back to top

Hublot Meca-10 Ceramic Blue Hands-On & Why This Big Bang Is For Watch Movement Lovers

Hublot Meca-10 Ceramic Blue Hands-On & Why This Big Bang Is For Watch Movement Lovers Hands-On

During “Geneva Watch Week” in January of 2018, I met with Hublot to see this new blue ceramic version of the Big Bang Meca-10 watch (hands-on here featuring the collection’s original 2016 release). This is one of the more interesting “watch collector” oriented versions of the Big Bang currently offered today, and writing about it gives me an opportunity to share an interesting story about the Hublot Meca-10 collection.

A few months ago I found myself with some time to kill while visiting the Hublot manufacture in Nyon, Switzerland. I asked “can I go talk to someone making something interesting?” Hublot’s busy team thought about it, made a call, and then asked me to wait for someone to pick me up. Within 10 minutes I was sitting next to a friendly guy with “movement constructor” in his job title. Brands typically don’t like their valued engineers talked about in media because it can often lead to “talent poaching,” so I’ll not mention this guy’s name, but if you end-up reading this, thank you for your time chatting with me instead of working on movements.

Hublot Meca-10 Ceramic Blue Hands-On & Why This Big Bang Is For Watch Movement Lovers Hands-On

All images by Ariel Adams

Hublot, is one of the few watch brands today who actually imagine and design new movements to produce all the time from both a practical and artistic perspective. Hublot’s movement design office has bookcases filled with folders dedicated to the schematics of the various movements they’ve designed and produced over the years. Some are the volume-intended UNICO automatic chronographs, and some are the more enthusiast-oriented movements such as the caliber HUB1201 that sits in the Big Bang Meca-10 watches. I spent over 30 minutes listening to someone speak with such enthusiasm about what he designed into the HUB1201 and what his philosophy was in imagining this mechanism. I was regretful that not everyone who is sympathetic to the design and originality of this product could hear this heartfelt, off-the-cuff presentation about the product of one’s own labor.

Hublot Meca-10 Ceramic Blue Hands-On & Why This Big Bang Is For Watch Movement Lovers Hands-On

For what its worth, Hublot makes an attempt to share the fact that this is a watch with a movement designed to be original, and cool looking when writing: “The mechanics of the Big Bang Meca-10 Blue Ceramic are as innovative as the materials comprising them. Developed over a span of two years, its manually-wound skeleton calibre, with a 10-day power reserve, contains 223 parts. A testament to beauty and technical expertise, it has two barrels parallel to the power reserve indicator: a cogwheel system with two rakes sliding along a horizontal axis. Accentuating this mechanical architecture, an opening at 3 o’clock unveils a red dot when the movement is nearing the final days of its power reserve, while a gearwheel at 6 o’clock indicates the exact number of days remaining and the regulating organ, coupled with the small second regulator, appears at 7 o’clock.”

Hublot Meca-10 Ceramic Blue Hands-On & Why This Big Bang Is For Watch Movement Lovers Hands-On

Hublot Meca-10 Ceramic Blue Hands-On & Why This Big Bang Is For Watch Movement Lovers Hands-On

Most consumers will not read the brand’s own press release – and if they see the Meca-10 watch in person will perhaps not be aware that the movement is designed to be an artistically expressive mechanical sculpture (that tells the time). The 10-day power reserve is a performance promise which helps situate the movement as being high-end, but for me the real appeal is in the shape of the parts and the visual presentation of the open-worked movement. Hublot is celebrating industrial design with shapes and elements not normally found in a traditional watch movement. The large power-reserve cog wheel, as well as the linear moving gear that moves it are good examples of these elements. It was a pleasure to hear the designer mention how he wanted to delight people viewing the movement, and offer a high degree of performance so that the HUB1201 was impressive on paper. To me this is what many watch collectors are looking for (or should be), and Hublot is among those brands where they can find it.

