Having received great interest in the collaborations it has made with brands from different sectors, Hublot continues to impress watch enthusiasts with examples that can be counted extreme for the industry like luxury leather goods manufacturers, tailors and graffiti artists which have been added to the brand’s collection in recent years. The Sang Bleu series, under the brand's cult collection Big Bang, became the guest of our Hands On corner with the 18K King Gold version introduced in Baselworld 2017.
Special Edition and Limited Edition concepts are also of great importance in watchmaking, as it is in the many product groups of luxury goods. While many companies from different segments revise their standard models for collaborations with famous brands, celebrities and private organizations, some prefer to design exclusive products from scratch for those occasions. Among those brands, Hublot is one of the manufacturers that shine out. In my past articles, I have argued that Hublot has created too many Special and Limited edition products which at some point may end up harming the concept rather than benefiting it. I also told that this creates a kind of an adverse effect for me as a watch enthusiast, in terms of buying those timepieces. However, I must admit that I have found the Special and Limited Edition models that Hublot recently added to its collection to be very successful. I am a bit distant to the latest Big Bang Chronographs mostly due to the oversized crown guards and/or pushers which I found unnecessarily exaggerated. On the other hand, I pretty much like the Sang Blue series as they lack those parts and offer a unique look rather than a re-touched standard Big Bang. The model I chose for the review, which also happens to be my favorite, is the Sang Blue 18K King Gold (not surprised ha..?).
Before I go to the review, let me give you a little introduction on Sang Bleu; Sang Bleu is founded by the famous Swiss tattoo artist Maxime Buchi. The brand, which is lead by Buchi known with his entrepreneurial spirit and interest about fine timepieces, continues to serve on a wide platform from a tattoo studio to a outwear designer and a creative agent.
Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu 18K Magic Gold is listed under the brand's cult product line Big Bang, as the name says. However, we wouldn’t be wrong to classify the series in its own collection as its design looks more like a new product line than a re-created Big Bang. The case measures 45mm in diameter. Made of Hublot’s patented 18K King Gold alloy (which is the most aesthetically beautiful one for me among the Titanium and black ceramic versions), the case features engravings designed by Maxime Buchi himself. Sporting AR coated scratch resistant sapphire crystals on both sides; the case is water resistant to 100 meters. Let me add that the Hublot logo is printed on the front crystal. Thanks to the mirror polished details along the mostly satin brush finished surface, the case provides a stunning 3D depth. The angular bezel features the brand’s signature detail H shaped screws and a mirror polished lover plate.
I mentioned that the Sang Bleu series could be kept separate from standard Big Bang models. The dial design of the model also offers details in support of this argument. There are three discs prepared in octagonal form in place of the hands and sub-dials you expect to see. The discs are sized differently in order to be used for time display. The big disc shows the hours, the middle one show the minutes and the small one shows the seconds. There are two black chapters inside the dial. The bigger one features the hour markers, and the small one houses the minute markers. Although it seems quite complicated at first, it is not so hard to read the time after you are accustomed with the timepiece.
Big Bang Sang Bleu is powered by the Unico Caliber Ref. HUB1213. Self-winding movement is actually based on the famous Unico Caliber with some technical revisions like removing the chronograph module and re-designing the gear train in order to achieve the required torque to move the discs. The movement offers 72h power reserve when fully wound –like the original Unico. It is also equipped with a custom oscillating rotor which can be enjoyed through the sapphire display caseback.
The model is offered on a leather strap produced by the famous Italian leather goods manufacturer Schedoni. The strap is secured by a Hublot signed folding clasp made of King Gold and decorated with geometrical patterns like the rest of the watch.
There is no doubt that the model, limited to only 100 units, is one of the most original designs in the Big Bang family. I do not know what the brand's loyal fans think, but I guess I found the most wearable Big Bang version for me.