Jean-Claude Biver, the legendary former LVMH watch boss and CEO of Hublot, is entering the NFT space with a digital copy of the classic “Bigger Bang” Tourbillon Chronograph.
The famed watch served as a reference piece during Hublot’s reinvention, mixing classic elements with modern style. Its dial is open to reveal the mechanics, a design which served as the best defense against counterfeiting in its time. An ultra-contemporary tourbillon design, the Bigger Bang is a staple of Biver’s career.
Biver will keep the physical original, while the digital twin will be auctioned as the “authentic” double of the watch in the digital space. Through NFTs (non-fungible tokens), artists and creators like Biver are able to certify authentic ownership of a digital creation through blockchain technology.
"This watch has brought me so much success and happiness,” Biver told the auction site Open Sea, where the auction is being held. “It is one of the most important watches in my private collection. It has not only inspired me professionally, but has also brought me so much personally.”
Biver joined Hublot as CEO in 2004, and his reign has been credited with reinvigorating the legendary brand, helping to define the style and quality it is revered for. The "Big Bang" chronograph was a huge part of that story. First revealed in 2005, it won a smattering of international awards, including the 2005 Design Prize in the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix. Biver’s influence on modern luxury watch designs is seen throughout the industry, and he continues to inspire watchmakers in the digital age.
Biver partnered with WISeKey on the launch, a blockchain authentication service for physical items. The “Bigger Bang” NFT is actually Biver’s second digital watch. He and WISeKey CEO Carlos Moreira launched the first digitally-certified watch, another Hublot, at the Baselworld trade fair 12 years ago.
“I am delighted to join JC Biver again in demonstrating how latest technologies can disrupt an entire industry such as the luxury watch industry,” Moreira said of his continued partnership with Biver in a press release.
This “Special Edition” of the Biver classic features a never-before-seen, all-black color. Serving as a reference for the “skeleton” models at Hublot, the watch' features a micro-blasted black ceramic, and a brushed and polished finish on the moving parts. It's symbolic as the starting point of a whole generation of contemporary watchmaking.
The Big Bang “Standard,” Biver’s first piece of the Big Bang watch collection that would serve as the blue-print for his re-branding of Hublot, is expressed by the absence of a real dial and color. Its movement, with its finish and functional design, replaces and plays the role of the dial.
The auction started on March 31 and will go on until April 5. Hosted through OpenSea, all the funds will be donated to the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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Photography by: Jean-Claude Biver