Gold is one of the rarest metals in the world, its beauty admired across the globe and cultures that span the entirety of documented human history. In fact, all the gold you see today is truly stardust, the result of a cosmic collision of black holes or neutron stars that smashed into each other.
These powerful collisions generated the energy needed to bind lighter elements into heavier ones in a matter of seconds. Scientists speculate that such a collision occurred billions of years in the past in our solar system’s vicinity. That same collision likely resulted in the very birth of our solar system.
Most of the gold found in the crust and mantle of the Earth are microscopic dust particles embedded in rock; far less is actually in nuggets found in bedrock or mines. But of all the variations of gold that one sees in the natural world, the rarest is crystalline gold.
The material is formed as gold-bearing water runs through rock, forming veins upon which the gold flakes are deposited. (The largest ever discovered single crystal of gold found was 217 grams in weight, and worth over USD1.5 million.)
At the Hublot manufacture’s research and development department, they discovered how to replicate such crystalline forms of gold by heating pure gold to 1064℃, which melts the material and that rises until it encounters a cooler environment, when it then crystallises.
Since the crystals never form in exactly the same manner or form, you never quite get the same shape or crystal structure. At Hublot, a dial maker carefully collects these flakes and arranges them on a dial to re-create the auriferous veins that one would see in nature, then coated with a clear lacquer that seals the flakes in position. This is done over and over, until the gold is perfectly displayed on the deep black dial of the watch.
The recreation of the natural beauty of gold crystals is part of the allure of this watch, particularly housed in a high-tech ceramic case. It’s a great case of technology imitating nature.
Self-winding HUB1112 movement; hours, minutes and seconds; 4Hz; 42-hour power reserve
45mm & 39mm in polished and satin-finished black ceramic; ceramic bezel with titanium screws; polished black dial with 24K gold crystals; water resistant to 50m
Black alligator leather strap with rubber back; black-plated stainless steel deployant clasp