From the brand with the loudest watch name in history comes an even mightier Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu model designed by Maxime Plescia-Büchi. Renowned as one of the hippest tattoo artists today, this is his third collaboration with Hublot and one that will not fly under the radar. A confounding juxtaposition of three-dimensional geometric shapes, the imposing Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu beats to a high-frequency El Primero chronograph movement. Presented as a limited edition, the new Sang Bleu collection comes in exceptionally complex titanium, ceramic or King Gold cases.
Maxime Plescia-Büchi is a cult tattoo artist (the hand behind Kanye West and FKA Twig’s tattoos) with Sang Bleu design studios in London and Zurich. Having worked on the design of the Big Bang Sang Bleu I and II, Maxime Plescia-Büchi gives the barrel-shaped Spirit of Big Bang case a new identity by elongating its bezel and case to create a domineering rhomboid structure, a signature geometric shape used by Buchi that is also echoed in the centre of the dial.
The case is composed of an extraordinary amount of individual geometric parts – hexagons, diamonds and triangles – artfully united to form a unified rhomboid structure. Adding to the 3D effect, the faceted components dip and rise and are highlighted by vertical brushed finishings and polished surfaces. True to the personality of the Spirit of Big Bang, the case still features the sandwich construction, the six H-shaped titanium screws on the bezel, and the rubber bumpers on the pushers and crown. The 100m water-resistant case Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu is offered in All Black ceramic, titanium and Hublot’s proprietary King Gold and has a 42mm diameter and a thickness of 15.7mm. Unlike the earlier Big Bang Sang Bleu models with their hexagonal architecture, this Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu amplifies the volume and exhibits ten-sided or dodecagonal shapes throughout.
The sapphire crystal covering the dial is as sculptural as they come and appears to be formed of four separate and arched ‘panes’ with ten bevels that dip dramatically to meet the 10-sided bezel. With so many angles, the sapphire crystal produces increased volume and optical distortions.
In the centre of the dial is a signature Buchi skeletonised rhomboid structure composed of mobile rhomboids to indicate the time. The largest arrow-tipped hand with Super-LumiNova revolves around the dial to indicate the hours, which are placed on a black 10-sided track. There is also a date window inserted on the black track between 4 and 5 o’clock. The central seconds arrow-tipped and luminous hand for the chronograph extends across the diameter of the dial and points to a track printed on a dodecagonal sapphire crystal. Depending on the angle, this track can appear duplicated. Two black rings suspended above the movement and arranged horizontally relay the running seconds at 9 o’clock and elapsed chronograph times at 3 o’clock, both with rhomboid-shaped indicators.
The HUB4700 is a skeletonised version of Zenith’s famous El Primero high-frequency automatic column-wheel chronograph movement released in 1969. Equipped with a silicon regulating organ and an openworked geometric-shaped rotor designed by Buchi, the movement beats at 5Hz/36,000vph and delivers a power reserve of 50 hours.