A Play of Depth

When a world-famous tattoo artist collaborates with a Swiss watchmaker like Hublot, the results are nothing less than riveting. Hexagons, triangles, rhombuses set in 3D encased by faceted angles – the Big Bang Unico Sang Bleu II Titanium White and King Gold White are the latest iterations of Hublot’s ‘wow’ chronograph of last year.

Lifestyle Insider Big Bang Sang Bleu II White in King Gold

In many ways, the Big Bang Unico Sang Bleu II by Hublot is the many-layered, deeply rich manifesto of its designer, Swiss über tattoo artist and creative force Maxime Plescia-Büchi. Yantra-like in its unravelling of all of its complexities, the 45 mm Big Bang Sang Bleu II draws you in, deeper and deeper into its mesmerizing, infinitesimal, geometrical abyss, when all you really want to do, is tell the time, really, and perhaps use it as a chronograph. But that is not what layered, complex, and (literally) multifaceted timepieces do. Sure, they ensure perfect accuracy with an inhouse self-winding movement such as the Unico HUB1240.MXM developed specifically for the manufacture (it’s an open-heart flyback chronograph with a column wheel), but there’s extra something. They transpose the wearer into literally a parallel universe of style, where the only rules are the linear and physical rules of space and form set within time, almost like a three-dimensional objet d’art.

The two new iterations of the Sang Bleu II by Hublot are Titanium White and King Gold White (King Gold being Hublot’s very own version that is a bit richer and redder than gold), that come on the heels of the limited edition Sang Bleu II (with the blue dial and rubber strap, echoing the blue ink used by tattoo artist Maxime Plescia-Büchi) that was launched in 2019 at BaselWorld and became the talk of the town. Let’s not forget that the very first edition of this watch, again designed by Maxime Plescia-Büchi was launched in 2016, and it was such a resounding success that the watch was sold out. This second, shall we say improved edition, is truly three-dimensional (unlike the first edition), with the facetting, angles, and edges given to the bezel and the glass, and, one can say, the sheer audacity with the way they have presented time.

Lifestyle Insider Big Bang Sang Bleu II White in Titanium

That the watch is futuristic looking, is no surprise, given the body of work that Maxime has behind him as part of his design brand Sang Bleu – from snowboards, to rings, typefaces, and even an avant-garde magazine. At first glance, yes it’s a watch that shows time, with a date indication, and the manufacture Unico chronograph, with an impressive power reserve of 72 hours (it’s also water resistant to 10 ATM). With a simple push of the crown, start, stop and reset the chronograph. But the most striking feature is its geometrical abstractions – triangular shapes abound within the hexagonal faceted case (with alternating angles – polished and satin finished) in light titanium or King Gold. Even the sapphire glass has hexagonal facets to fit into the sculptural bezel. Just look at the timepiece from the side – and you’ll see how everything fits into a thickness of 16.5 mm. The timepiece is imposing, to say the least, and sits rather proudly on the wearer’s wrist. Another incredible feature is how the hands and minutes overlap perfectly (and create a triangle at 10.10) on the matte white skeleton.

Lifestyle Insider The geometrical angles and triangles in the skeletonized dial of the Big Bang Sang Bleu II King Gold White

While recognizing the spirit of squaring the circle, which brought to life the first watch born from the collaboration between Hublot and Sang Bleu, the Big Bang Sang Bleu II invites these hexagons, rhombuses, and triangles to play with the round form in three dimensions. The addition of the chronograph function strengthens the watch’s original way of telling the time without altering its readability. The key to Maxime Pleschia-Büchi’s style is the balance and harmony of the lines that he draws on time just as he does on skin. The interplay of polished and satin-finished materials accentuates the monumental architecture of the piece, while the alternations in geometric forms, which adorn each of the watch’s spaces, tell the time all the way to its mechanism. The Unico manufacture HUB1240 automatic chronograph movement is revealed by a skeleton dial and an open back. The stopwatch seconds leap onto the rectilinear hand while the stopwatch minutes finish their race on one of the dial’s two discs. Its pulsations beat at the rhythm of 28,800 vibrations per hour for 72 hours. In terms of material, it is again made from titanium and King Gold, with some models set with diamonds, and is accompanied by a white rubber strap with black rolled-edges fitted with the patented One Click system (with literally a click of the triangular button), the strap is on or off).

Lifestyle Insider Hublot's Big Bang Sang Bleu II in King Gold with diamonds and white and black rubber strap

The new Big Bang Sang Bleu II is the watchmaking twin of tattooing: with timeless precision, it is the result of a fusion between materials and the geometric mastery of the Sang Bleu founder, an example of the ‘Art of Fusion’ that is being driven forward by CEO Ricardo Guadalupe since 2012 (the term stems from the imagination of its visionary Chairman Jean-Claude Biver, who was one of the first to ever combine gold and rubber in an haute horlogerie timepiece. With its white and black rubber strap, this Big Bang Sang Bleu II carries forward Hublot’s legacy in more than one way, and shows the truly courageous direction that Hublot has taken.

The Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu II Titanium White is limited to 200 pieces, while the King Gold White is limited to 100 pieces.


Priya Kumari Rana

Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

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A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.

Priya Kumari Rana

Founder and Editor

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