A WORLD FIRST: HUBLOT UNVEILS THE FIRST 100% CERAMIC MINUTE REPEATER
A few crowns, sometimes bezels, possibly a pusher. Until now, other than a few anecdotal components, ceramic has never been mastered sufficiently to be fully used in a Minute Repeater. Today, we have turned a page: Hublot is the first watchmaker in the world to design, manufacture and assemble a Cathedral Minute Tourbillon Repeater entirely in ceramic.
“Being the first, different and unique has never been truer than for this Big Bang Integral Minute Repeater Ceramic. The first ceramic minute repeater in the world, the first Integral Big Bang in black ceramic, the first with a tourbillon: Hublot is pushing the limits of fine watch making far, very far. But as always, we do not see it as a zenith: it is a milestone which, in turn, will open up new horizons leading us to other horological explorations.”
This is a colossal challenge that Hublot has just pulled off. Ceramic is an extremely hard material both to machine and finish. The colouring of the ceramic requires exceptional precision in firing to obtain a perfectly homogeneous result. Until now, it has never been possible to guarantee the water-resistance of the case, despite the movable trigger piece which operates the Minute Repeater. Nor, for that matter, has it been possible to obtain a clear and powerful sound within a 100% ceramic case; achieving this is a world first.
It took some 20 years of mastering ceramic to achieve such a result. The process was difficult because the challenges were all closely tied: the monochrome ceramic is very complex to machine, which complicates the design of the case, which in turn can compromise water resistance, the guarantee of a pure and crystal-clear sound. All the parameters are interlinked. A single mistake, the slightest approximation, and you have to start again from scratch. The Big Bang Integral Minute Repeater Ceramic is not therefore a triumph over a material, but rather a declaration of complete interdisciplinary watchmaking mastery, spanning all the skills of Haute Horlogerie. It stakes the claim for absolute craftsmanship in its most comprehensive expression.
It will by no means be a unique piece. We see it rather as an accomplished prototype than proof of fine manufacturing achievement. Hublot therefore presents 36 pieces, each measuring 43mm in diameter divided into 18 pieces in black ceramic and 18 in white ceramic. These two Big Bangs belong to the same family: Integral Ceramic. Unveiled in 2020, it features parts made entirely of ceramic: the case, bracelet, bezel and case back. This is moreover the first time that a Big Bang Integral Ceramic has been produced in a black version.
It is not the only ‘first’: it is also the first time that this collection includes a tourbillon, entirely crafted in house, as is customary with Hublot. It is housed in a MHUB801 calibre, with manual winding, providing 80 hours of power reserve, in other words more than three days - an exceptional power reserve for a tourbillon, but not at all unusual for Hublot, since it holds the world record for a tourbillon power reserve (50 days).
Hublot mastered the Minute Repeater long ago. Indeed, in 2014, Hublot received a Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) for its Classic Fusion Cathedral Tourbillon Minute Repeater. However, this is the first time that Hublot has transposed this Grande Complication, a Tourbillon Minute Repeater, within its Big Bang, in addition, in one of its most prestigious achievements, the Integral Ceramic.
A superlative timepiece, the Big Bang Integral Minute Repeater Ceramic is equally a technical and decorative complication. These two aspects have been merged, to create an authentic Grande Complication which is intended for discerning collectors. Those who are defining the Haute Horlogerie of tomorrow, today.