Hublot Spirit Of Big Bang Rainbow: The Trick Is In Making It Look Casually Playful
by Martin Green
It came as a surprise, especially to me, but the Hublot Big Bang Rainbow watches were among my highlights of Baselworld 2019. Even our esteemed editor-in-chief, Elizabeth Doerr, admitted it was a guilty pleasure for her.
At the 2020 LVMH Watch Week in Dubai, Hublot introduced a second chapter to this concept by giving the shaped Spirit of Big Bang model the rainbow treatment.
I think this is even better than the regular Big Bang, and the reason for this is all in the angles. Setting an angular tonneau-shaped watch like the Spirit of Big Bang with brilliant-cut gemstones is not that difficult to do, but what is quite challenging is setting the bezel with baguette-cut examples.
In the round bezel of the regular Big Bang, the shape of each stone is the same, but with the tonneau shape the setter actually has to “go around the corner.”
Achieving this with a seamless setting in a baguette cut is extremely difficult, not only to set the stones but also to cut them because each gem needs to be tailored to fit its exact position. Hublot did an excellent job on this, and when I tried it on I especially appreciated how the brand’s artisans had set those corners.
They add another level of appreciation to the Spirit Of Big Bang Rainbow.
Polishing the details
While made with care and dedication, is there no denying that Hublot’s Rainbow watches are above all fun pieces. They will always stand out like butterflies among moths, but that is also precisely why you buy a watch like this: having it on your wrist puts a smile on your face, and most likely also on that of people who see you wear it.
Just like the time-only version of the Big Bang Rainbow, the equivalent Spirit of Big Bang pieces also feature a pavé setting on the dial. Hublot works the space well, making the colors line up perfectly with the stones used in the bezel without becoming too symmetrical or regimented looking.
While Hublot must have applied an almost scientific approach to the gem setting, the magic trick the brand’s technicians pulled off was making a seriously gem-set watch look casual.
Playful demeanor, mature details
The chronograph lacks a dial allowing for a visual deep dive into the blackened inner workings of the base El Primero movement made by LVMH sibling brand Zenith.
This adds an unexpected technical element to the watch that goes surprisingly well with the King Gold case, black resin case band, and rainbow-hued gemstones.
The Spirit of Big Bang doesn’t have Arabic numerals set with stones like the first Big Bang version did. Instead, there is a modest spacing of hour markers framing the movement. These are also gem set but seem more moderate in appearance.
Subtle is a word never to be used to describe this watch, but I feel that it is one of the details that makes me even more appreciative of the Spirit of Big Bang Rainbow over its round-cased sibling.
I also feel that the tonneau shape adds another layer of depth to the design. As does the fact that the case is slightly angled to maximize comfort and legibility.
Some might consider it whimsical, but that’s a word that I’ve deliberately chosen to avoid regarding the Spirit of Big Bang Rainbow. While it is indeed a playful creation, it’s at the same time very serious in the way that it was created and crafted.
Not only does it require a wide variation of skills and crafts – just finding all the right stones in the color and quality required is a momentous task – but also its finish is on par with what we have come to expect from Hublot’s best.
The Hublot rainbow concept is really well thought through, and much effort has obviously been exerted to make sure that it comes together in an unprecedented way. So perhaps it is not so surprising after all that I like this watch so much.
For more information, please visit hublot.com/en/collection/spirit-of-big-bang/spirit-of-big-bang-king-gold-rainbow-39mm.
Quick Facts Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Rainbow 42 mm
Case: 42 x 14.1 mm, red King Gold set with 166 colored gemstones on the case and 54 on the bezel
Dial: set with 89 colored gemstones
Movement: automatic Caliber HUB4700 (Zenith El Primero base), power reserve 50 hours, 5 Hz/36,000 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date; chronograph
Quick Facts Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Rainbow 39 mm
Case: 39 x 12.6 mm, red King Gold, set with 164 colored gemstones on the case and 62 on the bezel
Dial: set with 431 colored gemstones
Movement: automatic Caliber HUB1710 (Zenith Elite base), power reserve 50 hours, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
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A Richard Mille knockoff. Nice, Hublot.
This is the kind of product which will draw derision from 99% of people and will mostly be worn by oiks of the 1%, but for that 10 in 7 billion people for whom it is right, all the work and craftsmanship will be worth it. I am not one of them. But a part of me wishes I was.
Looks aside, of all the silly names for a watch!