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Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It?

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

Do you remember when Hublot was all about “the art of fusion?” To this day, I can easily recall one of the many characteristic instances when Jean-Claude Biver started shouting at his audience with great enthusiasm about Hublot and “fuuusion,” where different materials and ideas come together to create something new. I also recall being very impressed by this novel, expensive, and consistently innovative approach that was new not just for Hublot, but any major luxury brand as well. I had to wait until now, though, to have a watch in for review that featured what I expect to prove itself as the greatest achievement of Hublot’s dedication to fusion: Magic Gold, their proprietary gold that “cannot be scratched.” So, my curiosity has at last been cured by spending some quality time with the Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold watch, and I couldn’t wait to see just how magical it really was.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

Hublot And Its Love Of Fusion

This whole “the art of fusion” thing appears to have taken the backseat a bit as JCB’s attention is now delegated not exclusively to Hublot but also enjoyed by Zenith and TAG Heuer. These two, in fact, needed his guidance more than Hublot which has been so much more consistent than its “historical” brethren inside the luxury group LVMH.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

The “fusion” approach began for Hublot with the earliest Big Bangs and their then-outrageous merging of a full gold watch with a rubber strap – this unusual coming together of materials was a heresy comparable to the Royal Oak’s 1972 coming in steel and costing what it did. Steel luxury watches have for long been completely normal when the gold-rubber combination of the Big Bang caused turmoil among luxury watch lovers… and yet, today, you can walk into any high-end watch store and find a wide range of watches from multiple brands that they will offer for sale in gold, but on a rubber strap.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

As they grew, largely thanks to JCB’s marketing genius, Hublot soon had more resources – financial and intellectual – to develop its own niche as being “the brand of fusion.” Credit where credit’s due, Hublot’s success does not only come from a marketing strategy comparable to WWII carpet bombing, but also from merging consistent and, hence, widely recognizable design (which most luxury watch buyers want as, admit it or not, people want others to see how much greenback they dropped on a watch) with bold, new, refreshing ideas and executions.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

And while by now Hublot’s fusion approach has given us the gold watch on a rubber strap, we’ve also seen the cool but remarkably confusing idea of a non-transparent-transparent watch in black sapphire (hands-on here), a Classic Fusion with a concrete bezel, and watches in blue Texalium (hands-on here) – oh, and one very funny April Fool’s article where many actually believed Hublot did a “fusion watch” with a tiny amount radioactive uranium.

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Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

From one of our April’s Fools articles from quite a while ago, taking this fusion idea a bit too far. Graphics by Beau Hudspeth.

Hublot has its own proprietary recipe for its success, but elements of that recipe were clearly not tuned to prioritize the taste of the hardcore, traditionalist watch enthusiast. In other words, many other brands, by doing the same thing over and over and over again, make it much easier for “purists” to like them, while Hublot, in truth, doesn’t seem to be bothered that much and would rather do as much in 10 years as many others do in 100 (if ever).

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

However, if you look at that previous and, mind you, not even remotely complete list of Hublot’s achievements in pushing the boundaries of what a watch can be and/or is accepted to be made from, you’ll see that they try much harder than the majority of others – and the most serious achievement of all this self-imposed busyness is Magic Gold, a gold that “cannot be scratched.”

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

Magic Gold – How It’s Made

It has a catchy name, that much is immediately apparent. Most things “Magic” in the life of the ordinary human (myself) include washing powder, non-chargeable batteries, and anything made in Mainland China with a retail price below $5. So, “Magic Gold” sounds just as controversial as it is for a luxury brand to use the term “Magic.” But, unlike the aforementioned items, Magic Gold truly verges on being magical when compared to regular precious metals. Here’s how it came to be.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

Supposedly very, very hard to scratch – we’ll find out soon enough…

It was in 2011 that Hublot unveiled its Magic Gold, a scratch-resistant gold that is both certified as 18k by the Central Office for Precious Metals Control, and has a hardness rating of about 1,000 Vickers – 18k gold is 400 Vickers and most types of hardened steel are 600 Vickers. In the words of Mr. Biver, “You can have a [Magic Gold] watch and wear it for any sport, any use, it will just not scratch. It never ever will scratch. It will constantly look totally polished, as new (…), not scratch-able – only diamond can scratch it.” Further, Magic Gold used for the Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold will never oxidize and weighs less – but more on that latter property in a bit.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

Hublot worked with the Swiss Polytechnique School of Lausanne (EPFL) to develop Magic Gold and by early 2014, Hublot had developed and installed its own, fully integrated gold foundry inside their manufacture in Nyon, Switzerland. So, although the know-how was more or less ready in late 2011, it took Hublot over two years to bring it to a stage of volume production.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

Inside Hublot’s in-house foundry developed specifically to produce Magic Gold.

