By Kien Lee
Hublot launches the Big Bang Unico Gourmet timepiece, made of Damascus steel - the same steel as the finest kitchen knives prized by Michelin-starred chefs.
Since 2017, Hublot has celebrated the art of haute cuisine alongside its own offerings of haute horlogerie. Precision of execution, use of materials (ingredients when it comes to cooking), a refinement of skills through the ages, a fusion of the tried and test with the new, the similarities that one can make are endless.
Encapsulating its Art of Fusion pillar, Hublot has over the past 5 years enlisted three ambassadors Anne-Sophie Pic, Yannick Alléno, Andreas Caminada and four friends of the brand – Clare Smyth, Eneko Atxa, Paul Pairet and Christian André Peterson who make up Hublot's Michelin-starred journey into the world of high gastronomy.
At Hublot, we love high gastronomy, we love people who convey their savoir faire and their signature onto their dishes, those who know how to fuse ingredients to make them unique while staying authentic… "
Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot
For these storied and accomplished chefs, the knife is an integral tool, a figurative wand through which they wield their magic in the kitchen, cooking up wondrous dishes that delight the palette.
To pay tribute to them, Hublot has launched the Big Bang Unico Gourmet, made of Damascus steel. This steel is often used to forge the kitchen knives used by Michelin-starred chefs, chosen for its superior durability over traditional steel as well as its fine cutting edge.
Chefs Anne Sophie Pic and Yannick Alleno discuss the Big Bang Unico Gourmet timepiece.
Michelin 3-star chefs and Hublot Ambassadors
Anne-Sophie Pic – Hublot Ambassador since 2021
With four establishments holding ten Michelin stars, and with three Michelin stars since 1997, Anne-Sophie Pic is the most decorated Michelin-starred female chef in the world. She fuses new flavours, consensual tastes and forgotten or unloved ingredients in culinary innovations that never cease to surprise.
Yannick Alléno – Hublot Ambassador since 2018
With eight establishments around the world, three Michelin stars in 2015 and three in 2017 and chef of the Pavillon Ledoyen, the private establishment with the most Michelin stars in the world in 2020, Yannick Alléno fuses age-old heritage with new codes in a visionary culinary art.
The Modern Production of Damascus Steel
Damascus steel, historically known as Wootz and originating in the Damascus region in 300 BC, was known to forge the most resistant and cutting swords. Today, Damascus steel refers to a technique of hammering and folding steel to make it more resistant.
For its modern industrial production, Damascus steel is now produced as Damasteel, made by eponymous company based in Sweden, which has mastered the fashioning of this material since 1876. This unique steel has greater resistance and a unique weave of patterned steel on its surface.
Damasteel is not a traditional metal, it is a metal composite created from two types of steel. The first, 304L, is dark and made primarily of carbon; the other, 316L, is lighter – the two are forged, folded and folded again like a flaky puff pastry, then pressed. A matrix rendering that sees the two materials welded into each other, producing a patterned weave that is unique every time. These moiré patterns, like a fingerprint, are never identical.
To adapt perfectly to the watch’s dimensions, Hublot chose a unique design, a pattern that fuses age-old savoir faire with the innovation developed by Damasteel.
Surface corrosion of the composite allows the stratification of the two steels to appear, revealing the pattern through a contrast of the materials.
The material’s unique pattern is now reflected in Hublot's iconic offering, the Big Bang timepiece in 42 mm.
Inside, the Unico Calibre 2 powers the movement, providing 72 hours of power reserve. The self-winding mechanism is viewable through the open case back.
The spirit of gastronomy extends to the bracelet which itself is cut from the fabric of cooking aprons. The velcro fastener makes the watch useful and practical, and not just in the kitchen.
The Hublot Big Bang Unico Gourmet is in a limited production of 200.