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April 21, 2024

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III: Rebel Soul

‘A tattoo is an eternal work on an evanescent support.’ This famous statement by Pascal Tourain, one of the most tattooed men in the world, says a lot about how artistic tattooing is. Because it is an actual art, and as such it is also at ease alongside other artistic expressions, such as watchmaking for example.

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III

Enthusiasts know this. They know the bond that exists between the brand that makes the art of fusion its payoff, Hublot, and one of the most famous tattoo artists in the world. We’re talking about Sang Bleu, born Maxime Plescia-Büchi, who for 7 years has been putting his mastery at the service of the most refined watchmaking with the new Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III.

IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS THE BIG BANG SANG BLEU

No seventh-year crisis, however, for this artistic alliance that began in 2016 with the Big Bang Sang Bleu. A watch that stood out for its three-dimensional geometry, thanks to which the artist was able to create a perfectly proportional structure inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. A unique motif, designed by the subtle play and overlapping of rings and squares, which evoked the squaring of the circle and indicated time in a bold and unusual way.

The round bezel in a hexagon shape created facets that gave the Big Bang Sang Bleu a three-dimensional effect. The matt black dial had a large circular satin-finish black rehaut with printed hour markers, indicated by the superimposition of three octagonal rhodium-plated discs. The bigger one indicated the hours, the smaller one the minutes.

To make reading time easier, the tips of the hour and minute octagons that served as ‘hands’ were in white Super-LumiNova. The seconds in the center flowed on a black disc bearing the H for Hublot and the stylized hourglass, symbol of Sang Bleu. Only 200 pieces were created, with a titanium case.

THE HUBLOT AND SANG BLEU SAGA: CHAPTER TWO

Three years later, in 2019, Hublot created the Big Bang Sang Bleu II, in which the collaboration between the artist and the brand gave life to a watch crafted as if it were a body adorned with a full-body tattoo. Indeed, the whole Big Bang was covered in it, from the case and hexagonal bezel to the sapphire crystal, hands and bracelet.

chronograph in which the bezel traded its usual round shape for a hexagonal profile, with the classic 6 H-shaped titanium screws. The metal part that extended from the case to the rubber strap (geometrically sculpted) also featured an engraved triangle to perpetuate the geometric shapes repetition.

The complex and multifaceted surfaces of the case exalted its geometry, alternating polished and satin finishes. A black rubber-coated crown and rectangular chronograph pushers completed the case, waterproof up to 100 m. 100 pieces were made in King Gold and 200 in titanium.

THE NEW WATCH: THE CASE

Now, in 2023, Maxime Plescia-Büchi has returned to dressing Hublot with his art and has chosen a new ‘canvas’ on which to paint: no longer the Big Bang but the Spirit of Big Bang, which becomes Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III. And we think that the Swiss tattoo guru surpassed himself with the tonneau case of the watch, a challenge for Sang Bleu creations which we want to share with you thanks to our exclusive shooting.

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III

Starting from the case, which is available in three materials. Hublot went on a crescendo: for the first Sang Bleu only titanium, for the second, titanium and King Gold. And now All Black ceramic is the latest addition to these two metals. This is the variation: 200 pieces for ceramic and titanium, 100 for King Gold. In addition to two references, one in titanium and one in King Gold, set with 180 diamonds.

The case design is less muscular than that of the Sang Bleu II but it is still strongly three-dimensional, thanks to its facets. Maxime Plescia-Büchi’s creativity unfolds along them, with the motifs of his art emerging from the dial, up to the bezel, the lugs and the case side.

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III

As if hexagons, diamonds and triangles explode from the dial and overlap to create new shapes and volumes throughout the watch, which becomes almost rhomboid. All by translating the lines dear to Plescia-Büchi onto a different volume – namely the Spirit of Big Bang’s tonneau shape – to offer a new point of view to look at Hublot’s creation. The alternation of polished and satin-finished surfaces on the case and the bezel further animates the timepiece.

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III

Hublot and Maxime Plescia-Büchi have paid particular attention to the ergonomics of the watch. Despite the generous proportions of the 42 mm case and its sculptural shape, the Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III is wearable and comfortable on both men’s and women’s wrists. The case back and sapphire crystal have been shaped for a good fit of the watch on the wrist.

THE DIAL OF THE SPIRIT OF BIG BANG SANG BLEU III

The sapphire skeleton dial is a peculiarity of the Sang Bleu style that we have come to know with previous references. The center holds Maxime Plescia-Büchi’s typical skeleton structure, built on mobile rhomboids indicating time. The larger arrowhead hand with Super-LumiNova rotates around the dial to mark the hours, positioned on a 10-sided black track. This track is broken by the date between 4 and 5 o’clock.

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III

The central chronograph seconds hand (yes, the Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III is a chronograph) has a luminescent arrowhead and extends across the whole diameter of the dial, pointing to a track printed on a dodecagonal sapphire crystal. Depending on the angle, this track can appear duplicated, thanks to the particular workmanship chosen by Hublot and the tattoo artist for the sapphire crystal protecting the dial.

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III

Very sculptural, it seems to be composed by four separate arched squares, with 10 bevels that lower suddenly to join the 10-sided bezel. With so many angles, the sapphire crystal produces greater volume and optical distortions which lead to the duplicating effects mentioned above, always renewing the visual experience for the wearer of the watch.

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III

Two black counters suspended above the movement display the seconds at 9 o’clock and the chronograph minutes at 3. Both counters, of course, have diamond-shaped indicators that harmonize the entire dial’s aesthetics. Aesthetics that, at times, affect the legibility of the information – as happens with the previous Sang Bleu references for Hublot. But so be it. First art, then comfort.

HUBLOT’S MECHANICAL WORK

Speaking of art and design, the caliber powering the Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III is also a mechanical masterpiece in its own way. It is the HUB4700 skeletonized automatic chronograph movement, developed on a Zenith El Primero 400 base. This means 36,000 vibrations/hour (and very high precision), 50 hours of power reserve and a robust chronograph movement with column wheel. A movement which, given the precision, reliability and ease of use that enthusiasts know, equips a large part of the Spirit of Big Bang line.

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III

And, still speaking of art and design, Hublot has chosen the most important design event in the world to present its latest collection in collaboration with Sang Bleu: the Milan Furniture Fair. The Italian city was the setting for the launch of this partnership during a special night, in which the watch was presented by Maxime Plescia-Büchi and Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe.

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III

Thus, the ‘evanescent support’ evoked by Tourain was transformed into a timepiece and the ‘eternal piece’ became even more eternal because it undertook its greatest challenge: measuring time, thus challenging its transience.

By Davide Passoni

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu III