Hublot announced its latest high-profile partnership — and introduced its newest limited-edition timepiece — on April 20, during New York’s Madison Avenue Watch Week. The new replica Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu is a totally redesigned version of the brand’s Big Bang Unico, with a dial design, and timekeeping system, inspired by the work of Swiss tattoo artist Maxime Büchi.
The Big Bang Sang Bleu gets its francophone surname from the magazine and contemporary design brand that Buchi founded in 2006. The replica watches makes an immediate impression — with its sharply beveled lines and hexagonal bezel conferring a highly geometric, three-dimensional look, a key aesthetic in the tattoo art of Büchi, whose celebrity clients include Kanye West and Adam Lambert. This “glass-and-metal sculpture” design is enhanced by the matte black dial, with its wide, black satin-finished circular flange stamped with the hour numerals and minute indices, executed in a font created by Büchi’s own typeface-design agency.
As for the dial itself, and how one reads the time on it, one will notice that it lacks any type of conventional hours, minutes, or seconds hands. Instead, the time is displayed through the superimposing of three rhodium-plated, octagonal-shaped disks, a layout evoking again the design motifs of Büchi’s body art. The largest disc indicates the hours, while the smaller one on top of it marks the minutes. Making it possible to read the time are triangular tips, one each on the hours and minutes octagons, which are highlighted in white Super-LumiNova. The readout of the seconds is even more subtle, ticking away on the center of a black disk stamped with the Hublot “H” and the stylized hourglass motif of Sang Bleu.
Of course, the wildly unconventional time display of the replica Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu necessitated a substantial overhaul of Hublot’s manufacture Unico caliber, which stripped it of its integrated chronograph function and added the three skeletonized, octagonal disks for the time indication. The movement, dubbed UNICO HUB1213, retains its automatic winding system, but the rotor has been redesigned so that its silhouette features triangular elements from the Sang Bleu logo. This revamped Unico caliber is composed of 255 parts, including 28 jewels, and stores a 72-hour power reserve.
The watch’s 45-mm case is made of satin-finished and polished titanium and is engraved with Büchi’s signature geometric lines and shapes. The design motif continues seamlessly into the black calfskin strap, which is sewed onto rubber and hot-stamped in a gradient from black to gray. The rubber interior of the strap is also engraved with a Sang Bleu logo. The replica Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu is limited to 200 pieces and priced at $188.