INTRODUCING: The Hublot Big Bang Ferrari 1000 GPThor Svaboe
Two brands, both brash, bold, loud and cutting edge. Well, OK, not loud in the same sense as a V12 engine, but Hublot is a perfect fit as the watchmaking partner to Ferrari. This time, it is a celebration of Ferrari’s 1000th Grand Prix, a milestone in Formula One’s 70th anniversary year and, yes, it took place last weekend at the Mugello circuit in Italy. The bright red steeds of Ferrari are interlinked with F1 like no other brand in history, and after a few changes in their suppliers of racing engines for the wrist, they found the perfect match in 2010 — the wrist-worn art of Hublot, a bold brand with the same cutting-edge approach to materials and innovation.
Hublot have launched two limited editions of 20 pieces each from their popular Big Bang series for Ferrari’s milestone participation in Formula One. Without being too bold, I’d say this could be the perfect pair, or even Exit Duo, if big sports watches scratch your horological itch. They are polished or tough, day or night – boardroom versus racetrack or any other suggestions you might have for this intriguingly symbiotic pair of wristwatches.
The White Gold version
The recognisable shape of the 45mm Big Bang is rendered here in solid white gold, dedicated to Ferrari’s rich heritage. It’s smooth and large, with the classic H-screws semi-integrated into the polished bezel. The typical openworked dial from Hublot, with crisp and legible Arabic numerals, gives us a preview of the HUB1243 automatic movement, creating a balance between functional legibility and the intricate workings of the movement, distracting you in the best possible way. The delicately sculpted prancing horse at 6 o’clock reminds us of the paired provenance for this limited Hublot Big Bang, while my favourite detail here may even be the small painted Italian Tricolore on the tip of the chronograph seconds hand.
Running seconds are not counted, but here represented by a stylised racing wheel at 9, echoing the automotive partnership once more and adding to what is already a wealth of detail within the recognisable Hublot Big Bang architecture. Tough-looking, blunt sword-shaped hour and minute hands cement the solid and sporting look. The industrial aesthetics of the finely executed flyback chronograph movement come with a 72-hour power reserve and a sapphire caseback, seen through a Ferrari wheel-shaped rotor with a printed 1000 GP logo on the glass. This is here to remind you that this is not your everyday Big Bang, but one of only 20 pieces of this celebrated sporting partnership.
Here we find the small but significant details that tie the two watches together – even with their radically different look. The Ferrari colours of red and yellow are brought to life ever so discreetly through the bright yellow date window in the razor-sharp minute register at 3, while the centre cap for both the minute register hand and the centre stack of hour, minute and seconds are red, as is a bright intersecting piece in the crown. This is black, with large ergonomic pushers identical in both watches – fitted into the black centre section of the case, creating a perfect contrast to the white gold. The strap is a special peccary leather, handcrafted with white stitching, with Hublot’s classic comfort in the wide rubber backing. The watch also comes with a second strap — a soft black leather from Schedoni, with a more demure black stitch.
The dark details of carbon fibre
The dark version has the same shape and centre case, but is nevertheless radically different and bolder in its approach to life. The black version of the Big Bang Ferrari 1000 GP solidifies the Art of Fusion tagline, or even mantra, of Hublot. The case is made from Carbon Ceramic developed with Ferrari – fusing the horological prowess with F1 cutting-edge materiality. This is a tough, matt, super light textured case with an armoured feeling, considerably lighter than its white gold brother in arms. The strap is made of the strong high-tech woven SuperFabric, with a perfect texture to match the cutting-edge visage of the Big Bang case.
Even with the dark ambience, the fascinating openworked dial is a clearly legible mix of black and grey, with a solid dose of Super-LumiNova ensuring this is the highly functional tool it sets out to be. The dial configuration and the fresh coloured accents echo the white gold version, though the reds, yellows and Tricolore pops at you with fervour, as the scene here is a lot darker. A black — which, by definition, marks the absence of colour — comes to life here, creating a fascinating interplay of textures and shapes.
Every F1 car is a tool for speed, with any intrinsic beauty being purely coincidental. And to be honest, in these two Big Bang watches for Ferrari the coincidences are manifold, with a strong flyback chronograph movement to backup a complex and tough image. To sweeten the already tempting limited run, each will come with a winder, and in a special case, together with a pair of driving gloves signed by Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc.
Hublot Big Bang Ferrari 1000 GP price and availability:
Both references of the Hublot Big Bang Ferrari 1000 GP are $AUD73,400 and will be available from Hublot boutiques and authorised dealers.