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How to authenticate a Hublot watch?

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    Introduction to how to authenticate a Hublot watch

    Last week here at the Relleb authentication center, we had the opportunity to perform our watch authentication service for a watch that we do not come across very often – a Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu. Something quite exotic indeed.

    It is an art piece looking at the configuration of the dial, and how to read the time on it (the white arrows are the “hands” indicating time) it is not what you would say standard. And even though the 45mm case could be considered larger than average, the titanium case in combination with the rubber strap still makes it wear very light and feels comfortable on the wrist.

    This specific Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu (Bleu indeed, not Blue despite the colour) has been produced by Hublot in a limited amount of 200 pieces. As you might be aware, Hublot brings (almost) all of their models on the market as limited edition, that’s is how they aim to convey their exclusivity.

    The Big Bang is unmistakably and undoubtedly one of the most iconic models of Hublot. And unfortunately, the (Big Bang) models of Hublot are prone to quite a significant number of rather convincing replicas circulating the market for pre-owned Hublot watches. And as is also true with the Big Bang of Hublot, there are various variations and configurations of this particular model – making it a harder for watch enthusiasts to distinguish the real deal from the fakes..

    But luckily this customer engaged Relleb in his watch-purchasing journey, and we helped him to achieve peace of mind with his purchase through our independent Hublot Watch Authentication service. Read more in this blog on how this process was conducted.

    We hope this blog will help you get a better feeling and understanding what to look out for when assessing the authenticity of a (pre-owned) Hublot luxury watch. Including the box and papers in case it is included. Please note that this article is not exhaustive, as there are a lot of nuances and specific aspects that we check in addition to the checks which we have included below. Now let’s get to some details and checks we have performed on this particular Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu.

     

    The Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu

    This watch carries the following specifics:

    • Reference number 415.NX.7179.VR.MXM18
    • Case size 45mm
    • Time, minute and seconds
    • Titanium case
    • Blue dial
    • Titanium bezel
    • Rubber bracelet
    • Full set (box and papers included)
    • Issued in 2018
    • Limited model of 200 pieces
    • Automatic movement

    In this blog we will explain in 5 steps how we authenticated this Hublot Big Bang, and will show you based on detailed pictures the level of scrutiny you can expect when engaging Relleb to perform an Authentication and Quality assessment for a watch you might be keen on buying. 

    How do I know if my Hublot is real?

    The Hublot Big Bang is a popular model among Hublot watch enthusiasts and unfortunately also amongst scammers. Fake Hublot watches, both new and vintage, are put on the market as well.

    At Relleb we like say that spotting a fake can be easy, but knowing one is authentic is not. Only seasoned and experienced watchmaker can distinguish a real one from a fake. And if you don't have the experience or knowledge, it is hard to distinguish a real from a fake yourself. We truly believe you should engage an experienced watchmaker that you know and trust to ensure that you are getting the real deal. We hope this blog will give you some insights in how to spot a fake Hublot.

     

    Step 1: check the box and papers

    The first step in the authentication process of this Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu is to check if the box and papers that are included and correct. This is a model part of a limited series of 200. We assess if the watch has an unique number between 1-200 and the papers support that. For this particular model that number is also engraved in the case-back, and thus should match with the papers.

    Documentation, references, serial numbers should be in accordance with the watch at hand. The box and papers should also be original and time-correct. Which requires experience about boxes and papers that come with a specific model. Please note that not all pre-owned watches sold online contain original box and papers. Especially with vintage watches. This of course does not necessarily have to mean that the watch itself is fake or incorrect, but it does definitely help to look at the total-package if available.

    For this Hublot Big Bang, all original papers and boxes were include. We first scrutinized these to see if all was correct and in accordance with our expectations for this particular model. 

    The box and cards

    This Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu is issued in 2018 and comes with the grey outer boxin which the watch is included. We always start our authentication service checking if we have a full-set (if sold as a full set) and if we have the right boxes and papers by performing the following steps:

    • Check if we have the correct outer box, which is the box that carries the watch (in this example for a 2018 Big Bang Sang Bleu the grey box that carries the Hublot logo + name on the top)
    • Validate if the authentic Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu booklet is present, in this case including the specific number of the watch (*/200 pieces) 
    • Validate if the authentic Hublot warranty card is present. Most important card that also carries the serial number and specific number within the series of 200 watches.
    • Validate if the authentic Hublot instructions booklet is present
    • How to authenticate the full set: Our watchmakers have more than 15 years of experience in working with Hublot (at authorized dealers) and of course other brands, and know what materials and documentation should be included in the full set, including of what materials the set should be made of. And -I kid you not- even how it feels and smells. A good watchmaker can derive a lot from the full set apart from the watch itself - and might already be able to raise some flags in some cases. 


    Hublot Watch Authentication: Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu Ltd. Ed. Full Set

    Hublot Watch Authentication: Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu Ltd. Ed. Full Set

    Step 2: How to authenticate the serial number

    Serial numbers are used for Hublot watches are unique numbers used by Hublot to track all individual watches. For this particular Hublot Big Bang model, the serial number was 129****, watch number x/200 pieces. 

    In case of a full set we perform the following checks:

    • Observe the serial number on the case (in this case on the back of the watch, on the case)
    • Check if the serial number on the Warranty card matches the serial number on the case. In this case with the specific watch number of */200 pieces for this configuration
    • Check if the serial number of the warranty card and the case back matches with the serial number on the movement
    • During our inspection of the movement, we also verify and assess if the parts in the movement are of a level of quality that we would expect from Hublot watches. For example, the level of finishing, details of the engraving, smoothness and crispness of the movement (depending on age, one might anticipate some requirements for servicing), and other details that confirm this watch only consists of original Hublot parts. This is basically shown by the quality of the engraving that can only be concluded by an experienced watchmaker with years of experience with Hublot watches.

