Hublot Big Bang Mag Bang: Magnesium “Magnum Opus”


    • Hublot is renowned for “fusion” design that combines unexpected elements.

    • An all-time great among Big Bang LEs, the Mag Bang weighs less than half of a conventional Big Bang.

Hublot loves to tout its prowess with unexpected and innovative materials. And while the Nyon-based luxury watchmaker often appears to trail a maelstrom of celebrities, publicity stunts, and hyperbole, its claim to materials innovation rings true. The 250-unit Big Bang Mag Bang limited edition is the embodiment Hublot’s box-busting logic.

And true innovation is rare in the luxury watch sector. Naturally, everyone claims to be a revolutionary, but the true breakthroughs are few and far between.

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Hublot Big Bang Mag Bang

Case-in-point: the 1980 “Hublot” watch by (then) MDM Genève created a minor scandal with its fusion of 18-karat gold and a rubber strap; 27 years later, Hublot, by then a rising power in the luxury sector, introduced magnesium to a market still fixated on weight as a measure of prestige.

Seven years after its 2007 debut, the Hublot Big Bang Mag Bang stands as one of the all-time greats in the Big Bang anthology and the ultimate Hublot cult watch. Mass notwithstanding, there’s a lot to love.

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Hublot Big Bang Mag Bang

The Mag Bang formed part of a pioneering class of luxury watches that transformed the collector landscape and mindset. While precious metal had defined the summit of haut horlogerie prestige since time immemorial, watches like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi and the Mag Bang advanced the state of watchmaking art by embracing what Formula One and aerospace engineers already knew; less is more.

Hublot’s Mag Bang blends a full magnesium alloy outer case and bezel with a titanium inner case and the signature Hublot natural rubber (latex) strap. More than a showcase of scientific prowess, magnesium offers aesthetic impact that transforms the 44.5mm Big Bang case into an industrial-chic statement of sartorial audacity. The matte finish of the magnesium seems to morph as light varies; one moment it’s a dead-ringer for milspec olive green, and the next, it reads as classical ivory.

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Hublot Big Bang Mag Bang

Truly, the Big Bang Mag Bang is a chimera and a chameleon rolled into 72-grams of visual trinitrotoluene. There’s an aura of mystery and intrigue about this exotic metal that’s challenging to express but undeniable in the flesh. It’s electrifying.

Perhaps the allure of magnesium derives from the fearsome qualities of this metal in its pure state.

A pyrotechnic element in torches and fireworks, uncut magnesium burns in the 5,600 degree Fahrenheit range and emits sufficient light to blind a human eye; a magnesium flame can cut hardened steel like butter. In its alloyed state, magnesium is stable but carries an aura of latent menace.

On the wrist, the Mag Bang is like a pet Kodiak bear; a force of nature balanced on a razor’s edge of control.

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Hublot Big Bang Mag Bang

And it’s light. Man, is it light.

Magnesium by itself undercuts steel and all precious metals by a comfortable margin, but Hublot didn’t stop at the bezel’s edge when the Mag Bang was conceived. In addition to the titular alloy and the signature Hublot rubber strap, titanium and aluminum join the mix to carry the concept to its logical limit.

Aluminum finds its home front-and-center on a sunburst dial that complements the complex tones of the case. Due to the fact that every Hublot Big Bang is a complex sandwich of layered sub-assemblies, the Mag Bang underpins its magnesium skin with a titanium inner case. Composite flanks and bezel gasket complete the structural element of Hublot’s “fusion” concept.

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Hublot Big Bang Mag Bang

But that’s not the end of the Mag Bang’s story.

While Hublot and “movement innovation” rarely found a home in the same sentence pre-2010, the Hublot Mag Bang marked one of the few exceptions in the firm’s fashion-first era. The Mag Bang’s Hublot caliber HUB44 has seen extensive mass-reduction in the interests of taking the guiding concept to its logical extreme.

By replacing the chronograph base plate, bridge, and screws with titanium surrogates, Hublot manages to halve the 45-gram mass of its standard Valjoux 7750-based chronograph movement. Moreover, the upgraded components are endowed with a titanium PVD finish that ensures their visibility against the backdrop of the polished base movement.

When viewed through the sapphire display caseback, these unique elements are standouts.

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Hublot Big Bang Mag Bang

The end-result of this Olympian diet yields a 44.5mm watch that undercuts an average 36mm steel Rolex Datejust by almost three ounces and even trumps the famous Audemars Piguet forged carbon Royal Oak Offshore “Bumblebee” by two ounces.

Eyes closed, the Mag Bang vanishes on the wrist; eyes open, its charisma commands attention.

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Hublot Big Bang Mag Bang

Highly sought and rarely seen, Hublot’s Big Bang Mag Bang is one of the few Big Bang limited editions to have sidestepped the anonymity that typically overtakes each installment in Hublot‘s never-ending series of novelties. The Mag Bang has assumed an exalted position above the cyclical fray of the special edition watch market.

As an acknowledged modern classic and point of reference for collectors, this Mag Bang is the rare Hublot that inspires luxury watch techies and fashionistas in equal measure.