The Big Bang’s been missing a trick. In the current era of big, sports luxe watches, Hublot’s flagship doesn’t seem to have adapted to survive. Granted it doesn’t particularly need to – the Big Bang’s not going anywhere – but now, the watchmaker’s wised up. Say hello to the Big Bang Integral.
The Big Bang’s always been a direct competitor with the Royal Oak, perhaps more than any other watch. It has the same industrial style, visible bezel screws and big, FU dimensions. The only thing it was really lacking was an integrated bracelet, all the stranger given the Classic Fusion already has one. So, 15 years after it’s launch, the Big Bang finally has it’s own integrated sports bracelet.
This isn’t just a matter of shoving a new strap onto the watch. An integrated bracelet melds perfectly into the case, meaning the case itself needed to be altered to accommodate, with the lugs sloping down to transition into the bracelet.
That bracelet is superb. Machined into chunky, satisfying links, bevelled and brushed into seriously bold dimensions. It’s seriously impressive – and likely needs a seriously impressive wrist to pull it off. Shy and diminutive this is not.
The rest of the watch is business as usual, with three different versions of the Big Bang Integral. The first is titanium with spots of contrasting black; the second is King Gold, again with black contrasts and the third is full black ceramic. That last includes the bracelet. That last is the one we want.
Inside is the UNICO automatic movement, Hublot’s mechanical pride and joy, in a cool skeletonised look. The 72-hour power reserve is everything you could ask for.
The Integral is a small change to the Big Bang, but one that’s been 15 years in the making. When so many other watchmakers are trying to recapture that Genta style the Royal Oak is known for, for Hublot all it takes is a bracelet to blow most of them out of the water.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Hublot Big Bang Integral
Reference: 451.NX.1170.NX (Titanium); 451.OX.1180.OX (King Gold); 451.CX.1140.CX (All Black)
Case/Dial: 42mm diameter x 13.45mm thickness, satin-finished and polished titanium, king gold or black ceramic
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Caliber HUB1280 UNICO, self-winding, automatic, chronograph flyback with column wheel
Frequency: 28’800 vph (4Hz)
Power Reserve: 72h
Strap: Titanium, King Gold or black Ceramic bracelet with matching deployant buckle clasp
Price: £17,300 (Titanium); £43,500 (King Gold); £19,100 (All Black), limited to 500 pieces
More details at Hublot’s website.