      
    Serial number on the case back should match with the number on the papers and warranty card.



    Serial number on the case back should match with the number on the papers and warranty card.



    Serial number on the case back should match with the number on the papers and warranty card.


    Serial number on the case back should match with the number on the papers and warranty card.


     

    Step 3: How to authenticate a Hublot watch movement

    Our experienced watchmakers observe the following during step 3 of our authentication service:

    • Verify if all components are Hublot parts (by observing quality of finishing, Hublot branding, use of Hublot fonts, use of correct materials)
    • Make sure the complications and build up of the movement are correct
    • We also authenticate if the watch carries the correct movement for the respective model
    • Observe if the lubrication of parts is up to standards (and lubricate if needed)
    • No dirt or damage to movement parts
    • We also verify if the watch is serviced or if it needs service. We advise our clients if and when a watch should be serviced again. In this case we are talking about a 2018 watch, for which you would under normal circumstances not expect a service to be needed already (which was indeed not the case).

    This specific customer requested if we could very lightly polish certain areas on the case and bezel. Our watchmakers are true experts in polishing, but this is only done by us in case specifically requested by our customers.

    Scrutinizing the finishing and quality of the movement and if the movement includes only authentic parts.

     

    Step 4: Making sure the case and bracelet are correct and in good quality

    In addition to checking if the watch is 100% authentic, we assess the quality of the watch. For example, we closely observe the case, glass, functioning of the complications, bracelet, clasp and other aspects of the watch. 

    During step 4 of the Hublot authentication service, our watchmakers observe the following:

    • Observing quality of case finishing including brushing, materials used, the sharpness of the edges, crown, pushers, and overall condition (wear)
    • Observing the quality and finishing through a loupe including marks and text on the dial, material on the hands and plots and the depth of the text applied on the dial
    • Observing the quality and finishing of the bracelet including quality of the strap, the pins and material used.
    • Our watchmakers check if the titanium bezel and finishing of the dial is correct and in accordance with Hublot standards, and if the materials have been applied conform Hublot standards. 
    • Observe the engravings in and details on the case (referene number and letters on the watch). These carry a specific finish that has to be observed with the eye up close.


    Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu

     

    Step 5: Verifying waterproofness and timekeeping

    This last part on how to authenticate a Hublot is focussed on assuring quality. During step 5 of this authentication service, our watchmakers execute the following procedures.

    • Verifying timekeeping with a Timegrapher machine, this machine detects the beats per second and daily deviation in 1/10 of a second.
    • In addition there are multiple tools that can help with waterproofness testing (making sure a watch is waterproof) in case of watches sold as waterproof.

     

    Step 6: Fraud and theft check

    To ensure watches are not stolen, or any fraud or scams have been conducted with it. We perform a fraud and theft check with a database that has more than 70.000 watches registered. This applies for watches bought with Relleb protection on Chrono24 or on our Relleb marketplace.

    The conclusion on authenticity and quality

    We have briefly explained what we do in this blog about the authentication of a Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu limited edition. Since the watch was sold as in "good condition" it passed out strict assessment for authenticity and quality. With our Authentication and Quality assessment the client (from Australia) could enjoy peace of mind about the authenticity and quality of this watch which was bought online from a seller in the Dubai.

    After the authentication and quality report was issued to the buyer, the watch was sent fully insured and with signature delivery to our customer. 

    Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu

    Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu

    How do I authenticate my Hublot watch?

    That depends really, if you are a seasoned expert and/or Hublot watchmaker you could possibly authenticate a Hublot on your own. If you are not, you will not be able to perform certain authentication steps. 

    At first you need to be able to open the case back and dismantle the bracelet. In addition you need the experience to conclude if the materials used are correct, if Hublot finishing is applied correctly, if the cards gloss and stickers are correct, verify the correct finishing of the dial, check the lubrication quality, verify the correct complications and build up of the movement, assess quality of the pins used etc.

    Our advise would always be to have it authenticated by an experienced watchmaker.

    How do I find my Hublot serial number?

    The serial numbers are normally located on the case-back, and serial numbers generally look like 129****, and might have a specific watch number indication such as */200 pieces. Serial numbers are used for Hublot watches are unique numbers used by Hublot to track all individual watches.

    At the bottom left you can see the serial number starting with "129" 

     

     

    How do you buy a Hublot watch?

    There are multiple options you can go with. For the best find we do advise to use marketplaces like our Relleb marketplace for private sellers, eBay or Chrono24 with our Relleb authentication & buying service.

    Many certified pre-owned sellers like Chronext or Watchfinder&Co are most of the times far more expensive. They have more overhead costs and service every watch (in our opinion sometimes overservice watches) which adds up to the cost price of Hublot watches (or any watch - for that matter). But, buying from private sellers bears risks and therefore we always advise to have an expert or watchmaker help you authenticate a watch.

     

    Other blogs of interest

    How to tell a real Rolex vs. expensive fake Rolex

    Rolex serial number check explained

    Chrono24 review: our experience after buying multiple watches

    Fake watches on Chrono24: what is that all about?

    Written by

    Marcel, watch enthusiast, co-owner of Relleb

    Last updated December 22, 2021

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