05 Jan 2012

Hublot Big Bang Steel 44 mm 301.SX.1170.RX.1704

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By: Kevin Hatton

How do you feel about diamonds? How well can you gauge the time of the day by simply looking to the sky? The Big Bang 44 mm 301.SX.1170.RX.1704 from Hublot can satisfy both your unceasing craving for shiny diamonds and the horrible inconvenience of dragging around heavy stone sun dials. The stainless steel case is set with 212 diamonds weighing in at approximately 1.08 carats with the bezel, also stainless steel, is adorned with 114 diamonds at around 1.78 carats. The center of the case has Kevlar inserts while the the chronograph and the crown have matching rubber centers/inserts. The dial is a solid matte black featuring stainless steel, luminous “applique” style Index hour markers. The hour and minute hands have luminous tips and are also stainless steel. The chronograph has a small sub dial for counting running seconds, a 30 minute stop watch sub dial to accompany the large second hand anchored by the Hublot “H”, and a 12 hour sub dial. There is also a small date window tucked neatly in between all those little dials. Those dials being protected by a scratch resistant sapphire crystal.

This is a mighty watch and the price reflects that. Though the hefty $32,600 retail price (on the internet, it retails for a bit less, around $25,000). The craftsmanship of this timepiece is exquisite with the Hublot Caliber HUB 4100’s 252 parts, including 28 jewels inside beating at 28,800 vph with a power reserve of 42 hours. The watch is a little on the large side with a case diameter of 44 mm and 14.5 mm thick. Because of the size it may also be on the heavy side, but Hublot helps ease that potential issue by using rubber for the strap instead of the more heavy and shiny stainless steel. Strangely, despite the clear opulence of the bezel and case, the rest of the watch is a little boring. A black rubber strap with a push button fold over clasp and a matte black dial contrast well with the diamonds but do not compliment them. The luminous hands and markers are generic looking. The advantage to this is preventing this otherwise gorgeous watch from becoming too overbearing.

The 301.SX.1170.RX.1704 is by all means a formal watch. This is the kind of watch you want to bring with you to the black tie gala for that premier at the MET or anywhere else where a monocle and top hat are not out of the ordinary. However, this extraordinary watch is not the one for your dinner out at Applebee’s. Why this elegant, jewel-clad time is marketed with a water resistance of up to a hundred meters is not known as you should not be wearing this watch on a boat unless that boat is a mega yacht. This watch carries with it its own special style.

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