Hublot’s Big Bang Integrated Time Only is the modern essence of the brandFergus Nash
When I think about Hublot, my mind goes to two places. The first is their side of ingenuity and innovation, pioneering case materials through the Art of Fusion and creating ceramics and sapphire cases in previously unattempted colours. The second place aligns more with their history of imposing sports watches, all the way from the first Hublot of 1980 to the modern behemoths. The Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only in its new configurations of King Gold and Black Magic is a distilled essence of Hublot’s character, keeping things relatively simple, yet still slightly outrageous.
The modern architecture behind the Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only is instantly familiar from a glance, which is what makes them such a recognisable presence on the wrist of an ambassador. The case uses a lot of flat surfaces to create extreme reflections and sharp angles, reserving the curves for the porthole bezel that’s studded with six H-shaped screws. The case then extends out into symmetrical wings, affording further opportunity for industrial inspiration. The flatness also gives the thick lugs a staunch appearance on the wrist, like its hunkering down to weather any kind of conditions.
Despite the visual bulk of the Integrated Time Only, its fundamental simplicity has allowed it to be more comfortable on smaller wrists as well as average ones. The diameter is 40.7mm, and the lug-to-lug length is 46.7mm. Most surprising is the case thickness of just 9.4mm, ensuring a slender fit. It’s still water resistant to 100 metres, letting you swim with luxury. The two new models of focus for 2023 are the Big Bang Integrated Time Only King Gold and Black Magic. King Gold is Hublot’s blend of gold and platinum, resulting in a rather glamorous hue of rose gold. The Black Magic version is rendered in black ceramic, and there are several more versions slathered in diamonds if you’re after something with more bling.
The watch may be called the Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only, but it’s actually not quite time-only. There’s a date display at 6 o’clock, indulging in one small complication. The rest of the dial is simple in function, but not in design. Beneath a sapphire disk, we can peer at the open face of the movement. It’s not quite skeletonised, but viewing the vertically brushed surfaces of the main plates definitely evokes a sense of engineered sportiness. You can also see the date wheel around the dial’s perimeter, with the correct date highlighted at 6 with a small black square.
Resting on top of the sapphire dial are the applied hour markers, brick-like in their shape and filled with luminous paint. The semi-skeletonised hands match the simple vibe, while the seconds hand dabbles in elegance with its H-logo counterbalance and red tip. That tip reaches all the way into the space of the chapter ring, marked with minute intervals and military stencil-style numerals. The Hublot logo is printed on the underside of the main sapphire crystal, protecting it from scratches and giving the impression of floating text.
Contributing to the thin nature of the watch, the Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only is powered by the HUB1710. As its base it uses the Zenith Elite 670, which is only 3.88mm tall even with a full-size automatic winding rotor. You can see the movement through the sapphire display caseback, with its swirling decoration and a wide plate revealing the balance wheel. It has a 4Hz beat rate which keeps the ticking smooth, and a 50-hour power reserve, just exceeding that weekend-proof number.
The bracelet is one of my favourite components of a Big Bang Integrated model, with its strong contrasts between brushed and polished surfaces on harsh angles. This creates a shimmering of the light as your wrist rolls, passing the brightest reflections along the links like a relay. It’s a true integrated bracelet, with a butterfly deployant clasp securing it to the wrist.
Leave it up to Hublot to be the harbingers of controversial design – but for their standards, the Big Bang Integrated Time Only is rather time – kind of like the bodybuilder sibling to the Classic Fusion. Unlike much of the Classic Fusion collection, however, the Big Bang Integrated Time Only uses a Zenith-based movement, rather than a Hublot-decorated Sellita SW300. Admittedly, this comes at an increased cost, though will without doubt be the preferred choice for enthusiasts. All the brand hallmarks are there, and if you’re after exciting materials in a classic Hublot package, the Big Bang Integrated Time Only is worth taking a look at.
Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only pricing and availability
The Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only King Gold and Black Magic are both available now from Hublot’s website and retailers. Price: A$30,000 (Black Magic), A$74,300 (King Gold)
|Big Bang Integrated Time Only Black Magic
Big Bang Integrated Time Only King Gold
|40mm (D) x 9.4mm (T) x 46.7mm (T)
|Black ceramic, 18k King Gold
|Black ceramic bracelet, titanium deployant buckle (Black Magic)
18k King Gold bracelet and deployant buckle (King Gold)
|HUB1710, Zenith Elite 670 base, automatic
|Hours, minutes, seconds, date
|A$30,000, US$19,900 (Black Magic)
A$74,300, US$49,400 (King Gold)