Stylish, simple and carefree.
A pioneer of luxury sports watches in gold and rubber in the 1980s, Hublot is a relatively newcomer to the world of luxury sports watches with integrated bracelets – its debut is the 2020 Flyback Chronograph. Now, a simple, hassle-free version joins the lineup.
At LVMH Watch Week 2022, the brand unveiled the Big Bang Integral Time Only, which naturally comes with an integrated bracelet, but is also the most compact 40mm wide men’s Big Bang to date. In typical Hublot style, the new Time Only is available in three materials, none of which is steel, but titanium, ceramic or gold.
It’s great to see Hublot adapt its offerings to suit the demand for small(er) watches, especially since the Big Bang has always been, um, big. The Time Only’s fine-tuning size brings it closer to the size of traditional luxury sports watches, which are essentially delicate bracelets that tell the time.
Despite its unusually small proportions, the new Time Only is still very much like a Hublot. It manages to capture the Hublot cheap style in design and materials, while avoiding some of the clichés of the integrated sports watch category, namely patterned dials or steel cases and bracelets.
The most obvious difference between the Time Only and the typical one piece bracelet sports watch is the dial. Eliminating the dial entirely and exposing the movement underneath makes it look more technical and contemporary. It’s certainly not a novelty look, but it’s still different enough from the category to be recognizable.
However, I found the dial of the Time Only to be a bit bare compared to the chronograph version, while the front of the chronograph module shows more.
While the MHUB1710 in the Time Only has its own appeal – it’s a great take on Zenith – I imagine there are a few alternatives that might look, including a minimalist black dial without any markings, like in the Classic Like the one seen on the Fusion 40th Anniversary Edition, or the super fancy three-dimensional dials that Hublot often does.
The all-ceramic version – this is the most striking version of the trio. In fact, it’s arguably the best value for money, as it’s one of the few all-ceramic luxury sports watches with alternating brushed and polished surfaces on the faceted case and bracelet. And it’s a limited edition of 250 pieces – other versions are produced as standard – which makes it even more appealing.
That said, the Zenith Defy Classic has a similarly styled, simpler watch with the same movement but at a much lower cost. However, Hublot wins in fit and finish, which in part justifies the price.
three hands and a date
Simple on the surface, Time Only’s thoughtful details give it a sophisticated feel. For example, the dial has depth, especially when viewed from an angle, with sloping chapter rings and solid hour-markers positioned above the movement.
But the highlight is definitely the bracelet, which is similar to the one on the Integral Chronograph that debuted two years ago.
It consists of short, faceted links with contrasting brushed and polished surfaces, giving the bracelet an eye-catching reflective look while also being comfortable. hublot Big Bang Integral Time
Cleverly concealed, the clasp creates a seamless connection between the two halves of the bracelet, while subtly incorporating the Hublot logo.
Time Only is the MHUB1710, which is based on the Zenith Elite 670. The base movement is more than two decades old, but has a strong performance.
It runs at 28,800 beats per hour, or 4 Hz, and has a 50-hour power reserve. Mechanically, it is nearly identical to the Zenith movement iteration, except for the silicon escape wheel, which is only found in the latest Zenith models.
Diameter: 40 mm
Material: Titanium, Ceramic or 18k Yellow Gold
Water resistance: 100 m
Functions: hours, minutes and date
Frequency: 28,800 windings/hour (4 Hz)
: Automatic winding
Power reserve: 50 hours
Strap: Matching bracelet