14 Jul 2011

Hublot Big Bang 44.5 mm Men’s Gold Diamonds watch 301.PX.1180.RX.1104 Review

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Written by: Jessica Plumbley

The Hublot Big Bang 44.5 mm Men’s Gold Diamonds watch 301.PX.1180.RX.1104

A view of the Hublot Big Bang Men's Gold Diamonds watch.

The Hublot  Big Bang 44.5 mm Men’s Gold Diamonds watch (model number 301.PX.1180.RX.1704) is a strange and fascinating mix of diamonds, gold, and…rubber. Following the Hublot tradition of incorporating seemingly incongruous materials to make a unique designer watch, the Gold Diamonds delivers on its power to catch and dazzle the eye. Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems with the Hublot design that may render the Gold Diamonds unworthy of its price tag.

 

Hublot first combined gold and rubber in 1980, a risky but ultimately auspicious move that propelled the company to the ranks of elite watchmakers. Since then, most of Hublot’s watches have been variations on that founding style: a case made of precious materials with the signature “porthole” bezel (hublot meaning porthole or window in French), coupled with the surprisingly low-class material of the band. The Gold Diamonds takes the original Big Bang watch a step further by throwing jewels and a couple of chronograph functions into the mix. Hublot studs its 301.PX.1180.RX.1104 bezel with 114 diamonds for 1.78 ct, which sparkle on the glow of the red gold beneath them. Red gold also composes the rest of the case, the second, minute, and hour hands, and the hour marks. These sit on a black mat dial, which features a modest date indicator between four and five o’clock, as well as three chronographic dials at three, six, and nine o’clock. The second/minute marks are labeled in increments of five. The Gold Diamonds has a water resistance of 100 feet (so despite the rubber, don’t expose it to anything more than hand-washing), 42 hours of power reserve, and self-winding HUB 4100 movement. Its strap is black rubber, and its retail price $38,000.

 

The problems with this watch—as well as other Hublot watches—lies in its discordant band. One reviewer noted that a new one might cost upwards of $260, and buying a band outside of Hublot isn’t an option, as the company has designed their cases so that only their band will attach. This is unfortunate if you think that the black rubber is tacky (as I do), or if your wrist grows or shrinks and the specially-fitted strap fits no longer. The reviewer also mentioned that the rubber has a funky smell, and that the clasp irritates. Its sharp sides apparently scrape the skin, and when you have to undo it to remove the Golden Diamonds, you must yank the band, risking tearing the rubber off of the clasp. These hassles are hardly what you’d expect from a $38,000 watch, and they put quite the damper on any kick out of the designer value that the purchaser might get.

 

Some who purchase the Hublot Genève Big Bang watches are merely collectors looking to add to their stock. If that’s the case, you can go ahead and tick the 44.5 mm Men’s Gold Diamonds off your list–though in my opinion, some of the other watches Hublot offers are far more interesting. For the luxury watch customer who intends to wear his purchase, I’d advise against the 301.PX.1180.RX.1104, as well as most other Hublot models. They may be unique, but your appreciation for them will lesson with the hassle of wear.

 

Gold Diamonds Quick Facts

Brand: Hublot
Model Number: 301.PX.1180.RX.1104
Gender: Mens
Crystal: –
Case Dimensions: 44mm diameter
Case Thickness: 14mm
Case Material: 18kt Red Gold
Dial Color: Black
Clasp Type: Deployant
Movement: Self-Winding Automatic
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Special Features: Chronograph

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