It is difficult to believe that Hublot is already entering their fourth calendar year of partnership with Ferrari as their official timekeeper and high-end watch maker. The relationship was debuted in late 2011 and at Baselworld 2012 aBlogtoWatch brought you a hands-on look at the evolved Big Bang pieces that became the Hublot Ferrari watch collection. According to Hublot Chairman Jean-Claude Biver the Big Bang Ferrari collection is the most important modern Hublot timepiece not only in terms of what it means from a business perspective, but in regard to how much effort Hublot put into it.
I’ve referred to the Hublot Big Bang Ferrari as one of the finest timepieces Hublot has ever made and a few years later I stick by that statement. Mr. Biver had an additional incentive to make a standout collection for Ferrari in addition to making the famous Italian car maker happy. Hublot wanted to dispel the “Ferrari curse” that tainted several of the prior relationships Ferrari had with major Swiss watch brands– most notably Panerai. He wanted to make a Hublot and Ferrari co-branding timepiece that worked.
Last year in 2013 we once again went hands-on with the newest Hublot Big Bang Ferrari timepieces. Hublot augmented the debut models with new versions that mixed and matched materials and colors. What remained was the still-fresh 45mm wide Big Bang case, in-house made UNICO chronograph movement, and overall design. While the 2012 Big Bang Ferrari watches offered Hublot’s hybrid ceramic/gold called Magic gold, as well as a titanium case, 2013 began to include additional materials such as ceramic and carbon fiber. 2014 isn’t really about adding new materials, but rather about new color treatments and styles which happen to be pretty sharp looking.
Easily my favorite new 2014 model is the Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Ceramic Carbon with its black and yellow tones. The case is in black ceramic while the bezel is in carbon fiber. The dial offers an exposed view of the movement does in a deep gray almost rhodium tone, while yellow ads a very bold accent color to the hands and markers. The combination of materials and colors feel particularly cool even though nothing strictly new is added to the collection.
What the Ceramic Carbon model is good at is offering a particularly clear view of the dial’s three dimensional construction. Looking at it from an angle, you can see the crisply rendered stencil-style font hour numerals as well as the detail of the movement below. In case you missed it– as does happen with people who are seeing this collection for the first time– the Ferrari prancing horse logo is located to the right of the 9 o’clock hour indicator.
Inside all Hublot Big Bang Ferrari watches is the in-house made UNICO ref. 1241 automatic column-wheel chronograph movement. It has 72 hours of power reserve, the date, time, and a 60 minute chronograph. The movement still feels very modern and has a look which is both industrial and high-end in its feel. The automatic rotor is designed to look like a car wheel.
Attached to the watches are nice looking straps that fit the theme of the watch. The Ceramic Carbon model has a black leather strap lined with rubber that has yellow contrast stitching. Don’t forget that the case has a quick release system for the straps in the form of a pusher over the lug portion of the case that releases the strap. Most of these watches come with two straps so swapping them out is very simple.
The most simple and actually least expensive (relatively speaking) of the new Hublot Big Bang Ferrari watches is the Titanium Carbon model. This combines a titanium case with a black carbon fiber bezel. It also has a red tinted sapphire crystal. This model is very similar to a 2012 Hublot Big Bang Ferrari watch in an all carbon fiber case. For 2014 that previous model replaces the case (not bezel) with titanium versus carbon fiber. This is perhaps one of the most modern and futuristic looking of the Big Bang Ferrari models that doesn’t just look like an attempt to play with rich colors and textures.