Perhaps best known for their interesting and innovative use of case materials, this year Hublot has reminded us that they do things with movements as well, something that they have done in the past most notably with the Unico and the astonishing La Ferrari.
Design may be a core part of Hublot and of this watch, but the new Big Bang Meca-10 has something interesting that goes beyond the skeletonised dial, namely a new 10-day power reserve manual-wind movement called the HUB1201.
The case of the 45mm Big Bang Meca-10 will be familiar to those who know their Big Bangs, but this new model comes in two variants, micro-blased titanium as per this post, or polished and micro-blasted black ceramic, called the ‘All Black’. Both come in a limitation of five hundred pieces. We were given the option of either of these models to test drive but chose this one because we find the contrasts more visually engaging.
As well as the time and small seconds at 9 o’clock, the key to both the design and movement of this piece is the three, yes three, power reserve indications on the dial side, driven by a rack system, powered by two parallel barrels.
The most immediately obvious power reserve indicator is at 6 o’clock, where the remaining days are highlighted by a red frame. At 3 o’clock a hollowed-out wheel shows a red circle when there are only two days left of power. At 12 o’clock is the most unusual indicator with two racks that slide thanks to a rack and pinion system that well, in a more broad sense about the charging status. The final of these perhaps serves more as an interesting design aspect than a practical one, as the other two do more than amply in their duties.
So what is the ‘Meca’ of the name? Well it stands for the Meccano inspiration behind this watch.
If you look at the front and the open back, the influence is self-evident.
As well as the 12 o’clock indicator being quite Meccano-like, the back is of particular note, with the visually arresting three parallel bridges and contrast between blacked and sand-blasted surfaces looking pretty much as Meccano-like as you can get. It is this modern construction-oriented industrial look that I find most appealing about this watch. I tend towards the conservative in terms of colours so the brightly hued Hublots are not so much my type of thing, but I would wear this one, and I would choose the titanium over the All Black. It is more low key than some other Big Bangs but it is still a watch that during my test drive period, did engage people’s interest when they noticed it.
For those who are unfamiliar with 45mm sized Hublots this sits every bit of its 45mm, and with the case/ bezel construction as it is and with this style of rubber strap, it may be a bit big for those with smaller wrists. This is not a watch size to which I am normally accustomed to wearing and I like to wear watches low, so it took a day or two to get accustomed to wearing it up higher. Once I did, because of the lightness of the titanium, it was quite comfortable, even for my wrist size.
Both the titanium and All black models on a black rubber strap with a matching clasp. For those who are unfamiliar with the Hublot style of ‘quick release’ strap, all you have to do is to depress the trapezoid between the two screws on the bezel.
The Australian RRP for the Big Bang Meca-10 in titanium is $25,700 and for the All Black, $28,400. The price in Euros is 19,600 EUR for the titanium and 21,700 EUR for the black version.