Since their very beginnings, Swiss watchmaker Hublot has continued to redefine the concept of luxury wristwear. The first brand to combine gold and rubber on a watch, they approach every release with the same underlying radical philosophy: that one can find brilliant common ground between various extremes.
Their acclaimed Art of Fusion line provides living proof of this very founding concept. Blending historic materials with high-tech compounds and advanced technologies, it pulls from the best of past and present to forge a clear vision of the future.
Exploring the crossroads between innovation and tradition remains at the very heart of Hublot. So too does the expert use of contrasts or juxtapositions, such as the ones you’ll find in the Art of Fusion and their classic Big Bang watches, in particular. They were also the first brand to collaborate with artistic partners on case designs, offering yet another example of fusion-based philosophy. And thus the spirit of doing things differently lives on.
The Art of Fusion
Since their initial launch in 1980, Hublot has demonstrated a deep understanding of both classic horology and forward-thinking design. Yet their iconic Art of Fusion is nothing if not a testament to the use of avant-garde materials. That was as true back then as it is now, hence the decades-spanning legacy of this particular line, which has integrated everything from rubber to ceramic to Magic Gold to sapphire and carbon.
Creative Artist Partnerships
Always thinking outside the box, Hublot was the first brand to draw upon the creative visions of artistic collaborators, many of whom had no actual horological background. One might say it’s a logical continuation of the watchmaker’s passion for fusion, generating bold design out of the unique interplay between seeming contrasts. Key collaborators include the following legends:
The French–Algerian DJ and self-taught songwriter behind modern classics like “Turn Down for What” is certainly no stranger to high-profile collaborations. He’s been a Hublot brand ambassador since 2018 and this ongoing partnership recently yielded its first fruit. Behold the Big Bang DJ Snake, which has been crafted using a special and technical manufacturing process so as to create a mind-blowing optical effect.
A modern master in the pop art tradition, French sculptor Richard Orlinski cultivates an unmistakable and instantly recognisable aesthetic. His passion for futuristic design remains effortlessly palpable, which makes him a perfect partner for Hublot. The result is a stunning addition to the Art of Fusion line. It goes by the name of Classic Fusion Aereofusion Chronograph Orlinski and looks like something out of the artist’s own workshop.
Swiss tattoo artist Maxime Buchi is the man behind Sang Bleu, an independent studio turned multi-faceted media platform. He loves to explore duality and the unique thresholds between various creative worlds. Bolstered by this very same spirit, the Big Bang Sang Bleu II Grey Ceramic proves irresistible at every turn. Measuring 45mm in diameter, it’s a triumph of both material and design.
“Icon” is hardly the word to describe Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, whose illustrative style exists in a class of its own. Upon visiting the Hublot manufacture, he “realised to what extent the traditional know-how, precision, futuristic technology and craftsmanship were all intertwined in the creation of a watch.” He describes their subsequent partnership as a “unique adventure,” which resulted in the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black. This one must be seen to be believed.
Another artist who needs no introduction, Shepard Fairey keeps his fingers on the pulse of thriving street culture. What began with Obey Giant has since become a global movement with transformative influence, changing our very notions of urban art. The Classic Fusion Chronograph to bear his name is an indisputable head-turner with a transfixing dial window and detailed case to match.
The watch industry experienced a big bang in 2005 and it went by the name of…well…Big Bang. A standout of the Art of Fusion, Hublot’s instant classic featured sharpened angles, six polished and blocked screws on the bezel, and a black composite insert. Dubbed the “first watch with lateral recognition,” it pushed all kinds of glorious boundaries whilst reinforcing the brand’s status as a perennial disruptor.
Hublot continued to redesign and reimagine their iconic Big Bang, leading to heralded iterations such as the Classic Fusion, Spirit of Big Bang, and Big Bang Unico. Speaking of the Unico, it debuted in 2013 and displayed the brand’s first in-house movement, visible through the open-worked dial. Flanking the dial was an extraordinary case with round push buttons, a rubber-topped crown, and a structured rubber strap with “One Click” interchangeability.
With the new Big Bang Integral, a legend lives on. Released on the brand’s 40th anniversary, the range employs one-piece architecture to generate a unique visual identity and impeccable comfort. This is as sharp as style gets and that’s not to mention the use of advanced materials like ceramic, gold, or titanium. It’s also the first Big Bang to integrate a metal bracelet into the case, prompting new design codes.
Most recently, Hublot dressed their Big Bang Integral in striking blue ceramic. The ultra-tough material adorns the 42 mm case and bracelet, flanking the open-worked dial with its monochromatic sheen and working beautifully within the one-piece framework. Under the skin and visible through the dial is Unico 2 caliber, a more virtuosic and slightly thinner update to its powerful predecessor.
Between their creative partnerships and groundbreaking approach to both material and design, Hublot remains synonymous with the very best in high-end horology. Their new Big Bang Integral in Blue Ceramic infuses the spirit of tradition and innovation with bold construction and a signature colourway. You can find it online or in person at the Hublot Boutique in Sydney. This isn’t just horology. It’s art in watch form.