot Spirit of Big Bang 42mm
Hublot is known around the world for their larger, bold designs. Some collections literally have the word bold in their nomenclature. While this reference does not, the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Green Saxem is definitely one of their boldest designs yet – both technically and aesthetically.
Hublot has made a huge investment in the industrialisation of sapphire – a notoriously difficult material to produce. This sapphire, or SAXEM, case is a deep green that can compete with the finest emeralds, with a brilliance that comes close to that of a diamond. SAXEM, an acronym for Sapphire Aluminium oXide and rare Earth Mineral, is a unique and proprietary blend of materials Hublot has developed that results in stunning and colourful luxury watch cases. Hublot explains, “In order to obtain this unparalleled shade of green, transparency and radiance, the Hublot manufacture – an expert in the concept of fusion – mixed aluminium oxide, the basic component of sapphire, with rare-earth elements like thulium and holmium as well as chromium.” Hublot claims the resulting material is both harder than emerald (which is too soft to be machined) and has a brilliance greater than a standard sapphire. SAXEM also ensures that the colour is uniform from all angles as the light plays magnificently with the case. Every detail is considered here, with even the bezel and case screws endowed with the signature H of the brand’s name. With a tonneau Hublot Spirit of Big Bang 42mm case, this is definitely among the more wearable Hublot models within the catalogue.
Like its case, the dial and its crystal (as well as its exhibition caseback) are made of sapphire treated with an anti-reflective coating. The skeletonised aesthetic is every gear-head’s dream, and gives a modern and technical aesthetic to its display. While some skeletonised watches have the downfall of being less legible, the case-matching green hands, markers and registers provide a nice contrasting pop of colour that makes the watch easier to read. At 4:30, there is a green framed window that signals the current date. While green date numerals may have been easier to read, the grey numerals framed in its green window are by no means illegible. At 9 is the running seconds, with the central seconds hand reserved for the chronograph complication. The elapsed time registers can be found at 3 and 6, signalling the elapsed minutes and hours respectively. The hands and markers are treated with luminous materials to ensure visibility at night as well.
The strap, according to Hublot, is a “Transparent Green Structured Lined Strap”. In layman’s terms, it’s a gorgeous transparent green rubber strap. It is a supple rubber that is highly comfortable and highly resistant to the elements. The conforming rubber material also makes for a much more wearable watch. It’s versatile in form and function, capable of both the beach and the boardroom. While a mere mortal such as myself may not be inclined to take a dip in the water with this watch, both its 50m water resistant case and rubber strap are water resistant. The clasp is black ceramic and black-plated titanium, and features an adjustable deployant buckle clasp for increased comfort.
The Hublot Spirit of Big Bang manufacture HUB4700 caliber is a column wheel chronograph movement based on the famous El Primero caliber created by Zenith. The first integrated automatic chronograph movement in the world, born in 1969, this hi-beat movement (5Hz or 36,000 vph) is a beautiful workhorse of a movement. This is by no means a 1:1 clone of the El Primero, due to Hublot making game-changing upgrades, both aesthetically and technically. As Hublot explains, “In a perfect fusion between tradition and innovation, this entirely skeletonised movement is now equipped with silicon regulating element ensuring avant-garde performances, precision and reliability.” The silicon hairspring is huge in today’s modern world, bringing a greater level of anti-magnetism to the movement. The HUB4700 caliber also has a power reserve of 50 hours.
If this watch was released during Willem Dafoe’s stint as the Green Goblin in Spider-Man, this definitely should have been on his wrist. It’s very technical and very green, which is a perfect parallel to his character, Norman Osborn. While this watch is not for everyone, as it is a Limited Edition of 100 pieces and priced at $116,000 USD, those who can manage to buy one will definitely make onlookers green with envy.