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PUTTING together elements that ordinarily defy combination to produce the effect of contrast and surprise, or call it simply the Art of Fusion. This is the philosophy guiding Hublot in all it does - its watch-making, actions and partnerships.
Among the timepieces in the Swiss watch brand's latest releases, the Art of Fusion is perhaps best reflected in the Big Bang Meca-10 Blue Ceramic, which blends cutting-edge mechanics with ultra-resistant material - immersed in deep blue.
Forged in blue ceramic, the watch has a 45mm case that opens to a bluish skeleton. The micro-blasted and polished blue ceramic case is fitted on a rubber strap in the same royal colour. The bezel and folding clasp are also made of high-tech ceramic - zirconium dioxide with high temperature sintering - very hard and solid material which resists scratches and ageing, yet is lighter than steel.
An opening on the matt blue skeleton dial at three o'clock reveals a red dot when the movement, which boasts a power reserve of 10 days, is nearing the final days of its power reserve. A gearwheel at six o'clock indicates the precise number of days remaining. The regulating organ, together with the small second regulator, appears at seven o'clock.
The hand-wound skeleton movement is made up of 223 parts. Developed over two years, it has two barrels parallel to the power reserve indicator: a cogwheel system with two rakes sliding along a horizontal axis.
A second version of the watch made from King Gold - an exclusive Hublot alloy - brings together the radiance of red gold and the depth of the matt blue skeleton dial. Both watches have a sapphire back and are worn with a line structured rubber strap with a "One Click" fastener for quick, easy and safe changing.
A tie-up between Hublot and Italian super-car brand Ferrari, the Big Bang Ferrari, first appeared in 2012. The timepiece was a showcase of Ferrari's design expertise and Hublot's ground-breaking and patented alloy, Magic Gold.
Nearly seven years have gone by, Magic Gold remains "the only scratch-resistant 18-carat gold". Developed together with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, it is still the world's hardest gold.
The latest Big Bang Ferrari is limited to 250 pieces. Its 45mm case and bezel are cut in Magic Gold, which can only be altered by a diamond.
The flyback chronograph watch displays the new contours of the Big Bang Unico model, re-designed last year by Ferrari and Hublot: a tachymeter-style minute counter and a date aperture in gear selector mode; a prancing horse at six o'clock and a second counter that looks like an air extractor at nine o'clock.
The new Big Bang Ferrari comes in a black rubber strap, which has black alcantara sewn onto it and shows the red top-stitching of the Ferrari upholstery. Visible through the sapphire dial is an automatic movement with 72 hours of power reserve.
The Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski, Hublot's collaboration with "the world's best-selling contemporary French artist", is presented as "the first work of art which shows time!"
The chronograph timepiece shows off "a brand-new design playing with angles and reflections. Ridges and facets on the watch reflect each other, from the case to the bezel, and from the push buttons to the hands".
Chances are that you would have seen Richard Orlinski's brightly coloured Pop Art-style multifaceted beasts before: from his immense Wild Kong gorilla sculpture on the Croisette in Cannes and his crocodiles in the sunshine of the Miami Design District, to his five-metre-tall bear on the snowy pistes of Courchevel.
The artist creates his sculptures by cutting them like diamonds. In his hands, the Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph "is adorned with its iconic facets, 12 of course, like those that punctuate the dial of a watch!".
Hublot says Orlinski "has designed a watch on the frontier of vintage and neo-futurist styles, just like his works inspired by the Pop Art movement".
The chronograph watch comes in two models - titanium and blue ceramic. Each is limited to 200 pieces. The watch is "a 45mm work of art designed to be worn on the wrist". The dial is cast in sapphire crystal, while the case, bezel and push buttons also feature the facets.
The Hublot Spirit of Big Bang captures the azure of the Mediterranean Sea with blue micro-blasted and polished ceramic fused with a blue alligator strap stitched onto white rubber. The watch reflects all the key elements of the Spirit of Big Bang range, highlighted by the tonneau-shaped case. Six H-shaped screws create a "sandwich" case construction and the materials convey the concept of the Art of Fusion, featuring an unexpected mix of materials.
The Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Blue, limited to 100 timepieces, is powered by the automatic skeleton movement HUB4700, which has a power reserve of 50 hours. The watch is available only in Hublot boutiques.