HANDS-ON: The Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only is ceramic luxury, simplifiedBorna Bošnjak
Hublot has always been known for pushing the envelope of material use in their latest releases. Contrary to that regular scheduling, LVMH Watch Week 2022 saw the release of the Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only. While certainly a more simplified take on a classic Hublot recipe, the Integrated Time Only (a change from the name at release) keeps all the familiar flavours. With a more wearable profile and pared back styling, the Integrated Time Only is another entry into the saturated integrated bracelet market. The model that we had a closer look at is the All Black, part of the 250-piece limited edition release.
The part of the watch that you’ll look at most often has been seemingly removed completely, giving a look at some of the workings of the HUB1710 movement. Rather than fully removing the dial, Hublot chose to replace it with a sapphire disc. Looking at these close-ups, polished surfaces have been kept to an absolute minimum, featuring only on the flathead screws. The visible plates of the movement, hands, indices and other dial features all have a brushed or bead-blasted finish.
The semi-skeletonised fencepost hands match the rectangular indices in design, with a small flourish in the form of a Hublot ‘H’ acting as the counterbalance of the second hand. Even though its name is the Time Only, we see a trapezoidal date cut-out at 6 o’clock, which keeps the dial layout pleasantly symmetrical. The date wheel has been fully skeletonised and is visible around the perimeter of the dial, set against a black background in the date window frame for added legibility.
Zooming out, it becomes clear that the lack of a dial hurt the legibility of the Integrated Time Only, as has the little variation in terms of finishing. While aesthetically pleasing and performed to a high degree, the brushing tends to blend together often.
The case and bracelet are in complete opposition to the dial when it comes to finishing. Hublot really flexes their muscles here, which can be beautifully seen in some of the close-ups. Vertical brushing, mirror-polish and bead blasting all make an appearance, yet the watch manages to not look like a jumbled mess in person, which is a danger of incorporating that many alternating finishes. This is in part thanks to a lot more subtlety in the flesh. Rather than seeing the stark differences in finish, the Integrated Time Only exudes a look of luxury, where all the individual parts come together in unison. The small links of the bracelet are wonderfully articulated and fit into the case well, though I was surprised by some sharp edges.
The 40.7mm diameter was perfectly comfortable on my 6.1in/15.5cm wrist, certainly aided by the conforming nature of the bracelet. I was surprised by how lithe and airy the watch felt, as ceramic tends to weigh even less than the oft-used lightweight metal, titanium. This was certainly helped by its thinness at 9.4mm, which thankfully doesn’t compromise the capable 100-metre water resistance rating.
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The Big Bang Integrated Time Only is powered by the HUB1710, which is actually a Zenith Elite 670. Being part of the LVMH watch group, Hublot profits from the solid, if somewhat modest, performance and specifications of the relatively old Zenith architecture. Offering a 50-hour power reserve, the HUB1710 in the All Black version of the Integrated Time Only is certainly dressed for the occasion. The theme of skeletonisation continues with the rotor, through which we see the circular striping of the plates and polished balance wheel.
The Big Bang Integrated Time Only is still very much a Hublot at heart. Any fans of the brand who have been yearning for a smaller, toned-down version with all the signature Hublot hallmarks, rejoice! In the grand scheme of luxury sports watches however, the All Black is the most compelling choice of all the Integrated Time Only models, competitively priced with a well-executed ceramic case and bracelet.
Hublot Big Bang Integrated Time Only All Black pricing and availability:
The Hublot Big Bang Integral Time Only All Black is available now. Price: $27,800 AUD
|Big Bang Integrated Time Only All Black 40mm
|40.7mm x 46.7mm x 9.4mm
|Sapphire with AR coating
|Integrated ceramic bracelet with titanium clasp
|HUB1710 movement, Zenith Elite 670 base, 50-hour power reserve
Made in partnership with Hublot. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.