HANDS-ON: The Hublot Meca-10 movement makes a move into the Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Black MagicThor Svaboe
A dark brooding presence on the wrist is causing infatuation today, with a vast power reserve and the unexpected lightness of high-tech ceramic. The new Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Black Magic is a futuristic tonneau-shaped timepiece that surprises and assures you in equal measure, with its lightweight tank-like solidity and industrial fascination.
A winning case for ceramics
This is Hublot’s debut of their cutting-edge Meca-10 movement in the sharp contemporary shape of the Spirit of Big Bang series, with this being the darkest, almost menacing, version, Black Magic. The tonneau shape is not svelte at 45mm, with a 14.5mm thickness, but with the always surprising lightness of ceramic, coupled with the embrace of Hublot’s wide, soft rubber strap, it sits more comfortably on the wrist than should be allowed, for such a futuristic weapon of a watch.
They say black is slimming, but that is relative, as this is an imposing presence on the wrist. Imposing, but with visible intelligence, too, care of the micro-engineering of the Meca-10 movement. The smooth surface of the ceramic and the intricate details of the watch means that, like me, you will find yourself taking it off the wrist for no other reason than just another close look and feel. Or, let’s be honest and call it fondling …
The case of the Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Black Magic is a feast for the eyes of the engineer in all of us, with its weight-saving milled-out sections and visible trademark H-screws holding together the 3-part sandwich construction and adding to the air of indestructibility. With the introduction of the alien Meccano-set industrial look of the openworked Meca-10 movement, the industrial vibe is turned up to 11, specially with this blacked-out and sinister body housing it.
The dial and movement
The lack of a dial reveals the movement – or the movement becomes the dial, you be the judge. No matter how you perceive it, once you gaze through the curved rectangular sapphire of the Black Magic you’re done for. The Meca-10 calibre has until now been manifested in the well-known round Big Bang cases, while this reworked in-house HUB1223 calibre is a first within a Spirit of Big Bang case. The debut is in a series of three watches, the other two being hewn from titanium and King Gold, on which you can see our hands-on video review here.
The only trace of a dial is the sloping black inner bezel, perfectly readable thanks to the sharp, chunky lume-filled indices and crisp silver print for the minute track. The time is read at a glance with the large sword-shaped openworked hands and a sharp looking open seconds register at 9. With both hand set and indices generously applied with Super-LumiNova, the legibility is great at night, with time-telling performed as a simple task rather than becoming lost in the workings of the HUB1223 calibre and actually forgetting what you were doing in the first place.
The construction of the movement, when you take the time to be distracted, is a textbook of ingenious design decisions; the basis of the movement being round, and with two barrels creating the impossibly vast power reserve of 10 days. All parts are steel in a satin, polished or finished in black finish, set within the combination of straight and curved bridges with the weight-saving cutouts of an F1 chassis. With a steel rack and pinion moving within a black track, horizontal across the movement (or should that be dial, I’m fascinated and confused), connected to the barrels – and an opening at 3 o’clock indicating the power reserve, turning red at 2 days when it nears the end of its 10-day journey. This being a Hublot, the finishing of the intricate movement puzzle is top-tier horology and never fails to engage your attention, whether it’s peering at the life of a balance wheel or watching the barrels and power reserve work the gears when winding the large crown.
The Art of Fusion is fitting as always for Hublot, and with the Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Black Magic the last word in the model name is true to the ethos, melding cutting-edge technology and materiality with hand finishing and construction techniques from traditional haute horlogerie – albeit in a futuristic guise of black ceramic. Point made, desire awakened.
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Black Magic price and availability:
The Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Black Magic is AUD$38,000 and is currently available. For more information, visit Hublot here