Advertisement

Hublot Meca-10 Ceramic Blue Hands-On & Why This Big Bang Is For Watch Movement Lovers Hands-On

Operating at 3Hz (21,600 bph), the HUB1201 has a full 10 days of power reserve with a cool indicator on the dial. The manually-would movement indicates just the time with a subsidiary seconds dial at 9 o’clock. The movement does double duty as the engine inside of the watch as well as the dial presentation for wearers (and their audience). Legibility is remarkably cool via the use of large hands and hour markers, as well as effective surfacing treatments on those elements.

Hublot Meca-10 Ceramic Blue Hands-On & Why This Big Bang Is For Watch Movement Lovers Hands-On

At 45mm wide and 15.95mm thick (water-resistant to 100m), the Meca-10 exists in the standard modern generation Big Bang case. Part of me wants this movement to have its own case, but I’m more than OK with it borrowing the Big Bang personality as a frame for the mechanism. Hublot currently offers the Big Bang Meca-10 in a range of styles including black ceramic, titanium, magic gold, king gold, and now blue ceramic as the reference 414.EX.5123.RX. Blue continues to be a hot seller in the luxury watch space, so expect to see a lot more of this hue from Hublot and pretty much all other watch brands for the next few years. Blue ceramic is still a relatively uncommon color for ceramic watches, so there is a distinct novelty value in a watch like this right now.

Hublot Meca-10 Ceramic Blue Hands-On & Why This Big Bang Is For Watch Movement Lovers Hands-On

On the wrist the statement this watch makes to me is quite simple and straightforward. This is for watch collectors fond of modern, masculine designs, as well as for people who appreciate the art of mechanical movements rendered to be visually engaging and assertive. You do need a high level of personal confidence and taste security to wear something like this, which is only to say that most people getting a Hublot Big Bang Meca-10 aren’t exactly watch collecting beginners. These watches are accordingly not cheap either, but you get a very comprehensive “in-house package” here, so I wouldn’t consider them overpriced either. This Hublot Big Bang Meca-10 Blue Ceramic 414.EX.5123.RX has a retail price of $22,000 USD. hublot.com

Watch Brands

Explore

Comments

Disqus Debug thread_id: 6484919693

  • Movement Lovers won’t love the low frequency 3Hz movement.

    • IG

      Yes, they will if it’s hand-wound.

  • ProJ

    The blue ceramic looks really nice. I also like the floating logo. I don’t like how this watch is skeletonized though. AP Royal Oak Openworked and GP Laureato skeleton are two nicely skeletonized watches in my opinion. This Hublot on the other hand is too busy and needs a lot of refinement, for that amount of money anyway. Otherwise if you are into skeleton watches, you can get an Epos watch for less than one fifth of the price of this Hublot.

  • MeaCulpa

    Talent poaching at Hublot, salmon poaching at local pool and tiger poaching in Africa.

  • Mikita

    What’s the date? Almost 7? Or 6 3/4? This date window looks broken. But what to expect from a $22,000 watch.

    • IanE

      Power reserve : surely you don’t expect a date on a mere $22,000 Hublot [mind you, their exposed date wheels are a real eyesore!]?

      • Mikita

        You are right. I need to sleep more..

    • I also first thought that was the date wheel.

      • IG

        …then you read the POWER RESERVE text and…

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    The blue ceramic is attractive. Lovely view of the movement, with the twin barrels, and triple bridges through the back of the watch.
    Reasonably restrained, if typically large, for the brand. But as brand connotation is so important in the luxury segment, not a go to maker for me.

  • Yan Fin

    I don’t think I can stand looking at this thing for 10 straight days.

  • Jon Heinz

    I like the watch; just not in blue. I’d probably opt for titanium. That movement is slick though. The more you look at it, the more little things you see that were designed to line up just so.

  • Marius

    I found this advertorial extremely amusing. Granted, it wasn’t as funny as the usual Sunday sermons, but it was quite entertaining nonetheless.

