This year, to mark the tenth anniversary of its Big Bang watch, Hublot launched a 100,000 Euro design prize. It’s generous by any standards and will boost the fortunes of those mid career designers at whom it is aimed.
Pierre Keller, former director of ECAL, l’école Cantonale d'art de Lausanne, came up with the idea thanks to his old pal Jean Claude Biver, creator of the first Big Bang and president of the watches division of LVMH. Biver wanted to honour Hublot’s ‘Fusion Concept’ that lies at the heart of the Big Bang range and refers to the mixtures of materials it incorporates, such as ceramic, titanium, tungsten and gold.
‘Pierre and I have always shared the vision that young designers are key to success, and we wanted to offer them a springboard for their future,’ Biver explains. Keller pulled together a jury of industry heavyweights, among them Ronan Bouroullec, designer Lapo Elkann, (grandson of Fiat’s Gianni Agnelli) and Marva Griffin Wilshire founder of Salone Satellite in Milan. ‘We agreed the prize was to reward not just the Ron Arads, who are already famous, and not young students fresh out of school, but those in the middle who are in that long period in between.’
Hublot announced the winners during Tokyo Design Week. Lausanne-based designers (and former ECAL alumni), Big-Game split the booty with Norwegian designer Daniel Rybakken, known for creating optical illusions on lighting and furniture. Augustin Scott de Martinville, Elric Petit and Grégoire Jeanmonod, the trio who make up Big-Game, already work with the likes of Muji, Hay and Alessi and the jury predicts great things in the future.
A further 10,000 CHF was awarded to runner up Brynjar Sigurdarson who completed a masters at ECAL in 2011 and now spends time in his native Iceland seeking inspiration from 75-year-old shark fishermen, harbour architecture, volcanoes and glaciers.
In addition to the prize, Hublot has launched three special tenth anniversary editions - the Bang Unico Full Magic Gold, the Big Bang Tourbillon 5-day Power reserve Indicator Full Magic Gold and the Big Bang Unico '10 years' Haute Joaillerie.