Hardly any other brand stands for such a wide variety of models as perfect replica Hublot. In addition to diverse materials and colors, this manufacture is now dedicating itself to form and is introducing a square watch. To what degree is the Square Bang a typical Hublot?
When Jean-Claude Biver set out in the 1980s to make the nearly forgotten Blancpain brand attractive again, he formulated a number of principles. One of them was that a Blancpain watch should always be round. Biver left Blancpain long ago, but to this day, those in charge there have upheld that precept of yesteryear.
What began with the combination of a gold case and a rubber strap went on to become an incredible variety. The spectrum ranges from familiar materials, like stainless steel, titanium and carbon fiber, to Hublot’s own developments, such as scratch-resistant Magic Gold, which has 25 percent ceramic content. Hublot has even used materials such as concrete, denim and osmium for its watches. The brand has benefited from the fact that the classic Big Bang case consists of more than 70 individual parts.
But the brand’s disruptive design code can express itself in more than just materials and colors. Just a few years after Biver and Guadalupe reinvented Hublot, the brand released watches with complications in avant-garde cases, such as the spectacular MP05-La Ferrari with 11 barrels and a 50-day power reserve.
The Square Bang is the next step in bringing out Hublot’s expressive design, and specifically that of the Big Bang, into a new shape. There are not many square luxury watches on the market, where about 90 percent of the models are round. As a special configuration of the rectangle, the square is even rarer. Classics like the Cartier Santos or the TAG Heuer Monaco are exceptions to the rule. Thus, from the outset, the Square Bang targets an exclusive clientele — and that is surely not a mistake in an era when most people prefer to distinguish themselves from others.
Similar to the Spirit, the Square Bang clearly reveals that it’s derived from the round Big Bang. The ancestry is evident in the model’s name and still more obvious in its design. The case of the Square Bang consists of even more individual parts than that of the round Big Bang (there are exactly 81), and it is divided like a sandwich into an upper, middle and lower part, as well as the bezel, plus the “ears” attached to the sides. They can all be found on the Big Bang and the Spirit as well, and the same goes for the movement’s container, which is invisible from the outside and around which the case’s components are grouped.
The most typical Hublot feature, however, are the H-shaped screws. They are what really make a watch a Hublot. There are six of them on the bezel: one at the top and another at the bottom, plus two each on the sides. There are two more screws on each strap lug. Between these is the trapezoidal pusher, which lets you instantly detach the case from the strap and replace one wristband with another. The designers of the Square took all these elements from the Big Bang.
The crown is likewise from the quality copy Hublot Big Bang, while the square pushers are from the Spirit. Once again showing Hublot’s love of detail, the rubber inlay inside the buttons is divided into three small squares — an almost hidden allusion to the shape of the case, similar to the checkerboard pattern on the rubber strap, which is often lined on other Hublot watches.
Since Hublot stands for diversity, it’s no wonder that the Square Bang is available in as many as five different variations: Pure King Gold and Pure Titanium, each optionally with a black ceramic bezel, plus an All Black version in black ceramic. We chose the last-mentioned version for our test. As flashy and colorful as Hublot often appears, this brand was the first to release an all-black watch, which polarized opinion when it was introduced in 2006. Not only were the case, strap and dial black, but also the numerals and hands. Critics complained that the dial was difficult to read, but Biver countered by pointing out that reading the time is not important for a watch that costs more than 10,000 euros.
Hublot subsequently varied the all-black theme in every conceivable direction, and in 2009, also blackened the screws on the bezel, as well as the crown and the pushers, which still were steel or titanium-colored on the original model. The Big Bang Unico All Black, introduced in 2014, brought a bit more brightness back into play. Connoisseurs could peer through its starkly skeletonized dial and admire silver-gray hands rotating above steel movement parts.
Peering through the crystal above the dial, you can watch the chronograph caliber at work. When the stopwatch function is started and stopped, you can see how the column wheel at 6 o’clock advances one position at a time and how the intermediate wheel of the horizontal coupling between 7 and 8 o’clock moves alternately toward and away from the center again, which causes the chronograph’s elapsed second hand to begin running and to stop. Through the crystal in the back, you can see how the actuated pushers engage with the movement. There are few movements that let you understand a chronograph’s function so well.