At Hublot’s opening event for its foundry in 2014, Andreas Mortensen, professor at EPFL, described the project as “fun” but also highlighted some interesting details. They were not allowed to use any coatings in creating a gold alloy that is visually interesting and “makes absolute technical sense.” Not a whole lot more in the project was defined, just the goal of “If you guys could make gold really hard, that would be great” – yes, that’s an actual quote.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

The professor, being a professor, also highlights the fact that while Hublot’s “marketing term of fusion” is very descriptive, the actual process of creating Magic Gold is not through fusion but alloying. Magic Gold starts its life as 24k pure gold and ceramic powder. The ceramic (boron carbide) powder is put into a silicon mold very similar in shape to that of the desired finished part. It is here that we should add that boron carbide is “the third hardest thing” ranking behind diamond and cubic boron nitride. The pre-formed boron carbide powder is then compressed at some 2,000 bars of pressure under cold isostatic pressure. The compressed ceramic is then sintered at 2,200°C while the 24k gold is melted at 1,100°C.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

An ingot of raw Magic Gold, molded in the rough shape of the final piece – the bezel in this instance.

After this operation is when the magic happens: 24k gold alloyed with 3% molten liquid gold is injected under very high pressure with inert gas at a high temperature, allowing the metal to fill the ceramic pores and create a “fusion” of the two to produce Magic Gold. Raw Magic Gold is yet to be machined and, because it is so hard, it can only be shaped by diamond-tipped tools, laser- and ultrasonic machining, or wire cutting.

So, while fusion sounds good and is arguably “sexier” than “alloying,” the latter is what better describes the process. Magic Gold is a combination of gold, made hard through alloying. Alloying is the addition of other atoms to a liquefied form which, when you cast it, forms an alloy that then solidifies and retains its identity as something that, in this case, is fully metallic with the ceramic as part of its structure. If you’re a chemistry professor/teacher and have a technical comment on this, you are invited to leave it below.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

Magic Gold – How Magical Is It Really?

So, all this technical who-do-you-think-you-are and the result, again, is an alloy that is certified to be 18k gold (like any other watch) but is 2.5 times harder than those and almost twice as hard as most hardened steels. The alloy and the manufacturing technology is protected by a bunch of patents and, Hublot says, the brand has been approached by other brands from the watch and other industries to purchase it – but Hublot says they have not and will not share the Magic Gold technology anytime soon. Last but not least, they say this alloying process can be used to merge ceramics with other precious metals and that other “magical” materials can be expected – though no word on when.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold Watch Review – Just How Magical Is It? Gold Watches for men Wrist Time Reviews

I’ve had the Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold for 10 days or so, which really isn’t enough time to emulate the trials imposed on a watch case through years and decades. But, that hasn’t stopped me from trying. I have not refrained from wearing this Big Bang as much of the time as possible and haven’t practiced too much concern or excessive care. I reached into my backpack (seven layers of watch hell in there) looking for stuff, wore it when washing the car, and just generally, wore it through the day…

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Comments

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  • Rupert Muller

    Thank you David for this well-balanced article!

    I think you nailed some of the most important points why “Magic Gold” is not a huge success today. The color is just not attractive. But one of the biggest issues is the production process that is extremely difficult and cumbersome. This has two consequences: first, components are rare and therefore expensive and second, geometry variability is low (as you mentioned that a smaller watch size is missing up to now and Hublot did not produce a buckle up to now, for instance). This is also the reason why other “Magic metals” did not make it to the market, for example the “Magic Aluminum” that was promised a couple of years ago.
    Nevertheless, and I agree with you, it is an interesting material and Hublot should be credited for doing this research.

