In November 2011, Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot announced a partnership with Ferrari that saw it become the official timekeeper for the Italian marque. The agreement also included the production of a “Ferrari Official Watch,” and that watch was revealed at Baselworld earlier this month. The Big Bang Ferrari marks the first evolution of Hublot’s Big Bang design – which can be seen in the US$5 million diamond-encrusted Big Bang - since it was launched in 2005 and features a new scratch-resistant “Magic Gold” material developed by Hublot.
The Big Bang Ferrari features a larger 45.5 mm (1.79 in) diameter case, a cylindrical bezel and a sapphire dial. Fixed along the rotating axis of the watch’s indexed crown are elongated push buttons “like pedals in a car” and carbon inserts in the case. The automotive links extend to the two interchangeable straps that feature a quick-change system inspired by a safety seatbelt mechanism, and tone on tone stitching reflecting Ferrari’s signature upholstery.
The watch’s hands and indices are designed to echo a Ferrari dashboard, with the minute counter positioned at 3 o’clock complemented by a date window in “Modena” yellow. Of course, a Ferrari-branded watch wouldn’t be complete without the famous prancing horse, which is featured in relief at 9 o’clock.
The Big Bang Ferrari is powered by Hublot’s UNICO movement and features some 330 components, oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. The column wheel and dual horizon coupling on the dial are designed to be reminiscent of Ferrari alloy wheel rims. While a Ferrari isn’t built to head underwater, the watch is water resistant to 100 m (328 ft) and has a 72-hour power reserve.
The Big Bang Ferrari also features Hublot’s new Magic Gold material, which was developed in house by Hublot. Formed by fusing gold with ceramic, Hublot says the resultant 18-carat alloy is the world’s first scratch-resistant gold and has a hardness rating of almost 1,000 Vickers, which is more than double the hardness of “standard” high quality 18-carat gold (400 Vickers) and most hardened steels (up to 600 Vickers).
Hublot hasn’t announced pricing for the Big Bang Ferrari, but at a recent charity auction held to support the earthquake victims of Ishinomaki City, Japan, a watch donated by Hublot attracted a winning bid of JPY 4.1 million (approx. US$49,150). This was then topped by an additional JPY 400,000 (US$4,795) by Hublot CEO, Jean-Claude Biver.