January 15, 2020
by Bilal Khan
Fifteen years after the introduction of the Big Bang, Hublot just introduced the Big Bang Integral, which adds an integrated bracelet model to the collection. The Integral debuts in three variations: Titanium, as seen in this article; King Gold; and an all-black ceramic. Though the Big Bang so far hasn’t exclusively come on a strap (see this bracelet model from a few years back), we are living in the era of integrated bracelet proliferation. In fact, I’m pretty surprised it took this long for Hublot to pull a “reverse-Offshore” with the Big Bang. Fortunately, Hublot didn’t only add an integrated bracelet to the 42mm Big Bang case (arguably the most wearable one, by the way), but they also refreshed and redesigned the case.
The good? The result is a good-looking and reasonably sized watch from a collection that has long eluded a substantial group of luxury sport-watch buyers.
The bad? Expect sticker shock. The titanium model you see in this article is the most affordable of the three, priced at just north of $20,000.
That said, the in-house UNICO movement stands higher than a lot people give it credit for and I encourage everyone to read our David Bredan’s review of the strap version of the 42mm Big Bang for more background information and insight. Long story short, it’s an undeniably technically impressive movement that puts many of its peers to shame. Brief stats of the HUB1280 UNICO column-wheel chronograph movement include a three-day power reserve, modular escapement, a reworked oscillating double-clutch, and flyback function.
Actually, keep that link from David’s review open so you have an easy reference for comparison. Hublot made some changes to the 42mm Big Bang case and dial with the Integral that are an overall marked improvement, in my opinion. The one change on the dial switches out Arabic numerals with simple indices, which I absolutely prefer. On the case, the pushers are changed back to the style from the original 2005 model. In fact, Hublot states that these rectangular pushers were the design inspiration for the bracelet through the chamfering, angles, and the alternating polished and satin finishing.
Water resistant to 100M, the sandwich-style case is changed a little bit, with the resin composite switched out for a complete titanium (or King Gold or ceramic) construction. There is black composite resin used on parts of the bezel and rubber is used around the crown. This change to the case cleans the whole design up a little, while the more sparse usage of black resin composite and rubber accentuate the aesthetic idiosyncrasies without being overbearing.
Take a look at the bracelet used on the previous iteration of the UNICO Big Bang from 2015, and this new Integral reveals an obviously stark difference in quality and finish. The chamfering and attention to detail are clearly apparent, and I applaud Hublot on creating a bracelet that looks good and is finished to a high degree while also being really comfortable to wear.
On the wrist, the Big Bang Integral is a comfortable wear that is super-lightweight in titanium. Measuring 42mm-wide and 13.45mm-thick, it’s got a lug-to-lug that’s just around 52mm. As I’ve said before, this is probably the most wearable Hublot Big Bang watch and a size that I’d like to see them expand on even more. The sleeker new case and less cluttered dial go a long way in striking a balance in attitude, something that Hublot has struggled with in the past.
The Hublot Big Bang UNICO Integral shows a brand that understands the taste of contemporary buyers more than almost any of their recent offerings. Paring down some of their more divisive and aggressive aesthetic touches just 20% or so and adding such a fantastic bracelet goes a long way. Price for the Hublot Big Bang Integral in titanium is $20,900, while the all-black ceramic comes in at $23,100, and the King Gold at $52,500. You can learn more at hublot.com.