Let’s Not (not) Fall In Love – Introducing the new Hublot Big Bang e
There is a popular South Korean band called Big Bang. Their seventh single album was called E. Their hit single was Let’s Not Fall In Love. See where I am going with this; I simply couldn’t resist myself in starting this feature on the new Hublot watch with this connection. That said, there’s a lot to fall in love with with the new Hublot Big Bang e.
As far as the design language goes, the new Hublot Big Bang e thankfully is pretty faithful to the architectural codes of the first Big Bang released in 2005. But moving beyond the case design, the internal engine — or computer in this case — has a precedence too. Hublot made its foray into the world of smartwatches with a big bang in 2018 to mark the soccer World Cup in Russia. That release was equipped with the latest technological developments then available for wearable technology. Not only did the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ create a big splash in the smartwatches world, it also did so being encased inside a mammoth 49x13mm size. It was also a limited edition issue. Now by releasing the new Hublot Big Bang e as part of a regular production and in a more wearable size of 42×12.8mm, Hublot is set to establish itself as a major player in the luxury smartwatch sector. Also in my humble opinion, this smaller 42mm diameter should bring in a fair about of loyal devotees to the Maison.
Says Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe: “Electronic watches were created in Switzerland using quartz in the 1970s. Fifty years later, we are continuing in the same innovative vein by producing a second smart watch which boasts an extremely high level of technological sophistication, whilst embodying all the aesthetic values, technical features and excellence that have ensured the reputation of our Big Bang collection. Ever more faithful to our “Art of Fusion” motto, we wanted the Big Bang e to unite Hublot’s highly advanced technical materials with the very latest innovations from today’s digital world.”
This news follows on the heels of the release of three other luxury smartwatches of this year, from three major luxury groups: Richemont, LVMH and the Swatch Group. Hublot is following in the footsteps of its LVMH counterpart TAG Heuer with the release of new Hublot Big Bang e.
Swatch Group’s Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar is the largest of this group, a huge 47mm x 15.3mm titanium cased smartwatch with a scratch-resistant & engraved ceramic bezel and an impressive water resistance of 100 metres. It boasts of features already present in Tissot’s T-Touch Solar Expert range and a few new extras such as app notifications and updates, activity tracker, perpetual calendar, countdown, various timekeeping functions and alarms, and altimeter functions. The watch makes use of a low consumption operating system, SwALPS. Its main stand out feature is the Quartz movement, that is solar recharging.
LVMH’s TAG Heuer Connected Third Generation is again a larger 45mm x 13.5mm — compared to Big Bang e though smaller than the Tissot option — made in stainless-steel or titanium and design architecture wise includes the brand’s signature facetted lugs, polished and brushed details, a graduated ceramic bezel, a central rotating crown, two functional pushers, a screwed on caseback and elegant bracelet and strap choices. The dial features a legible OLED touchscreen protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and to extend the battery life, the screen alternates between active and ambient mode. It also features a new Sports app, which can provide detailed tracking for activities such as golf, running, cycling and walking. Using the Wear OS by Google operating system, it also has a built-in GPS and heart-rate monitor.
Richemont’s Montblanc Summit 2+ Smartwatch is again a larger 43.5mm x 13.72 case size. But to its credit, it is the first luxury cellular watch that is powered with Wear OS by Google — H-MR1 — that enables making calls, answering messages and connecting to online services. This means you can stay connected at all times, even when you are nowhere near your smartphone. Added features of a speedometer, altimeter, barometer, compass, GPS, heart rate monitor, accelerometer, ambient light sensor and of-course a speaker & microphone make this watch a fairly formidable competitor to the new Hublot Big Bang e.
Watch Ya Gonna Do About It
One of the most striking features of this release is that Hublot has painted the watch in its iconic Big Bang case design colours. From a distance, it is the iconic Big Bang watch that the Swiss watch enthusiasts have come to fall in love with.
The Design Codes Part
The Maison has put in a considerable effort to re-create a smartwatch that is very similar to the mechanical version of the original Big Bang.
