In 2020, Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Gold Crystal donned the alchemist’s gown and unveiled a surprising Classic Fusion watch. What sets it apart? The rarest form of the ultimate in noble metals just waiting to be discovered on the dial: fragments of crystallized gold! By perfectly mastering the ins and outs of material handling and by developing a technique in-house, the manufacture has now reiterated this feat with its Spirit of Big Bang Gold Crystal. The complex principle of production is still the same. The purest gold on Planet Earth is heated to its melting point. The emanations as such produced are comparable to vapor in which gold atoms float. When these suspended particles come into contact with a cold surface, they freeze instantly and take on random, one-of-a-kind crystalline shapes. The fruit of this fortuity is then delicately removed and imprisoned on the black dial using some twenty-odd layers of transparent lacquer. A monochrome scenography that gifts these admirable sculptures with a bespoke scenescape.
For this series, two sizes of ceramic case, boasting satin-brushed and polished finishes are proposed, a 39 mm-diameter one and a 42 mm one. Both feature a selfwinding movement. The HUB1710 caliber, beating at a rhythm of 28,000 vibrations an hour, delivers a power reserve of at least 50 hours.
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Gold Crystal has dropped a pair of limited editions to celebrate recreating gold crystal in its labs, a breakthrough it claims is nothing short of alchemy.
The Nyon-based watchmaker has successfully transmuted gold into gold crystal, the rarest form of raw gold found in nature, with each crystal produced being unique in form.
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Gold Crystal is the original state of gold, deposited in rock seams under immense pressure before erosion exposes the gold and exposure to the elements turns it into nuggets and flakes. Occasionally, gold crystal is found preserved and commands a price among collectors well above the spot price for gold.
Hublot’s technique for recreating gold crystal sees it heat pure 24k gold to its melting point of 1064.18 degrees Celsius before before the temperature is reduced to allow crystals to form. The process currently has a high rejection rate, with only 20% of crystals being suitable for use.
The crystals are then applied to a black dial before being set in place under 20 layers of transparent lacquer, which is then polished to ensure it becomes virtually invisible and pulls focus onto the gold crystal instead.