    By the way: An “alloy” is a mix of different metals. Since boron carbide is a ceramic it cannot melt and therefore the mixture with gold is not an alloy (in the literal sense of material science). It is a “ceramic matrix composite”, short CMC.
    And: The indicated Vickers hardness of standard gold and steel are quite optimistic. Generally, gold alloys have Vickers hardness below 200 and steel used in the watchmaking industry around 200 – 250 HV.

    • Word Merchant

      Agreed, another very good and well-balanced article from David. Personally, and having seen and handled one in person, I rather like the look of magic gold, and the choice of brown alligator strap here is inspired. But as David writes, it really doesn’t look like gold at all – nor bronze. What is looks like is spray painted ceramic… but it’s still a good look to me.

      A shame the buckle is so scratch-sensitive; Hublot really missed a trick here, and a shame it couldn’t be magic gold. Perhaps the outer shell of a deployant could be made in magic gold, with titanium innards? I will leave that for materials experts, perhaps Rupert above, to answer.

    • SuperStrapper

      This is an alloy, and an alloy does not have to be just metals.

      • Rupert Muller

        It’s always hard to argue with the faithful, so if that’s your opinion – be it. During my education as a materials scientist (including PhD) I was taught differently.
        And in Wikipedia, maybe not always the most intelligent source but at least popluar, my “opinion” is backened. You will not find the word “ceramic” there…

        • SuperStrapper

          Hard to argue with the faithful, so if that’s your opinion so be it.

      • JimBob

        Such as carbon and silicon. However, in metallurgy an alloy is a metal formed from a single-phase liquid solution of elements.

    • JimBob

      Give up. The philistines here refuse to get it.

  • ??????

    Gypsy’s dream watch. Hublot BIG BANG BANG BANG

  • Word Merchant

    But will it blend?

  • Bill Davidson
  • Polly Molly Moo

    Big Bang for Biggus Dickus

  • JF Schnell

    I don’t like when they throw away money for the sake of having nice faces associated with watches. Waste of resources. As for the watch… Well Hublot convinced me into watches (because of their partnership of one of my football teams). But just alured me into watches. Their products not that much. I remember back them when they announced the magic gold with Biver really bragging about it quite loud (being himself of course). Really would love to see watchmakers pressing hard unto really magic Crystal or anything new in the material realm. Still hoping they will make better watch elements there is still way to progress.

  • Yan Fin

    Unless Hublot adds diamonds with antiglare coating- they should look like pebbles- I am not interested.

  • Polerouter

    Good article although I don’t like the watch, as usual with Hublot. However, I think -and hope- the main reason for the prestige of gold is its glitter and unimitable color, more than its rarity or price. So, with all the respect that I usually have for Pr. Mortensen, I think this development is a miss. I much prefer recent developments of coloured ceramics, which don’t try to be what they are not.

  • Let’s see now… you get to pay the big bucks for gold yet it does not look like gold. That’s a bit too stealthly for me. That’s like black PVD coating on gold – which would also make it more scratch resistance and have a non-gold color.

    I would appreciate the scratch resistance more if it was (some) attractive color and had a uniform tone. So kudos to Hublot for a technical achievement that yields nothing of real value on a watch given the traditional reasons one wears a gold watch. Thanks for the review David.

    • Roger Goodgion

      I agree that it does not have that same shine as gold. Gold has been admired for its looks for literally centuries. Also though, gold has had value as a metal in watchmaking and other industries due to its corrosive resistance. Pure ceramic is corrosive resistance, but brittle. So does this alloy retain the hardness along with the corrosive resistance without being so brittle? That was not really touched on in the material discussion.

      • ??????

        Excellent question on brittleness. Will it pass a drop test?

        • Kuroji

          Will the movement?

          • ??????

            Why not? I think most of the current movements survive the drop without any consequences.

          • Kuroji

            A drop severe enough to crack a ceramic case?

          • ??????

            Ceramic case can crack even after a slight drop. It is all about internal resonance

          • Kuroji

            I’m not trying to call you out, but that sounds like bullshit to me. Citations?
            Full disclosure, I have zero ceramic cased watches.

          • ??????

