As its name implies, Hublot’s Big Bang watch made a significant impact in the world of watchmaking and propelled Hublot to great financial success in the early 2000s—and hasn’t slowed down since.
The Influence of CEO Jean Claude Biver
When Jean Claude Biver joined Hublot in 2004, Hublot was experiencing a plateau in public interest.
Biver had a reputation as a savvy marketer, particularly keen at reviving stale brands. Biver was credited with relaunching Blancpain, a watch manufacturer that had shuttered in the 1970s. Through a unique marketing campaign, Biver reignited the public’s interest in the traditional brand and ultimately sold the now profitable brand to Swatch Group in 1992. More recently, during his tenure as Swatch’s Omega president, Biver bolstered sales with clever product placement in the sexy, action-packed James Bond films.
Upon joining Hublot, Biver’s primary objective was to modernize Hublot with a new flagship collection, dubbed the Big Bang. Hublot unveiled the Big Bang at Basel in 2005 to great acclaim.
Paying Homage to the Original Hublot
As novel as it may look, the Big Bang’s design is not necessarily new or revolutionary for Hublot. The Big Bang was heavily inspired by the 1980 original Hublot watch model; the porthole-inspired round bezel, exposed screws and rubber wrist strap were hallmarks of the original design. The untraditional, oversized chronograph proved to be the perfect mix (or fusion in Hublot-speak) of Hublot’s iconic design touches and modern tastes. The Big Ban won the title Best Design at the Grand Prix d’Horologie de Geneve. And immediately thereafter, the Big Bang was hotly sought after by watch enthusiasts.
The Continued Success of the Big Bang Watch
Since its Basel release, the Big Bang has undergone fresh iterations in step with Hublot’s tradition of unconventionality. The Big Bang has been re-released in innovative materials like a lightweight alloy made of magnesium and aluminum and decorated with a Swiss embroidery pattern that is molded in carbon fiber to define its texture. And like Crocco and his novel rubber material from 1980, Hublot developed an innovative scratch-resistant 18K gold alloy, dubbed “Magic Gold.”
The Big Bang collection remains the cornerstone of the Hublot Brand. And to celebrate the collection’s 10th anniversary in 2015, Hublot unveiled three new models to commemorate the Big Bang’s core design: the Big Bang Unico with a propriety UNICO movement, the Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve Indicator, and a Big Bang version in Full Magic Gold. Hublot also debuted its Big Bang “10 Years” Haute Joaillerie, a collection of ten exquisite Big Bang watches, each dotted with diamonds, sapphires and rubies and priced at $1 million each.
The Big Bang remains a tour de force for the Hublot brand which, in turn, continues to push the limits and expectations of traditional watchmaking.
If this piqued your interest in Hublot, read more about the defiant brand’s origins here.
Photo Credit: hautetime.com