Hublot’s Square Bang is back with many, many new sides to show
It was such a hit last year that Hublot has given us a buffet of follow-ups to enjoy.
In partnership with The Hour Glass
Not many brands have a collection whose design language is so distinct that it’s still recognisable even after it has changed its shape but that is what Hublot achieved with its emblematic Big Bang watch in 2005, radically transforming the sleepy brand into a powerhouse of modern aesthetics and materials. When the barrel-shaped Spirit of Big Bang was introduced in 2014, it was a seamless adaptation. A square version then, was imminent, and so the brand finally released the Square Bang collection last year.
Five different versions were presented at launch in 2022, but this year Hublot has added 11 more. The most ambitious of these is the Square Bang Unico Sapphire. Square watches aren’t nearly as common as round ones for the simple reason that many of a movement’s components are round, so a round calibre is most efficient. Placing one in an angular case can look awkward, but Hublot has proudly exposed its (round) Unico 2 movement in a dial-less watch with a fully transparent sapphire case.
The HUB1280 flyback chronograph movement — which is what powers all of this year’s Square Bang novelties — displays the small seconds at 9 o’clock and the 60-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock. Within the counter in an aperture at the 15-minute mark is the date, though the entire date wheel can be seen around the periphery of the watch. Another window at 6 o’clock reveals the movement’s column wheel. The difficulty of working sapphire crystal logically means the Square Bang Unico Sapphire is a limited edition of 250 pieces, but two more versions in white and black ceramic present more accessible options.
In the Square Bang Unico White Ceramic and Black Magic, the Big Bang styling is more evident, as you are better able to see the six h-shaped titanium screws on the bezel that hold together the modular case. Unlike the fully polished sapphire crystal reference, the ceramic cases have microblasted and polished surfaces for beautiful contrast, and have a water-resistance of 100m as opposed to the Sapphire’s 50m. It is also worth noting that the Black Magic has a brighter look (and is arguably more legible) than last year’s all-black ceramic model.
The remaining novelties add a whole lot of glittering razzmatazz to the collection, with eight diamond-set editions in three case materials and four setting levels. In the first level, only the bezel is embellished with diamonds. In the second, the gems extend to the case, while the third level boasts a richer and more complex setting with 50 diamonds on the bezel and 94 on the case. These gem-setting variations are available in titanium or King Gold, the latter being Hublot’s proprietary alloy that mixes 18k gold with a small amount of copper and platinum to give the metal a redder blush than conventional rose gold.
The final level comprises the High Jewellery editions, presented in white gold or King Gold, and cloaked in a blinding 285 diamonds across the dial, bezel and case. These are also the only references in the collection to use rectangular and trapezoid diamonds instead of round-cut ones to better match the angular profile of the Square Bang, thereby achieving greater effulgence.
All watches come with rubber straps secured with a titanium deployant buckles, with the exception of the High Jewellery models, which come with alligator straps. But changing the straps on any of these models is a simple enough affair thanks to the brand’s “One-Click” strap system.
The automatic HUB1280 movement, which is the second generation of Hublot’s in-house Unico calibre, runs at 4Hz and comes with 72 hours of power reserve.