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By Chris | January 20 2014
Totally black, totally matt and totally faithful to Hublot’s signature concept, it is the perfect fusion between the 100% manufacture movement and the iconic Big Bang design.
And it’s finally here. Launched last year, the hotly anticipated Big Bang Unico is now available in an All Black version as a limited edition of just 500 numbered pieces, in line with all of Hublot’s All Black series.
The watch is a perfect fusion of Hublot’s very own unique “invisible visibility” concept, the iconic Big Bang design and the in-house movement – the UNICO, a chronograph movement with a column wheel and double clutch visible on the dial side, completely designed, developed and produced in the Hublot manufacture workshops.
The design of the Big Bang Unico features a powerful 45.5 mm diameter case for a stylish mechanical look, and a bezel secured by 6 H-shaped screws with a new, subtle and more technical design (the head of each screw is now in relief, allowing the application of alternating polished and matt finishes).
A notable feature is the design of the crown, which is screw-down with overmoulded rubber and decorated on the end with the famous Hublot screw “H”. For the very first time since the creation of the Big Bang in 2005, the push-buttons are round. Each one is protected by a push-button guard integrated in the middle and finished like an engine piston.
The sharp angles and intelligent sandwich system have been retained in the case design, but the strap attachment has been optimised: it features the now famous “One click” system which allows the wearer to switch between a wide choice of straps – each watch is supplied with a structured and ribbed natural rubber strap (also new) which perfectly matches the endpieces of the middle.
Finally, the movement is revealed thanks to a skeleton dial featuring the famous indexes and Arabic numerals, redesigned to give them more volume (and hollowed out and filled with black SuperLuminova on the All Black version), as well as two counters “encircled” by a polished ring, one for the minutes positioned at 3 o’clock and the other at 9 o’clock for the small second; the date window is positioned at 3 o’clock. The hands have also been reworked, facetted on two levels and filled with black Superluminova.
The UNICO manufacture movement is the brand’s signature chronograph movement. And that is why it was chosen. It has been entirely designed, developed, machined and assembled by micro-mechanics, engineers and watchmakers at Hublot. This Flyback chronograph (a practical solution enabling instant restarting of the chronograph) is unique in the watchmaking industry, and features two push-buttons and a date indication.
It is distinguished by the position of its mechanism with a horizontal double clutch and the famous “column wheel” visible on the dial side. Its development required a completely original approach and thinking outside the box: the horizontal double clutch with integrated column wheel on the dial side for the central 60-second counter and the small 60-minute counter positioned at 3 o’clock.
This simplification means greater reliability and flexibility in the chronograph’s START STOP RESET functions, as well as enhanced function visibility for the wearer. The pallet fork and escapement wheel are fixed to a removable platform and are made from silicon, whose lightness provides a guarantee of performance.
The movement’s 330 components benefit from high precision and reliability, with several of them produced using LIGA technology. Its frequency of 4hz/28,800 vibrations per hour and its immaculate finish are also a guarantee of high chronometric quality. Finally, its automated production, which includes automation of the machining, stone fitting, oiling and numerous assembly operations also ensures consistent, controlled quality. Its power reserve is around 72 hours.
In short, the entire piece has been conceived and designed to reflect Hublot’s pure DNA: sport, performance and technology. No useless gadgets. The design is stylish, practical and rational.