Last week during LVMH Watch Week 2022, Hublot released a trio of new Big Bang Sang Bleu II watches that I got to hands-on with. In gold or ceramic, these are limited-edition pieces done in collaboration with Sang Bleu. Highly geometrically stylized (and wonderfully divisive), the Big Bang Sang Bleu II defies much of mainstream categorization and is the rare collaboration to successfully stand on its own.
For those unaware of the collaboration, Hublot first partnered with iconic tattoo artist Maxime Plescia-Buchi of Sang Bleu seven years ago. The highly faceted design of the case reflects the Sang Bleu signature of remarkably straight lines interplaying against each other and, while I could get into the details, our David Bredan did a very extensive review of the collection just last year (which you can read here).
At the risk of sounding pushy or haughty, I’ll say that an opinion on the Big Bang Sang Bleu II without seeing it in the metal is largely incomplete or uninformed until you handle it in person. Yes, it’s on the larger side at 45mm, and the aggressively geometric design may not be to your taste, but trust me when I say there’s really nothing like it. Singularity alone doesn’t inherently insinuate greatness, but the Sang Bleu II shines as a stark example of unrestrained design resulting in a spectacularly cool watch.
Joining the existing versions of the Sang Bleu II comes this trio in Magic Gold, green ceramic, and black ceramic. All scratch-resistant materials (including Magic Gold, which we took a pair of keys to and didn’t get a scuff), these three new Sang Bleu II models show how versatile the design really is. Back when it was first released, I assumed the Sang Bleu would be a one-off limited-edition collaboration, but it has grown into a full-fledged collection (albeit one comprised of limited editions).
The case is 45mm-wide and 16.5mm-thick with a lug-to-lug measurement of just about 55mm and water-resistant to 100m. The green ceramic model is bright and glossy with a sheen that highlights all the facets and angles in a colorful way, whereas the black is more brooding while accomplishing the same effect. Personally, the Magic Gold was the absolute standout. Hublot’s proprietary Magic Gold is a fairly restrained tone which only serves to amplify the Sang Bleu case design.
The skeletonized dial goes full Sang Bleu as well, with lines crisscrossing and creating geometric patterns throughout. It may actually seem like legibility is an issue but once you realize that the triangular lumed tipped hands denote the hour and minutes, it’s actually quite easy to read the time. The dial design is so coherent and well thought out that it’s hard to picture the case without the dial design, and vice versa.
Highly comfortable on the wrist on a rubber strap, the Magic Gold exudes contemporary luxury while the ceramic models have a more carefree fashion-oriented feel. Of course, all three are scratch-proof so they can be worn without the underlying anxiety of causing damage. A totally uniquely designed and tough watch that you can actually purchase — who’da thunk it?
From the caseback, you can see the automatic HUB1240 manufacture UNICO flyback chronograph movement with column wheel. I’m happy to see it’s finished with the appropriate geometric Sang Bleu design which has as much thought and care put into it as any other aspect of the piece. Operating at 28,800 vph, the HUB1240 has a 72-hour power reserve.
Each of the three new Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu II pieces comes on a matching rubber strap with the Magic Gold and black ceramic on black rubber and the green ceramic with green rubber. The Sang Bleu II Magic Gold is limited to 100 pieces with a price of $42,000, the Black Magic aka black ceramic is limited to 250 pieces with price of $27,300, and the green ceramic is limited to 200 pieces with a price of $27,300. You can learn more at hublot.com.