April 1, 2022
by Ariel Adams
For 2022, Swiss Hublot will release five new members of the Big Bang family in a newly devised square-shaped case. The new timepiece collection will be known as the Hublot Square Bang, and, to my knowledge, it is the second shape beyond round cases that Hublot has rendered the Big Bang in — well, for the most part. The majority of Hublot Big Bang cases — a very popular collection that debuted back in 2004 — have featured mostly round-shaped forms. In 2011 Hublot debuted a tonneau-shaped case known as the Hublot Masterpiece, which later became known as the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang (hands-on here with the Moonphase version). Hublot made it clear that the design brief at the time was to combine the look of the Big Bang with that of Richard Mille’s tonneau-shaped cases. Now, 12 years later, Hublot has decided to create a Hublot Big Bang homage to the Cartier Santos, and the result is pretty cool.
Square-shaped watches are not easy to get right, and by contrast, round watches are a lot more straightforward from a proportions and aesthetics point of view. It is easy to knock Hublot for making “its version” of the Santos, but doing this does begin with a winning formula for making an attractive square case. We see inspiration from the Santos both in the shape of the bezel as well as that of the case and its lug structures. Cartier has been doing very well with the Santos as of late, so it makes a lot of sense that Hublot would like to take a stab at offering its own take on the square watch, especially since the visual exercise does help garner newfound attention from existing Big Bang watch fans.
As a Santos fan and owner, I am personally looking forward to wearing this Square Bang watch on my wrist. I am really curious to see how it will perform as both a Big Bang and square watch. Hublot knows how to pique our interest. The company also makes it clear that the Square Bang is sporty by design. This is important to mention because water and dust resistance in a square-shaped case is more of an engineering challenge than for round watches. That has to do with the shape of gaskets and the fact that right angles are more challenging to engineer for water resistance than curved edging. Accordingly, the Hublot Square Bang watches will each be water-resistant to 100 meters.
Hublot also wanted to make sure that even though the case (43mm wide for these debut versions) is square, the rest of the watch includes all the features you’d expect from a modern Big Bang, including Hublot’s “One Click” easy strap release system, and it’s being offered in the familiar materials and finishing options. Of course, being a Big Bang, the Square Bang watches include Hublot’s in-house UNICO automatic chronograph movements. The movement operates at 4Hz with 72 hours of power reserve and includes a 60-minute, column-wheel transmission chronograph complication (as well as the date). As is the case with similar Big Bang watches, the Square Bang dials are thoroughly skeletonized/open but with a complete set of applied hour markers accompanied by signature bold hands.
Hublot mentions that it was their goal for the Square Bang watches to wear comfortably. That will require an on-wrist test that aBlogtoWatch will do soon. The 43mm wide, and 14.5mm thick dimensions are beefy, but the relatively stubby lugs and typically comfortable strap systems that Hublot uses will probably mean that the Square Bang watches are as comfortable as can be. They will, however, wear larger than most Cartier Santos watches. Over the dial of course is a sapphire crystal, and around the square bezel are Hublot screws, which is a signature part of both Big Bang and Santos watches for that matter. Note the new rubber strap design which has repeating square shapes on it that are meant to evoke the shape of the case.
At debut, Hublot will introduce five versions of the Square Bang watch, each being part of a limited edition of 250 pieces. This is very much a market experiment and provided the Square Bang does well, expect to see future iterations of it. The debut Hublot Square Bang models include the $26,200 USD Square Bang All Black reference (in mostly black ceramic)