Hublot’s Lab-Grown Gold Crystals Boasts the Midas Touch
Swiss watchmaker Hublot revealed its Spirit of the Big Bang Gold Crystal watch last Wednesday. A flashy and bold dial display, featuring 24-karat manmade gold crystals, draws the eye to the tonneau-shaped piece.
Hublot’s latest release draws on the allure of lab-grown gold crystals to spice up the midnight-colored dial. The creation is the invention of the brand’s metallurgy department, a metal alchemist team armed with the goal of creating the rarest types of gold known to mankind
On the topic, Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe has proclaimed that “creating new materials is nothing new for Hublot.”
The stunning gold crystals are immortalized in 20 layers of transparent lacquer, gracefully applied by an expert master dial-maker. Although the gold crystals are mesmerizing, there’s plenty else to see within the watch’s traditional design codes.
The Big Bang series’ typical features, such as the H-shaped screws on the bezel and the lugs spotted on both sides of the case, are alive and well within this watch’s design. Two choices exist here: the 39 and 42 mm sizes suit the owner’s preference.
The watch is as tough as nails, too. It’s virtually scratch-proof thanks to the base of sintered zirconium. On the technical side, watch aficionados will be pleased to know the timepiece runs on Hublot’s HUB1710 movement which allows for a 50-hour power reserve.
The semi-natural state of gold that lives within the watch’s dial was produced by Hublot using a special technique that involves bringing a 24-carat gold to liquid at 1064.17 degrees Celsius. The atoms are vaporized which changes the structures of the gold, resulting in the angles.
By the time the process is over, the sharp crystals fuse together to make the unique forms found in the final product. A tough QA process ensures that only the best-looking crystals make it to the showroom floor. About 80% do not make it through this round!
Over a year of research and experimentation went into the project, Hublot states. The development resulted in the conclusion that the lacquer must be added to the crystals in a controlled atmosphere. In other words, no air could be present to avoid bubbling in the dial.
Once the gold is set in its place, the dials are polished for the smoothest possible finish. Of course, the gold creations would be nothing without the proper backdrop. Cast upon a satin-finished black ceramic, the gold pays a subtle nod to the minimalistic design of the case and bezel.
To round out the look, black alligator skin, elegantly stitched onto a rubber strap, attaches the secures to the wrist with style.
Hublot’s Spirit of Big Bang Bang Gold Crystal watch retails at $28,400 for a 39 mm model and $29,500 for a 42 mm.
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