In the modern era, watchmaking has transcended from a practical tool into something that most people regard as a mechanical piece of art. And over the course of the last few decades or so, watch manufactures from all around the world have constantly been trying to showcase the beauty of the movement within the wristwatch. From sapphire casebacks to skeletonised movements, these design aspects have one sole purpose: and that is to reveal the inner workings of the wristwatch. The pinnacle of this philosophy came a couple of years ago when Manufactures finally managed to create entire cases out of Sapphire. If you can imagine, these sapphire watches have become the talking pieces for the brands that have the know-how to produce them. And this year, at Baselworld, the evolution of the sapphire case continues.
In 2016 Hublot first unveiled their sapphire watch in the form of the Big Bang Unico Sapphire. Since then, they have managed to industrialise this process and this year the Big Bang returns in a coloured sapphire! The process involves aluminium oxide (the raw material for sapphire), a transition metal, chromium (Cr), and temperatures between 2000 and 2050 degrees Celsius. The result is a large block of transparent sapphire, perfectly uniform in colour.