A watch featuring what is probably the most scratch-resistant gold bezel ever designed: it can only be machined using diamond.
After unveiling its celebrated ‘Magic Gold‘, the only scratch-resistant gold in the industry to date, a noble material protected by patents, certified as 18 carats by the Central Office for Precious Metals Control and developed by Hublot in Switzerland alongside the prestigious EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Hublot has now decided to produce the Big Bang Unico with a bezel in Magic Gold…naturally. The bezel is indeed one of the components most susceptible to scratches. Its unique, instantly recognisable colour and mechanical properties will be of particular interest to watch enthusiasts.
Hublot’s Magic Gold is the hardest in the world, and by some margin. It can only be successfully machined using diamond. Its hardness of almost 1000 Vickers eliminates the traditional weak point of gold and its alloys, which are very easily scratched -an impressive fact, when we know that “standard” well-designed 18 carat gold is only rated at 400 Vickers, with most hardened steels at around 600 Vickers.
Hublot has equipped itself, since the unveiling of Magic Gold to world press in November 2011, with the means to produce this material in-house from start to finish thanks to its high-tech foundry at the Nyon Manufacture, which is home to the ceramic sintering and high-pressure metal casting processes.
This revolutionary material is a fusion of 24 carat gold (nature’s ultimate noble material) and the latest high-tech materials expertise. Components made from this material are produced using a complex process: a boron carbide powder is pre- formed in moulds very similar in shape to that of the finished parts, in this case the watch’s bezel. The pre-formed powder is then hardened at a very high temperature, creating a rigid, porous structure. After this operation, 24K gold alloyed with 3% molten liquid gold is injected under very high pressure with inert gas at a high temperature, allowing the metal to fill the ceramic pores and creating a “fusion” of the two to produce Magic Gold.
Almost three years of collaboration and research have gone into achieving this impressive result: a completely new type of gold, an almost inalterable precious metal which retains its own characteristics. The first watches made from Magic Gold were presented at BaselWorld2012 in a very limited Big Bang Ferrari edition which reflected the shared DNA of the 2 brands: exclusivity, innovation and technology. And now, the Big Bang Unico “Magic Gold” is here to join the “Magic Gold” watches family.