Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Rainbow: Embrace Your Guilty Pleasure!
by Martin Green
It is okay to love something that you might not be ready to admit you love to other people – and perhaps even to yourself. My advice is to embrace a guilty pleasure like that. It is okay to be a very serious collector of Rolex sports models, Patek Philippe calendar watches, or the greatest hits of A. Lange & Söhne and still have this Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Rainbow bring a smile to your face. It doesn’t devaluate your personal standing in the watch world, but taps into what rainbows are meant to do: bring joy!
Setting the stage
The Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Rainbow might look a bit whimsical at first, but it delivers joy in a very high-end way. Hublot has quite a reputation to uphold when it comes to rainbow watches after having launching its first in 2017, and this new watch feels like the brand has upped its game substantially.
Until now, all of Hublot’s rainbow watches have been on a strap, but the Big Bang Integral introduced a bracelet to this genre using an invisible setting and exclusively baguette-cut gemstones. This is a fascinating choice because this cut is more substantial and tends to bring out deeper colors.
A total of 484 colored stones are used, tallying up to almost 36 carats. In comparison to using diamonds, colored gemstones are considerably more difficult due to ensuring a good color gradient – and Hublot uses a substantially sized baguette cut; there is quite a bit of pressure on the gemologist to source the right stones. This can easily take months, if not more than a year. This is also in part what makes such a watch so exceptional – and in a way far rarer than if it had been set with colorless diamonds.
In terms of design, it is interesting to note that Hublot made the gradient not horizontal but at an angle. Visually, this creates a far more interesting watch as there is contrast introduced in each element. Because the case diameter is a generous 43 mm there is plenty of space to play with, allowing Hublot to even include colored stones on the dial. This adds a dash of depth and makes the transition from the movement to the rest of the watch more harmonious.
The movement that moves me
Since its introduction earlier this year, I became a big fan of the new Hublot manufacture Caliber HUB6035. I enjoy the symmetry between the tourbillon and the micro rotor on the front, the latter a feature for which I have a soft spot regardless of brand.
A 72-hour power reserve from a single mainspring barrel is evidence that this is a modern movement. While this does allow you to store the watch over the weekend and start wearing it again at the beginning of your work week, only Elton John would probably use it like that.
The sapphire crystal bridges give the skeletonized movement an extra dimension of depth and simultaneously a more technical look very in line with the “DNA” of Hublot.
Why pink gold is “king”
Hublot is making two versions of the Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Rainbow, one in white gold and one in King Gold. The latter is the brand’s proprietary alloy for red gold, which offers an even warmer tone than usual, and I also think that this precious metal color brings the watch more together. It seems to turn up the volume at the horological party that is the Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Rainbow a bit louder than white gold does.
The white gold case seems to cool down the power, giving it all to the colored gemstones, while the King Gold amplifies it more. And that is precisely what you want with a watch like this.
You will need a pot of gold for this rainbow
With the Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Rainbow I’m afraid there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but it does require one at the beginning. Owning one of the just two pieces that Hublot is making requires the substantial investment of €779,000.
This is an absurd amount of money for what some (perhaps many) people will consider a ridiculous watch. I respect that, but I have a different point of view.
First of all, we are talking here about a limited edition of just two pieces, each of which can be regarded as unique as each is housed in a different color gold. Seen in that light, they are more like exclusive one-offs from a limited-production car manufacturer. Inspirational pieces that you may (or may not) like meant for a specific collector’s taste.
I don’t think that Hublot will have trouble selling these two watches. They follow a niche trend that has been embraced by a certain clientele prepared to pay such prices for watches like this.
Also, it is important to note that the level of craftsmanship is very high. The tourbillon movement is most certainly pleasing, and the invisible setting allows the colored gemstones to shine. It is not a watch for everybody, but it was also never created to aspire to that. It only takes two to tango!
For more information, please visit www.hublot.com/en-ie/news/big-bang-integral-tourbillon-rainbow.
Quick Facts Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Rainbow
Case: 43 x 13.75 mm, sapphire crystal, water resistant to 30 m, case set with 102 baguette-cut colored stones (6.8 ct), bezel set with 48 baguette-cut colored stones (4.4 ct), bracelet and clasp set with 304 baguette-cut colored stones (23.6 ct)
Dial: set with 30 baguette-cut colored stones (1.1 ct)
Movement: skeletonized automatic Caliber HUB6035 with one-minute tourbillon and micro rotor, bridges in sapphire crystal, power reserve 72 hours, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes
Limitation: one piece in white gold; one piece in King Gold