Gold crystal: alchemist Hublot creates magic
“Fusing and creating new materials is nothing new for Hublot: it is part of the brand’s very essence. But now, the Manufacture has entered a new universe – the transmutation of metals – with its metallurgy laboratory and R&D department reproducing the rarest form of gold on earth: the crystallised native gold known as gold crystal. With its double limited edition Spirit of Big Bang Cristal d’Or available in 39 and 42 mm, Hublot is not only transmuting gold, it is also transforming the DNA of its watchmaking signature – the Big Bang – into the tonneau shape of its Spirit of Big Bang. An alchemy of materials and spirit.” – Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot CEO
It is often said that what Nature creates cannot be reproduced, as natural processes require both time and a complexity which are beyond the realms of human endeavour. Once again, Hublot has made the impossible possible by transmuting gold into its rarest and most exclusive form: gold crystal. This form of gold is unique, since it is impossible to reproduce two identical gold crystals. Beyond the fascination that gold has exerted on man since the dawn of time, it embodies everything that makes Hublot so distinctive: materials, minerals, metals; their fusion and their transformation into new forms of expression, unique and quite unexpected. An alchemy expressed both in the transmutation of the raw material and in the chemistry created by the spirit of the watch itself. This is the Spirit of Big Bang Gold Crystal.
The mysteries of gold crystal
Hublot invites you into the heart of a unique form of expertise, into the mysteries of the most precious and fascinating metal, as well as one of the oldest, born as the universe was created during the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago.
The natural crystallisation of gold dates back tens of millions of years, to the time when the mountain ranges were formed. It was in these crevices in the earth that jets of pressurised heated water extracted the gold, redepositing it within seams in the rocks. As the rocks eroded, these seams were carried away by rain and water and deposited in the beds of rivers, creating nuggets of gold. On rare occasions, the right natural conditions would allow the gold to remain in its natural state: gold crystals, the rarest form of gold on earth.
A true alchemist for our times, Hublot has now mastered a unique technique allowing natural crystallisation to be reproduced almost exactly. By heating the purest 24-carat gold to its melting point of 1064.18 degrees Celsius, its atoms are vaporised into a gaseous mixture before interlocking as the temperature is lowered,
forming an open angular structure. Thousands of small crystals join together to create an architecture which is random, unique, and impossible to reproduce. The most perfect of these crystals are then carefully selected, with no more than 20% of the crystals produced making the grade.
A gold and lacquered dial
The expert hands of the master dial-maker apply the gold crystals to a black dial covered with a fine layer of transparent lacquer; the manufacturing process took this craftsman a year to research and develop, and the application must be undertaken in a controlled atmosphere to ensure no air bubbles can form on the surface. It takes around twenty layers of lacquer to encapsulate the gold crystals, and the dial is then polished to render the lacquer invisible, and perfectly smooth and uniform.
Spirit of Big Bang Gold Crystal
The Spirit of Big Bang is Hublot’s tonneau-shaped watch, and it adopts all of the design codes of the iconic Big Bang: the six H-shaped screws on the bezel, the lugs either side of the case, the overmoulded rubber screw-down crown decorated with the iconic H, the sandwich type construction. To provide a perfect contrast with the gold of the crystals, the Spirit of Big Bang Cristal d’Or’s case is covered in black ceramic and paired with a black alligator strap stitched onto rubber. Available in 39 and 42 mm, it will display the time for 50 hours without any winding of its Caliber HUB1710 automatic mechanical movement.