Despite the recent trend toward vibrant color in the luxury watch industry, there are still certain segments of the spectrum that remain under-represented. Purple is a perfect example of this. The color of kings rarely gets attention in watchmaking, but the bold hue’s long association with power and wealth makes it a dramatic choice for a luxury timepiece. Hublot aims to explore this concept as part of its Watches and Wonders 2022 novelties, bringing an audacious violet hue to its already bold Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Sapphire line. Decidedly not for the faint of heart, the new limited-edition Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Purple Sapphire brings innovative material science and high-impact color to one of the brand’s most avant-garde series.
Model: Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Purple Sapphire
Water Resistance: 30 meters
Case Material: Purple sapphire
Movement: Manufacture HUB6035 (automatic skeleton tourbillon)
Frequency: 21,600 bph
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Transparent purple rubber integrated strap
Price & Availability: $200,000, on sale now
Although the heavily faceted, layered 44mm integrated form of the Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Purple Sapphire should be familiar to fans of the brand, the material gives this aggressive design an even wilder energy in images. Hublot has made several colored sapphire variants of the Big Bang in recent years in clear, black, red, yellow, blue, and orange, but not all sapphire colors are created equal. Ensuring a perfectly even transparent hue throughout the multi-layered sapphire case involves intensive research and proprietary chemical engineering, and in order to produce the striking violet hue seen in images Hublot has developed a new process for creating synthetic sapphire. The purple tint itself is achieved with a blend of aluminum oxide and chrome blended into the synthetic sapphire itself, ensuring the pigment is evenly distributed throughout the material. The result is undeniably striking in images, delivering a rarely seen hue in watchmaking across the complex layers and facets of the Big Bang series’ case. This unique case is not without its drawbacks, however, as Hublot rates the design for a miserable 30 meters of water resistance.
The Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Purple Sapphire’s skeleton dial layout is carried over from 2021’s Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Orange Sapphire, with the obvious exception of the new purple colorway. It’s an airy, high-impact layout in images, with generous use of negative space and a clear sapphire partial ring that allows the Big Bang’s mix of applied indices and aggressive stencil-style numerals to visually float above the skeleton movement below. The extremely pared-back design allows nearly all of the movement’s functional components to be seen, with shrink-wrapped bridges that showcase the gear train and an open mainspring barrel at 12 o’clock that should also function as a rudimentary power reserve indicator. This mainspring barrel design is particularly clever in images, with a signed skeleton micro-rotor mounted directly atop the barrel to act both as a dial signature and a mobile element to visually counterbalance the 6 o’clock tourbillon escapement. Naturally, the skeleton design also frames this 6 o’clock tourbillon. Hublot opts for a minimalist tourbillon cage for this element, matching the aggressive skeletonization of the rest of the movement and allowing for a nearly unimpeded view of its inner workings in images.
Hublot powers the Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Purple Sapphire with its in-house HUB6035 automatic tourbillon movement. The view of this movement through the display caseback is far more focused on the gear train than the complication-centric dial view, with modernist matte bridges contrasted by radially brushed wheels. The HUB6035 offers a robust 72-hour power reserve and a 21,600 bph beat rate. Hublot completes the Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Purple Sapphire’s audacious look with an integrated ridged rubber strap in case-matching translucent purple.
Although the deep violet colorway and striking skeleton sapphire design may not be to all tastes, the limited edition Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Purple Sapphire is a spectacular showcase of the brand’s material prowess and another new hue in its ever-growing rainbow of colored sapphire concepts. Only 50 examples of the Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Purple Sapphire will be made, and the watch is available now through authorized dealers. MSRP for the Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Purple Sapphire stands at $200,000 as of press time. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.