            Have you even tried to google it? For instance: http://www.watchprosite.com/page-wf.forumpost/fi-717/ti-865153/pi-5889558/

            The colleague of mine broke ceramic Rado over a bathtub. I think that ceramic watches – are impractical piece of sh*. But I’m not trying to discourage you – go buy one if you want.

          • Kuroji

            Sure I have. Most of the FOAF posts littering the internet are not compelling. At least the thread you picked had a picture, most do not.

            I have no idea why you would think I want a ceramic watch. That’s weird.

            Considering how many ceramic watches Rado has shipped, you’d expect the forums to be overflowing with pictures of shattered Rado cases.

          • ??????

            Rado aren’t typical “watch guy’s” choice who inhabit the forums, so no. Rado are bought mainly by people who aren’t deep into watches.

          • Kuroji

            I’ve never been able to figure out who buys those things. They still exist after all these years, so somebody must be buying them. But who, and why?

          • ??????

            I honestly don’t know why people are buying so many of them. Personally know a couple who gifted each other a ceramic Rado. They couldn’t answer why – they never interested in watches and haven’t started after purchasing two Rados…

      • Good questions. Plus while gold in watches is subject to being marked up 2 to 4 times its actual market value, there remains the assumption that there is a melt value with a normal gold watch case. With Magic Gold can the gold ever be recovered?

    • b-spain

      I see what you mean with PVD coating gold because of the changed looks, but PVD is crap in the long run and this isn’t I presume. A coating is hardly ever more impressive than a solid alloy (maybe SINN’s tegimented stuff is an exception (if that’s a coating I think it is)).

      • I agree that my analogy is imperfect (PVD coating is far from being an equivalent to this solid material). But my point remains that is no longer looks like gold and yet is harder (at least to start with). Bulova did a 24k forged gold watch a couple of years ago, which is another interesting way to hard gold without loosing its usual shine and color. Cheers.

  • Another excellent objective article, David. Let us know when Hublot rolls out the “Magic Screw Head Alignment Technology” and the “Enchanted Non-Skeleton Dial That Doesn’t Look Exactly the Same as Everything Else Biver Produces”.

    Anyone else bored to tears with ceramic watches? There are thousands of alloys to work with – how about a watch done in Shibuichi or Hepatizon?

  • BNABOD

    I see four major hurdles for this thing:
    A. It is too big (to me)
    B. It is way too ugly (to me)
    C. It is way too expensive (to me)
    D. Magic gold…really, would have liked GoldOraC much better (Gold bOron Ceramic)

    • Or how about “Sintered High-temperature Integrated Technology”. I’m sure you can make an acronym from that.

      • BNABOD

        was making reference to an old cartoon I used to watch as a kid “Goldorak”
        Grendizer in Japanese 🙂 and yes your acronym would be superb

        • “ZOOM” (the sound of something over my head).

          • BNABOD

            No worries it is old well not that old 😉

      • Saul Sloota

        yeah…SH-TIT

  • SuperStrapper

    Love this material, one of the coolest in the business by far.

  • Excellent review David!

  • JCRV

    Completely beside the point and fully excluding the coolness factor, but I was wondering…
    In a normal gold watch, you’d always be able to recover the gold. Not that you ever would, because 999 out of a 1000 times the watches value is higher than the intrinsic gold value, even if you mess it up.
    But given that this gold is injected under high pressure in a material that is apparently solid at 2200C, would you ever be able to recover the gold from the matrix and therefore does it have an intrisic value left?
    Of course such thoughts are completely irrelevant in a watch like this, but for a non-scratch gold ring it would be interesting (apart from the fact that production cost is so high, that it becomes irrelevant again for someone asking for this).

    • Melt the whole case at over 2200C to recover the gold. Not sure most precious metal refineries are equipped to do that, so yes your point about the problem of metal recovery is valid.

      • JimBob

        The gold is held in the matrix by capillary action. You would have to melt the carbide to separate them. 2,763C

        • Same idea – only even a higher temperature required. Thanks for the actual temp.

    • Saul Sloota

      great question

  • ??????