    According to this advertorial: “Brands typically don’t like their valued engineers talked about in media because it can often lead to “talent poaching…”

    Talent poaching at Hublot? Who in his right mind would look for watchmaking “talents” at Hüblotter? That’s like trying to find the love of your life in bar in Bangkok. By poaching talent at Hublot you would get either Aaron Sigmond (aka the watch guy/the shoe guy/the chewing gum guy), or Lapo Elkann (aka the “I’m drunk & high before 10 in the morning guy”).

    According to this advertorial: “Hublot, is one of the few watch brands today who actually imagine and design new movements to produce all the time from both a practical and artistic perspective.”

    What exactly does this mean? This phrase might contain English words, but its message is very hard to understand. Also, what “new movements” is Hublotter producing “all the time?” Essentially, Hublotter uses two calibers: ETAs and the in-house Unico. This Meca-10 is one of the very few new calibers developed by Hublotter, so I’m struggling to see the “new movements being produced all the time.”

    According to this advertorial: “Hublot’s movement design office has bookcases filled with folders dedicated to the schematics of the various movements they’ve designed and produced over the years.”

    Hublot has “bookcases” filled with the schematics of the various movements they’ve produced? Are you kidding me? In its entire history, Hublot has produced under five calibers: the Unico, the Meca-10, and a few other high-end complications (tourbillons and the 30-day power reserve) which weren’t even manufactured by Hublot, but by a third-party movement maker. Apart from a very small & select club of watch brands such as JLC, Lange, Patek, or FP Journe, nobody else has “bookcases” filled with in-house movements, and certainly not Hublotter.

    According to this advertorial: “The 10-day power reserve is a performance promise which helps situate the movement as being high-end…”

    That’s incorrect. A 10-day power reserve doesn’t make a movement high-end. For instance, Oris also offers a 10-day movement (Atelier Caliber 113). Does this fact make the Oris caliber a high-end one? Of course not. A high-end caliber is first and foremost characterized by a very high level of fit, finish, decoration, and craft, and the Hublot movement is splendidly lacking all of the above-mentioned elements. Practically speaking, this is a caliber with a rather modest & basic finish and decoration, and featuring a complication that is somewhat interesting, but not exactly mind-blowing or impressive.

    • Gokart Mozart

      I have just been offended twice while reading your comment, although once is on behalf of Mr Archie Luxury.

      I am sure he does not agree with your sentiments about finding love in the far East.

      Please do not put Oris and Hublot in the same sentence (technically you didn’t but you know what I mean). One makes generally classy looking and affordable watches, and one doesn’t.

    • Who are you to judge manufacturers by the size of their bookcases? Eh? There are small bookcases on the market. Really small ones. Did I mention small ?

    • Juan-Antonio Garcia

      Ouch! But so true!

  • DanW94

    The hacksaw style power reserve indicator at 12 is pretty bad ass. Prefer the original version in titanium though. Not much of a Big Bang fan but I’d wear this one.

  • Shirley Furby

    This is the only”Hublow” I have ever liked.

  • BNABOD

    Prices are really out of control across the board but here I fail to see the R.O.I, for the buyer that is. Ceramic case ok many make this now and can be found for a hell lot less than 20 grand, 10 Day PR as our illustrous comparator expert Marius explained is far from being unique so what is left? Finish nope, the Chr Ward movement looks about the same finish wise, granted I would need to see it in the flesh. For amusement sake let’s say the Hub is better movement finish wise then what is left ? A rubber strap but not a rubber B so can’t be that good. I am sorry but no I don’t see the value add here regardless if in blue

  • Pete L

    Pretty cool and the movement is interesting although not sure about this supposed glut of new Hublot movements they have apparently created? I am not a Hublot hater by any means but they do appear to make lots of watches that are simply slight variations of all the others. This has not hurt AP but they have the history.

  • It’s very nice that it’s “Full Adjusted”; I wouldn’t want a watch that’s only partially adjusted.

    • Mikita

      In the world of Hublot it can mean.. anything. 1 position +/-40 sec per day, for instance 🙂

    • Gokart Mozart

      I thought that too.

