Haute horology has a new headline act. Swiss watchmaker Hublot has just unveiled the world’s first fully ceramic minute repeater, a marvel of modern design that arrives with a price tag to suit. Dubbed the Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater, the latest timepiece from the avant-garde icon is limited to just 36 examples worldwide, coming in at a cool USD$295,000 each. Innovation does not come cheap.
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The latest watch in the classic Big Bang lineup, the new ceramic release avoids the bolder colours of recent unveiling, opting instead for two monochromatic colourways in black and white, with polished and satin finishes. Just as its predecessors from the Integral Ceramic series, this Big Bang features a case, bracelet, bezel and case back fashioned entirely from ceramic, however, there is one major upgrade. For the first-time ever, Hublot has fitted the timepiece with a minute repeater – designed, manufactured and assembled out of the very same material.
According to the brand, the “colossal challenge” took 20 years to execute, following a series of ceramic releases across the portfolio. The major disruption to the design process came in the inability to guarantee the water resistance of the case, despite the movable trigger piece of the Minute Repeater. But solving this problem was just the beginning. The new Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater is also the first in the collection to be fitted with a tourbillon, crafted entirely in-house.
“Being the first, different and unique has never been truer than for this Big Bang Integral Minute Repeater Ceramic,” Richard Guadalupe, Hublot CEO said. “The first ceramic minute repeater in the world, the first Integral Big Bang in black ceramic, the first with a tourbillon: Hublot is pushing the limits of fine watchmaking far, very far. But as always, we do not see it as a zenith: it is a milestone which, in turn, will open up new horizons leading us to other horological explorations.”
Under the hood, Hublot has bolstered the latest collection with the MHUB801 calibre movement, complete with manual winding mechanism. That handy little addition providing 80 hours of power reserve, a solid return for a tourbillon.
More than simply a novelty or prototype, Hublot has confirmed that the new timepiece will be available for public purchase, however, it will be an extremely limited run. Only 36 examples will be made worldwide, each measuring 43mm in diameter divided into 18 pieces in black ceramic and 18 in white ceramic. The new Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater is available now, priced at USD$295,000 each.
Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater Specs
Reference: Black Ceramic – 458.CX 1170 CX.YOS, White Ceramic – 458.HX 1170.HX.YOS
Case: Black Ceramic – Black satin-finished and polished ceramic, White Ceramic – White satin-finished and polished ceramic
Water Resistance: 3 ATM (30m)
Case back: Black Ceramic – Satin-finished black ceramic, White Ceramic – Satin-finished white ceramic
Bezel: Black Ceramic – Satin-finished and polished black ceramic, White Ceramic – Satin-finished and polished white ceramic
Dial: Black Ceramic – Black mat dial Rhodium plated satin appliques with black SuperLuminov, White Ceramic – Grey mat dial Rhodium plated satin appliques with white SuperLuminova
Movement: Hublot MHUB8001.H1.RH Calibre Hublot Tourbillon with manual winding Cathedral Minute Repeater