    Hublot: we take the finest materials and make them look like sh**

  • Pete L

    Great review David. I like the colour (the finish seems like it might be quite tactile?) and can see the appeal with a bronze looking watch that does not tarnish. Unfortunately the gold price tag renders it beyond reach for mere mortals. Regardless of budget I am not a fan of gold watches but I am sure there is niche for this and Hublot should be applauded for trying something new.

  • They should add NATO coating on that alligator strap. It’s not stealthy enough.

    • Ah, I see now – an alligator strap with a rubber backing and a nylon top “coating” so that you get the expense of alligator without any of the visual benefits. Yep – that would be the prefect compliment to Magic Gold – and the nylon is more scratch resistant than alligator?

      • Ideally the NATO should have a resin coating to make look even cheaper — so then the strength of the NATO and the luxury of the alligator will both be known only to the wearer.

        • Or wear gloves with gauntlets so your wrists are hidden at all times.

          • There you go…the Hublot “Magic Gloves”. If you can never see what’s under the glove, it might as well be a 1 billion dollar Hublot. Of course it could be a $50 Swatch but as long as its hidden, both scenarios are infinitely possible!

  • Marius

    I have three problems with Magic Gold (and this watch).

    Firstly, I really don’t like the colour of Magic Gold. It has a greenish/olive tone that I really don’t associate with expensive watches. What’s more, this colour reminds me of military uniforms, military vehicles, and cheap Casio G-Shocks. It’s certainly not a colour that I would want for my $40,000 watch.

    Secondly, why would I buy a $40,000 gold watch — and a Hublot no less — that doesn’t look like a gold watch at all? I mean, the main purpose of a gold Hublot is to allow its wearer to show off a little (maybe a little more, actually), so why would you create a new gold that doesn’t really resemble gold? That’s like buying an Aston Martin Vanquish and make it look like a Chrysler Neon.

    Thirdly, I find it quite amusing that Hublot spends so much time & effort on “innovating” materials. Hublot is a somewhat cool brand (for its fanboys), but it’s not exactly a manufacturer known for a high-quality fit&finish, and an impeccable attention to details. In fact, the fit & finish of this watch is decent at best. Personally, I would focus first on creating a high-quality watch (à la Lange, JLC, or Grand Seiko), and only then would I look at “new” materials. To me, this Magic Gold Hublot is similar to applying a super luxurious paint job on a Chevrolet Aveo: sure, the paint job is stellar, but the actual car is quite modest, and in need of some serious technical improvements.

    • TrevorXM

      Excellent points.

    • b-spain

      1) Not every buyer wants their $ 40 k (or $ 400 k) watch to be the same colour as yours and other snobs still living in 1982. Plus your crap red gold will also look like this just give it time but that’s not “advertised” until brands like Hublot and Rolex come up with their own version of it where they admit “yeah our previous red gold was shit”. White gold is the same to that just more useless (ugliest white metal ever you should know it) and yellow gold is OK but there has to be more than just it. Platinum too expensive n heavy.

      2) What’s your point? This watch should be boring arse too? Is it too innovative and new for your ancient tastes? It’s for people who had a whole bunch of gold watches and the only way to have them pay top $$$ for a gold watch ever again is if it is re-packaged. Hublot proved there are enough people with lots of money out there who want their luxury items to be fun first and traditional snob-impressing last .

      My favourite part though :::

      3) Again, just playing the total ignorant snob here. Modular escape assembly (JLC did when?), silicon parts (JLC did when?), long PR (JLC did when?), ok frequency, inside-out structure (JLC did when?), proper high-tech material (JLC did when?). All this in one watch JLC did when??? Have you seen an uncased JLC chrono movement? Unless its a LAB, it’s the most boring piece of ancient industrialized watchmaking ever!

      Swap the JLC & Hublot names in the equation and snobs like you would say: “well, JLC brings a more high-tech case, no wonder they are better than Hublot.”

      Your pathetic recipe for attention is: 1. read the brand name 2. take one characteristic property of watch 3. flip it 4. use it against it. It’s all you do and its boring and repetitive long already.

      I dislike Hublot for putting their name on so many places especially with athletes & stuff, but they do deserve the credit here you know whoever buys this will be happy to piss snobs like you off I can tell you that while you are all grumpy in the corner wearing your boring safe JLC. Blame the customer, not the brand.

