Two years after launching its first smartwatch during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Hublot has unveiled its first regular production smartwatch, the Big Bang e – a connected watch that adopts all the design codes of its talismanic Big Bang model.
To recap: The Big Bang Referee was a 49-mm titanium-cased behemoth that ran Google’s Android Wear OS and seen on the wrists of the 101 referees (36 referees and 63 assistants) that officiated the 2018 tournament. A limited run of 2,018 watches were also made available to the public at CHF4,900 and it was well known that Hublot was going to launch another smartwatch in time for the Euro 2020 championship scheduled to start on June 12. However, following the postponement of the tournament in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic that swept Europe, Hublot decided to bring forward the launch of the Big Bang e initially scheduled for September this year.
Even as sales of mechanical watches continue to fall; global smartwatch shipments continue to grow with a 20 percent rise in the first quarter of 2020. According to data released by Strategy Analytics, 14 million units were sold in the first quarter of 2020 with the Apple Watch accounting for 55 percent of the market share.
The new Big Bang e’s case is familiar – it has the same sandwich construction that has been a hallmark of Hublot watches since 2005. The case is made of 42 components, 27 of which are for the K Module alone, the "cage" which houses the digital heart of the watch. Hublot’s recognizable design codes – the design of the screws and pushers, the scratchproof sapphire crystal, the rubber strap with deployant buckle and the patented One Click system for swapping straps – are all present here. The watch is water-resistant to 30 meters.
The case is 42 mm wide and 12.8 mm thick and is available in titanium or ceramic. Instead of a conventional bezel, the numerals are metallized underneath a scratchproof sapphire crystal that is topped with an AMOLED high definition touchscreen. A rotary crown with integrated pusher serves to activate the controls for its electronic module. Hublot leans on the LVMH’s group-wide strategy to develop smart watches to customize this module for its requirements. The watch has a battery life of a day and takes about two and a half hours to reach full charge.
The watch runs Google’s Wear OS software and has technology like NFC. What’s cool is also the fact that Hublot has used the digital display to have some unique interpretations of traditional watch complications like the perpetual calendar and the GMT display. For example, there is a very realistic moon on the perpetual calendar display while the GMT time zone display presents the earth in a very realistic way.
In addition, Big Bang e will also feature dials specifically created by Hublot ambassadors and Friends of the Brand. To kick things off at launch, Marco Ferrero builds on his #HublotLovesArt collaboration to create a series of eight dials stemming that change every three hours. Each dial is based on a specific color: Happy Yellow, Magic Blue, Orange Dynamite, All White, Lucky Green, Magic Red, Rainbow Spirit and Black Magic. Every full hour is marked with the appearance of an animation that lasts five seconds.
In a first for the brand, Hublot will sell this watch online on the brand's website as well as on the Wechat network in China. It will subsequently be available to purchase in boutiques and the traditional network. Both watches are paired with a lined rubber strap. While the titanium version is priced at $5,200, the ceramic version is priced at $5,800.