First revealed in Paris, France at the Belles Montres Watch Show back in December 2011, the Hublot The Baby Million Big Bang 44m Haute Joaillerie Chronograph (Ref. 301.WX.1170.WX.9804) is the tour de force of the high-jewelry subdivision of the Swiss-based brand. It is not just an ultra-luxury toy for the one-percenters: it is a perfectly manufactured timekeeper, which is powered by a bullet-proof (although mass-produced) mechanism, and set with more than eight hundred diamonds of different cut! That doesn’t mean that I like it.
Those reading this blog on a regular basis, probably, already know that I’ve developed an issue with Hublot’s approach to design. Interesting and innovative a few years ago, it finally became a self-replicating entity, like a unicellular organism. However, there is no point in arguing about personal tastes, so I’ll skip this part and get straight to business.
The new Baby Million is, basically, the well-known Hublot Big Bang 44 model, which is this time presented in an 18-karat white gold case, which is fully set with hundreds of different diamonds. And it takes a lot of highly skilled manual labor to set those stones.
According to the Swiss watchmaker, the white gold body, for example, is set with 88 white baguette diamonds with 219 brilliant white stones finishing the picture. Totaling almost 7.2 carats, the diamonds almost hurt your eyes.
Of course, as you can see on the pictures, the use of stones was not limited just to the 44 mm body and the fixed bezel. There are 344 white baguette diamonds and 232 brilliant white diamonds (approximately 20.7 carats) adorning the timepiece’s white gold bracelet and even a pair of precious stones decorating its chronograph push-pieces!
And, finally, there are eight white baguette diamonds serving as the timekeeper’s hour markers!
There is no information regarding the movement that powers the watch, but I have a strong feeling that this is the same HUB 4100 self-winding chronograph calibers that we have seen inside the other members of the constantly growing Big Bang family.
If that’s indeed so, then the timekeeper’s lucky (and wealthy) owner may count of at least 42 hours of guaranteed power reserve and a hassle-free operation throughout its whole life cycle.
There is no info about the timekeeper’s price, but the name implies that the watch will cost at least a million. Possibly, a million euro*.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
* UPDATE ON PRICE: Well, some time after publishing this brief review, we’ve been notified that the watch will actually cost ahem only $340,000 USD. What a relief!
Hublot The Baby Million Big Bang 44m Haute Joaillerie Chronograph (Ref. 301.WX.1170.WX.9804) specification
Price: $340,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber HUB4100 (base ETA Valjoux 7750,) Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 27
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Skeletonized oscillating weight, polished screw-heads, beveled bridges
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: White gold; Full set 88 white baguette diamonds and 219 brilliant white diamonds (approximately 7.17 carats)
Size: 44.00 mm
Hour markers: 8 white baguette diamonds
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: White gold bracelet, full set 344 white baguette diamonds and 232 brilliant white diamonds (approximately 20.69 carats)
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective coating