      • Mark1884

        Wow, you certainly have an attitude, for someone with 14 comments. Which regular poster are you really??

        I agree with Marius. Why would I spend that much money on a gold watch, that looks like bronze?? It’s the same reason my Sub is not 18k “white” gold.
        So, we don’t agree with you…. so we are snobs??
        What is your red gold rant about?? My red gold pieces have never changed color and look as new.

        Go away Troll.

        • Raymond Wilkie

          I concur.

        • b-spain

          When trolls call you a troll, that’s when you know you’ve achieved something.

          Happy about your red gold pieces doing so well. Now, address point 3 and then come back to me.

      • Your comment would make some sense (the attitude aside) if JLC had not have made watches like this ones quite some time ago :

        https://www.ablogtowatch.com/jaeger-lecoultre-extreme-lab-2-watches-hands/

        I can see Hublot getting some inspiration from the design of those watches. And yes, those do have a silicon escape as well.

        So you cannot bring in JLC LAB into discussion and then simply dismiss them. The level of finishing in those is something Hublot is still aspiring to do. I’m not even getting into comparing the movements inside.

        Now I think their Magic Gold process is pretty cool and opposing to the current views here I’m partial to the result. Even the the watch itself is actually not the usual unappealing (again, for me) mash of elements Hublot simply seems incapable of resisting doing. It’s actually interesting, or so I think.

        Would I get a save/ boring/ more expensive JLC LAB instead? Yes, I think so but being part of the peanut gallery, in reality I can afford none of those. And this is what we have to remember here. For the outlay asked upfront which watch would do better on the market?

    • Raymond Wilkie

      I love how everything comes in 3’s 🙂

  • WINKS

    The unico movement with asymmetric sub dials look like this : o_O

  • commentator bob

    The magic trick of these ceramic matrix based gold watches is to achieve a certain volume of material using less gold. Apple also did a gold ceramic matrix watch, which this article surprisingly did not mention despite being 3 pages, and at least Apple had the decency to make their gold look like gold.

    Here is a detailed explanation of how Hublot is using less gold:

    1. MAGIC GOLD is by volume 30% pure gold and 70% boron carbide (proportions by volume).
    2. A watch case in [conventional] 18k gold that weighs 100g contains 75g of pure gold (75%)
    3. The same watch case in MAGIC GOLD weighs 48.68g (about half of 100g) and contains 37.38g of pure gold (about half of 75g)
    4. So, for the same volume of material, the watch case contains half as much gold by mass
    5. Total weight of the case is also half, so the proportion of pure gold remains at 75%

    https://excelmathmike.blogspot.com/2011/12/dilution-and-density.html

  • TrevorXM

    Congratulations, Hublot. You have just made the first “fool’s gold” watch. It is literally pyrite “gold” Incredible and appropriate. Here is some pyrite “fool’s gold”.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c9bc58a5291d5c8e1a8d8d39317cbd77fda8ed48e64208c10d9762fe48b8a717.jpg

    • commentator bob

      This watch reportedly contains 37.39 grams of pure gold, which, at todays $40.28 per gram is $1,505.66 worth of gold. Of course they have made it so ugly that pyrite looks better.

  • DanW94

    The whole “state of the art, innovative and technically advanced materials” angle seems a bit overworked, especially considering the visually mundane outcome of the case. That being said, I do like the watch. I think the colorways of the strap, the case and the red dial accents work well together. It’s a handsome, masculine watch. 43mm would have been ideal.

  • Berndt Norten

    A watch to magically part fools from their gold.

  • Yanko

    Why spend so much time on creating new material that looks like gold? Build a nice watch first.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Dull dull dull .

  • frauss

    Looks like brass to me.

    • Jonathan Smith

      Thought the same

    • But unlike brass, you can’t shine it up with some brasso. “Ever-dull” might be a great name for it.

  • Phil leavell

    Great article. Well written unfortunately even if it’s on the free giveaway it would still sit on the Shelf in a box seriously. It’s not very legible all that technology and it doesn’t look like gold. It’s kind of a big shiny turd

  • Gotta quote the Watch Snob here: “Innovation” is what watch brands use as a placeholder for “we can’t figure out how to make money doing real watchmaking so we’re going to present solutions to non-existent problems and get you to foot the bill.”

