Hublot has introduced a pair of limited edition Big Bang timepieces that incorporate gold crystals created in a laboratory. The Swiss watchmaker says experts from its in-house metallurgy lab reproduced crystallized native gold using a complex transmutation process. By adding the gold crystal into the dial within the Big Bang’s familiar tonneau shaped case, the brand has created the Spirit of Big Bang Gold Crystal, available in 39mm and 42mm sizes.
The watchmaker says the rare material used in the watch was created by heating 24-carat gold to its melting point of 1064.18 degrees Celsius, vaporizing it into a gaseous mixture before interlocking as the temperature is lowered, forming an open angular, crystalline structure. Apparently even from these, only 20 per cent make the grade. These crystals are then applied to the black dial covered with a fine layer of transparent lacquer. It takes around twenty layers of lacquer to encapsulate the gold crystals, and the dial is then polished to render the lacquer invisible, smooth and uniform.
Apart from the tonneau-shaped case, all other design elements of the Big Bang are retained, such as the six H-shaped screws on the bezel, the lugs either side of the case, the overmoulded rubber screw-down crown, and the sandwich type construction. The Spirit of Big Bang Gold Crystal's case is covered in black ceramic and paired with a black alligator strap stitched onto rubber. The Caliber HUB1710 automatic mechanical movement has a power reserve of 50 hours.
The 42mm timepiece is priced at $29’500, and the 39mm variant is priced at $28,400.