- The case is made from black ceramic or titanium
- Trademark “sandwich” construction of Hublot watches is maintained
- The design of the screws and pushers, the scratch-proof sapphire crystal, the rubber strap equipped with the patented One Click system for easy interchangeability all resonate of the Big Bang design language
- Just like the mechanical version, its rotary crown with integrated pusher is used to activate the controls for its electronic module
The Specifications Part
In terms of basic specifications, the watch comprises of 42 components, 27 of which are for the K Module alone. This module or the “cage” houses the digital heart of the watch. The hour numerals are metallised underneath the scratch-proof sapphire crystal, which is covered with an AMOLED high definition touchscreen. Apart from the “Time Only” analogue function, the watch features exclusive interpretations of traditional watch complications, such as a Perpetual Calendar with an immaculately precise moon phase or a second GMT time zone, which presents the earth in a very realistic way. These functionalities have been revisited and enhanced to take advantage of the possibilities offered by the digital world. Despite this built-in technology, Hublot guarantees the watch is water-resistant to a depth of 30 metres.
Instead of using an Intel processor, the new Hublot Big Bang e makes use of Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 as its core processor. This is the same processor used by the above mentioned TAG Heuer Connected and can be used across both Android and iOS devices. This technology is wrapped inside either a satin-finished and polished titanium or a microblasted and polished black ceramic body.
The Hublot Loves Art Part
These watches are the first generation of Hublot smartwatch series and are inspired by their #HublotLovesArt movement. We have talked about this movement in our previous article where we shed light on artist Marc Ferrero and Hublot’s partnership release, the Hublot Big Bang One Click 39mm Marc Ferrero, designed to pay homage to the 21st century woman. That watch marked the partnership between Hublot & Marc Ferrero for the second year running and this new smartwatch is a welcome continuation of that. For this collaboration, a series of eight dials designed by the artist have been chosen.
What’s fascinating is that every three hours, the dial changes colour, thereby allowing the wearer to experience the eight creations over the course of a 24-hour day. Not only are these a visual extravaganza, they are also designed to follow specific colour themes: Happy Yellow, Magic Blue, Orange Dynamite, All White, Lucky Green, Magic Red, Rainbow Spirit and Black Magic. Cherry on the cake? Every full hour is marked with the appearance of an animation that lasts for five seconds.
Let’s be honest here; 8k AUD is a lot of money for tech that might be obsolete in a short period of time, given most new mobile and smartwatches generally need to be updated every couple of years or so now. The entire beauty of a Swiss made luxury watch is that it can be cherished for years to come, perhaps even passed on to future generations.
That said, Hublot is different. It always has been. It doesn’t really build traditional watches, it’s more focussed on the idea of ‘wrist art’. So as much as I don’t see myself pulling out my wallet to buy these anytime soon, I see their relevance nonetheless. I think they are solely designed for hardcore fans of the brand, connoisseurs who would like to own a smartwatch but something that’s not on everybody’s wrists. And I reckon Hublot scores big here, this being their USP behind this product. After all, smartwatches in general are dime a dozen. Now this watch, with its iconic shape, will stand out. And luxury sometimes, or mostly depending upon who you ask — so old money or new money — is intended to set you apart from the rest. This also makes me feel that perhaps fans of the brand who have so far lusted for the Big Bang look but haven’t had the funds for it can now take the plunge. As far as I know, the new Hublot Big Bang e is the cheapest Hublot offering currently in the market, even cheaper than their entry level men’s Classic Fusion three-hand watches.
I also realise that someone can counter argue and say that within 8k AUD, one can buy a Tudor Black Bay or an Omega Seamaster 300M, both with cash to spare. But of-course there is no point in comparing the price points to other luxury watch offerings in the market, because that would be comparing apples to oranges. The new Hublot Big Bang e is intended in my opinion to be a statement piece, and that when it comes to high-end luxury, can demand any price it deems right. And you know what? Why shouldn’t they?! Hublot has spent the last four decades really building up an image and persona of style that is very identifiable and given they have the opportunity to transcend this into wearable tech, they should very well proudly do so. It’s distinctive, iconic, it’s a piece of art. And as long as you have the finances for it, by all means go for it and flaunt your love for the brand. Like I said in the beginning, there’s a lot to fall in love with in the new Hublot Big Bang e.
Launching on 15th June, Hublot is introducing the new Big Bang e in 2 variations: Titanium (ref: 440.NX.1100.RX costing 7’200 AUD) and Black Ceramic (ref: 440.CI.1100.RX costing 8’100 AUD). These will be sold first online on the brand’s website as well as on the WeChat network in China. All Hublot images Image courtesy © 2018 HUBLOT – ALL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS RESERVED. To find out more about these and other Hublot watches, please head to their website here.