    • Omegaboy

      Well said. The emporer’s new clothes.

  • Framlucasse

    This material look quit ugly. What a waste of good gold…

  • Saul Sloota

    Still waiting for the Lieutenant Dan Henry “Magic Legs” watch…

    • DanW94

      LOL, What a great character he was. Haven’t thought about that movie in years.

      “Thought I’d try out my sea legs”
      But you ain’t got no legs, Lieutenant Dan!”
      “Yes, I know that”

      • Saul Sloota

        “Get your ass down to the corner and get me another bottle of ripple”

        • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

          “Preferably – Pagan Pink.”

          • “Serve Cold” – yeah the colder the better. Always heard about Ripple but in reality we drank (and then puked) Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill. Buy 2 bottles per person and go to the double feature at the drive-in. Dint matter what was playing – you were just there to get buzzed.

    • Mr. Snrub

      It’s made of titanium alloy. Same stuff they use on the space shuttle.

  • Geraldo123

    Does it keep time?

    • proudAmerican702

      Most Hublot’s (this one included) remind me of that cube of crumpled steel that exists after a car has been through a crusher. If I look hard enough I can see watch parts in there, but for the life of me, I can’t read the time.

  • Chaz

    Excellent and enjoyable write up, David. I actually read it all from beginning to end!

    I seem to not disdain Hublot as much as I used to!

  • The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    Good write-up Mr. Bredan.
    One should always remember – Mr. JC Biver is First and Foremost a MARKETER. Snake oil is the name of his game.

    • Hallelujah. And that’s not completely a slur. He is very good at what he does. Even if you feel like you’ve been slimed after hearing him in person.

  • Shinytoys

    It really doesn’t look like gold, does it? Nice that you can’t scratch it, I hope you like the color…

  • Yojimbo

    I know all the watchmakers give the same formulaic answer that the screw heads can’t be clocked/timed but as they get bigger and bigger and as they are asking over 30k for a watch, I say bullsh*t.

    can be done much more precisely and at smaller sizes than this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUXoNUzAyvk&feature=youtu.be&t=780

    • TrevorXM

      If you’re talking about aligning screw heads, you are completely right. The video is a good example. Also, I’ve seen many an obsessive car restorer go so far as to align all the visible screws on his top end collector car! I wouldn’t expect aligned screws on a $1500 watch. On a $30,000 watch it is unacceptable and there is no excuse.

      • Yojimbo

        yes, somewhere in the old posts there’s an official response from a “Mr. Swiss Engineer So&So” on how it can’t be done, but I think it’s total b.s and on a watches at this or even higher levels I cannot conceive why they would stop short of using them as actual design elements

        • If you are talking about bezel screws it’s possible for sure, but the H&H option is not acceptable for a watch that needs to be deconstructed every few years. The best way it can be achieved is by having the screw run from the back bezel to the front and the front acts as a sort of nut – like the RO.

          What’s harder is the bridge screws, you can’t use that same solution because of the gears above or below each bridge. So the only alternative is to turn the screws until they are visually optimal rather than functionally optimal. To use the H&H method would mean machining a part while it is in its constructed position, spilling waste into the movement. Both of these options are unacceptable and explain why you still don’t see aligned bridge screws.

          The best compromise IMO is to use screws with more complex slots. The – and + slots are probably the worst when it comes to accentuating the difference. Another option, if you have an a-magnetic movement, would be to use a screw with no slots and a powerful magnet as the driver, or a tiny suction cup – to be honest I could see this option working more so, but it needs new tools and techniques so you can expect your $30k watch with aligned bridge screws to be pretty basic – but the first one there would get the kudos and then in time it could be a new technique…

          • Yojimbo

            why would it be unacceptable? that doesn’t track for me, clocking screws doesn’t make them non-functional, now whether they’ll reinstall the same I cannot say, but I cannot see why they wouldn’t if you’re logging which belongs where

          • If you screw your bezel down and then you file the surface you will no longer be able to unscrew the bezel and so it becomes a $30k sistem51. If somehow they were able to gouge a slot into it and unscrew, they would presumably have to repeat which would mean compulsory repolishing of the entire bezel every time – a 5 minute operation becomes a multi hour operation and probably requires an entire bezel replacement. That H&H technique is a one way ticket – it is not designed to be unscrewed again.