      Maybe the text was too big to include a “y” for better reading English.

      Surprised it did not say the number of positions it is adjusted in. must be for the Rolex or Apple generation.

  • Good Gene 42K18

    Shoulda put a big 19 at 12.
    Sa-wing and a miss.

  • Good Gene 42K18

    Whenever a headline contains a variation of “and why it matters”… – that’s when you know there will be no journalism, only advocacy “explainalism”.
    Best summed up by the bit in parentheses: “To me this is what many watch collectors are looking for (or should be), and Hublot is among those brands where they can find it.” Or should be. But is it?

    • Marius

      I’m not sure I agree with your “there will be no journalism” theory. The following excerpt proves that this article is at times quite profound and thorough:

      “…the movement is designed to be an artistically expressive mechanical sculpture (that tells the time). The 10-day power reserve is a performance promise which helps situate the movement as being high-end, but for me the real appeal is in the shape of the parts and the visual presentation of the open-worked movement. Hublot is celebrating industrial design with shapes and elements not normally found in a traditional watch movement. This is for watch collectors fond of modern, masculine designs, as well as for people who appreciate the art of mechanical movements rendered to be visually engaging and assertive. You do need a high level of personal confidence and taste security to wear something like this…”

      • Mikita

        Taste security.. New slogan for Hublow.

  • Farkbinder012

    Am I supposed to like this? I think I do…… I know I do. I feel dirty. Will hate myself in the morning.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    I’ve never been a particular fan of Hublot nor an extremist enemy. I just find them good, ugly and overpriced. And I like Biver. This is not a boring watch. Nor is it especially interesting. Better than average. Worth reading the article. The boring enfant terrible of middle class haute horology.

  • SuperStrapper

    I’d wear it. Blue is actually a good colour choice for ceramics in watches. It looks good here, and was previously evidenced with omega and blancpain utilising ceramics in shades of blue.

    • Joe

      I generally don’t look twice at Hublots but this one is “ok”.
      I don’t own a manually wound watch. How many turns would it take to achieve the 10d reserve?

      • benjameshodges

        Always a very good question that remains unanswered in most articles. If a watch brand boasts the power reserve they should also boast that the gear ratio is heightened to minimise winding to full power.

      • SuperStrapper

        With the la Ferrari 50 day power reserve watch they supply an electric drill to wind it with. Filling all those barrels up takes some time. For 10 days I assume it would be a very satisfying ‘chore’ to wind.

  • Richard Baptist

    I saw a video of this watch and the depth of the movement is actually a pleasure to look at. I love the movement, I just don’t like Hublot’s design aesthetic so I don’t like the case it’s packaged in. Fan of the movement though. As usual, I think the price is ridiculous.

  • Yanko

    How do you take seriously a watch company which introduces a new model every other day?

    • Mikita

      Spammers.

  • joe Shmoe

    the watch is blue. looking at it made me blue too.

  • BobHoover Tiangco

    Skeleton Hublot, Skeleton Zenith, Skeleton Carrera. What next from JCB?

    • SuperStrapper

      More winning would be a safe bet.

  • Tea Hound

    I produce new and different movements every day. Don’t hear anyone congratulating me, though.

    • Marius

      Congratulations from Monaco!

  • Mr. Snrub

    Would absolutely wear this. Can’t help it, I’m a sucker for blue watches.

    The rack-and-pinion gear at 12 and the extended bridges on the back are a real treat for these eyes.

  • Playboy Johnny

    Looks nice, but put a dial on it for me.

  • Ulysses31

    I like how, in just about every Hublot article Ariel comes up with, he never misses an opportunity to subtly insult anyone who doesn’t like their watches.Apparently you’re not an experienced watch collector, or you just don’t have enough confidence to own or wear one of these.I like the watch more than I like his perpetually condescending tone. As for the watch itself, it’s a good effort. Hublot continues to drift cautiously away from clownishly stupid designs for teenage boys towards something more refined, that an adult might actually want to wear.

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png.