Hublot is the First to Design, Manufacture and Assemble a Cathedral Minute Tourbillon Repeater Entirely in Ceramic | SENATUS

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Hublot is the First to Design, Manufacture and Assemble a Cathedral Minute Tourbillon Repeater Entirely in Ceramic

29 April 2022

By Peter Vossner

Hublot has become the first watchmaker in the world to design, manufacture and assemble a Cathedral Minute Tourbillon Repeater entirely in ceramic.

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.

Hublot is making available only 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’ for this particular timepiece. 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 the discerning, available only in Japan.

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