            There is not a big enough market of OCD watch collectors willing to pay such a premium for bezel screws on a Hublot to be aligned. I can see this working for ultra high end, where you get a completely new bezel each time – but those watches don’t tend to have them as they are a little ‘tooley’.

          • Yojimbo

            you’ve overlooked that there’s more than one way to clock a screw and they don’t all require making it non-functional

          • I have because I don’t have any idea how it could be done successfully, hence I don’t think it can. Talk me through what you think would work and we can speculate…

          • Yojimbo

            there’s two ways to countersink machine screws, one is the cheap incremental increase of size of the ‘hole’ and the other is to use all those fantabulous computers we have running CNC machines and the like to work it from the start or from where you want to end you’re either going to calibrate the exact depth of countersink needed to allow for the slight adjustments needed to ensure each screw is is timed, or you computer model a finished product and have the screws built to spec which means you just use some sort of bedding compound to allow minute adjustments to allow for the timing.

            you want to sell a $100k+ watch, that’s the bare minimum of effort I think they should be looking at. With CNS machines we have measurements to thousands of an inch being done on the regular, there’s no reason for this to not be happening other than industry inertia and greed

          • The CNC option is very interesting. I am going to be at several manufactures this year and will ask them about it. I wouldn’t say that this is greed, perhaps inertia, but frankly it’s not a remotely attractive CAPEX to invest that level of innovation, and to whack a huge extra cost onto the watch that you need to recover, for the goal satisfying a very few OCD enthusiasts actually prepared to pay for the solution. In this climate it would be a rapid ticket to bankruptcy if you don’t nail the solution and or find the buyers to payback the investment. But I think that theoretically this is possible and I would expect the likes of GF to have already given it some serious thought. Another question, are all wheel nuts and screws aligned on $100k cars? I doubt it – people seem to accept the mechanical and functional purpose of components on a car, but most seem to struggle to separate aesthetic needs from mechanical performance in a watch.

          • Yojimbo

            Going in reverse. Yes the actual performance is most important with a watch, however the high dollar watches market themselves as having the peak of finishing.

            You’re right you won’t see that type of finishg on cars, but that’s because there is not that level of demand (although I think this new 12 million one off Rolls that’s being built will have that), you do see them on nice guns, you see it in all well finished wood work, you see them on a lot of boats that are built for display as much as for use. With the machines that are in use already by these firms I personally believe that there is a true option to do this and to distinguish themselves, those sort of things are what at least let’s your disbelief be suspended enough to spend those huge figures on a watch IMHO

  • Omegaboy

    I’m probably not alone when I say this, but if I buy something that’s gold, I want it to look like gold. Using Magic Gold in a watch is like painting a Ferrari with Plasti-dip because you’re afraid of scratches. Like telling your beautiful wife to wear olive green makeup because guys might hit on her.

  • Lawrence

    You can’t fool me, that is a Gshock G-Steel

  • BJ314

    It’s ugly.
    It’s time for Hublot to come up w/ a new case style.
    It’s ugly.
    It’s still ugly.

  • Ulysses31

    It looks like an ugly composite material, nothing like gold. Even the colour is wrong. A mucky greenish brown, very fecal in appearance, and apparently can’t even take a decent polish. People don’t buy a Hublot not to be noticed, so the argument that this is “stealth wealth” is a real stretch. Make a Hublot out of something like tungsten-carbide – it won’t be gold but it’ll gleam with perfection forever and look a lot better than this mess. I must congratulate Biver though – he ruined gold by removing it’s most cherished quality – its appearance. I should also point out that ordinary gold doesn’t oxidise, so i’m not sure why they’d make a point of boasting about that as some sort of feature.

  • Kai Schneider

    Hi ,
    Really good article on the watches. I could learn a lot, thanks for that.
    I also have a blog and compare there for example. Breitling watches or Hublots. I’m looking forward to seeing you.
    -> http://www.teurer-ist-besser.com/maennerspielzeug/luxusuhren/breitling-vergleich/
    Many Thanks
    Kai

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