Equal to the year 4722 in the Chinese calendar, 2024 marks the year of the Wood Dragon, and to celebrate the occasion, Hublot has teamed up with the artist Chen Fenwan to create a limited-edition version of the Spirit Of Big Bang that is inspired by the traditional Chinese art of paper cutting. Featuring a colorful multi-layered dial that recreates Chen Fenwan’s paper dragon sculpture, and fitted with a matching hand-made rubber marquetry strap (a first for the brand), the new Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon watch will be produced as a limited edition of 88 examples as the Swiss manufacturer’s tribute to the upcoming Chinese New Year.

Measuring 42mm in diameter by 13.8mm thick, the case of the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon (ref. 646.NX.6600.RX.CHF24) offers a barrel-shaped profile, and it is crafted from titanium with brushed, sandblasted, and high-polished surfaces. Similar to other models from the series, an anti-reflective sapphire crystal sits above the dial, a crown at 3 o’clock offers access to the movement, and water resistance for the model comes in at 100 meters to protect against nearly all forms of daily contact. While the Spirit of Big Bang lineup consists of a variety of different models ranging from chronographs to tourbillon-equipped references, the standard three-handed watches from the collection are typically offered in smaller case sizes, and the new Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon represents the largest size that is currently available within the series.

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The true centerpiece of the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon is its dial, which features a multi-layered construction consisting of numerous applied pieces that recreate Chen Fenwan’s paper cutout dragon sculpture. Hublot’s signature H-shaped screws take the place of the dragon’s eyes, and sticking out from the center of the dial, directly in the middle of the dragon’s head, is a trio of skeletonized hands with Hublot’s logo as the counterweight for the seconds hand. Rather than featuring a date display like many of the other three-handed models from the Spirit of Big Bang series, the new Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon is a time-only watch, and to further ensure that the dial remains uninterrupted and dedicated to the multi-layered dragon sculpture, the Hublot name and logo are printed on the underside surface of the crystal at the 12 o’clock location, rather than appearing anywhere on the actual dial itself.

Chen Fenwan’s dragon sculpture extends to the strap, and fitted to the integrated lugs of the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon is a rubber strap with a dragon scale marquetry motif, which represents the first time Hublot has ever created a strap with this technique. Each of the individual dragon scales is colored and nano-vulcanized so that it will be an integrated part of the strap, and this delicate process is carried out entirely by hand, requiring approximately eight hours to complete. Along with the colorful marquetry rubber strap, the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon also comes with an additional gray fabric strap that has a velcro closure and a black ceramic buckle; however, the matching dragon scale rubber strap is clearly intended to be the primary option for the watch, and it is completed by a Hublot-signed titanium folding clasp.

Powering the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon is the Caliber HUB1710 automatic movement, which is based upon the core architecture of the Zenith Elite 670 that comes from the brand’s LVMH group sibling company. Running at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 50 hours, the Hublot Cal. HUB1710 offers fairly middle of the road specs among the various three-handed movements that are currently used by the major Swiss manufacturers, and it is also the same moment that you will see listed for the 39mm time-and-date models from the Spirit of Big Bang collection, despite the fact that this limited-edition model is a 42mm time-only watch. Additionally, since the Caliber HUB1710 is the Hublot-decorated version of this familiar movement design, it is fitted with a skeletonized rotor in the shape of the brand’s H-shaped logo.

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While most of the three-handed models from the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang series feature some degree of diamonds set into their bezels or cases, the brand also uses this less mechanically complex side of the collection as the foundation for more art-oriented pieces, such as the models with Gold Crystal dials from 2021 or its most recent Sang Bleu collaboration watches. Given that this latest model was created in collaboration with the Chinese paper artist Chen Fenwan, the new Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon certainly qualifies as one of the more thematic and art-centric pieces from the collection, and each of the 88 examples will be accompanied by an official retail price of $29,500 USD. Since 2024 is the year of the Wood Dragon, some type of wood marquetry might have actually been most appropriate for the theme of this particular model, although paper and wood are spiritual siblings on a material level, and this vibrant timepiece with its multi-layered dial and rubber marquetry strap is certainly one of the more striking and distinct “Year of the Dragon” watches that have been put forward thus far. For more information on the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Titanium Dragon watch, please visit the brand’s website

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