It is amazing what JC Biver from Hublot accomplished in the past decade or so. Of course, his track record goes much further than Hublot (think Blancpain and Omega for example). Today he manages Hublot and the success he had with the brand is also being applied to TAG Heuer and Zenith.
However, those two other LVMH brands have their own customer ‘profile’ and matching watches. Just like Hublot. You can think or say anything you want about Hublot (some purists regard is as “fashion watches”, others are totally into them), but they are doing very well since Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe are calling the shots.
This year, Hublot introduced a couple of new models that I think are quite interesting. We already covered the Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti and now’s the time to look at one of the new Hublot Big Bang Unico models they presented, the All Black Sapphire.
Actually, they did two.The Sapphire and the All Black Sapphire. The Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire is an interesting piece, but it is completely transparent. This means that it is very transparent. Not the [skeletonized] dial of course, but the case and strap are. When I was young, I remember having a plastic Swatch that also was transparent and I really hated looking at my hairy arm underneath the strap and part of the case. So, that’s where the Hublot Big Bang Unico All Black Sapphire comes to the table.
The same 45mm sapphire case, but with a smoked finish. Both bezel and case of this Hublot Big Bang Unico use sapphires with polished and smoked finish. This prevents from looking at your (hairy) wrist and still be able to enjoy the use of sapphire. The watch comes on a smoked transparent structured lined strap, with a black plated titanium folding clasp.
The titanium screws are clearly visible in the bezel and the back of the case. Titanium is also used for the crown and the buckle on the strap.
Both these Hublot Big Bang Unico models with sapphire case feature the caliber HUB1242 Unico movement. These manufacture movements feature a fly-back chronograph with column-wheel and have a power reserve of 72 hours. The Unico movement consist of 330 parts.
Like all Hublot Big Bang Unico models, the movement is clearly visible through the skeleton dial. You will be able to see the column-wheel of the chronograph in action when operating the pushers.
The caseback has a sapphire crystal where you can admire the Unico movement. The sapphire case measure 45mm and actually wears quite nicely on the wrist. It is a bit big, but hey, it is a Big Bang. The Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire and All Black Sapphire are water resistant to 100 meters.
Whether you are a watch purist, collector or just an enthusiast, Hublot shows that it is more than a fashion watch with these sapphire timepieces and UNICO movements.
The use of sapphire for cases is not unique, Richard Mille also made one (RM0056) a couple of years ago. Cartier’s ID Two Concept might look like sapphire, but it is transparent ceramic.
Hublot also makes this technology in reach (relatively, it is still for the lucky few) compared to the Richard Mille that is priced +1million US Dollars. The Hublot Big Bang Unico sapphire models start at around $57K USD. Both versions (Sapphire and All Black Sapphire) are limited to 500 pieces each.
More information on the Hublot Big Bang Unico All Black Sapphire reference 411.JB.4901.RT can be found here.