We had the opportunity to test drive the Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic for a while. Before we continue with the actual review, let’s spend some words on this remarkable manufacturer first.
When it comes to fashionable manufactures, Hublot is easily in the top 3. The industry considers them one of the hippest brands despite their relatively short history. Even though the company was established in 1980 it had mediocre success. Until 2003, when Jean-Claude Biver went on-board. Before, Jean-Claude Biver was responsible for Swatch Group brands.
His approach to the brand was different and revolutionary. As a result, the Big Bang was released in 2005. It was an instant success. In 2008, French luxury conglomerate LVMH acquired the brand from its founder, Italian businessman Carlo Crocco. The story of Hublot from this moment on is pretty well-known. A success story thanks to Biver and his unorthodox marketing approach.
Love it or hate it ,but one thing is for sure; Hublot took the watch world by storm and “converted” many everyday guys into watch enthusiasts. From sports (Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant, Pelé, Usain Bolt, Ferrari F1 Team etc.) to music (Jay-Z, Lang Lang) or fashion (Bar Refaeli) and recently as the official timekeeper for the UEFA Euro 2016 you find the brand in many aspects of life.
We have recently published an article on the Sapphire models (here) and just a few days ago I had a short but heated relationship with one of their signature models. I received a Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic reference 411.NM.1170.RX to provide you with a hands-on review.
It’s obvious that the Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic is a huge and non-conformist watch. This is no surprise as Hublot was built on being different. Part of their success is the fact that they create big watches. The Unico with its 45mm is a prime example of this. It has a thickness of 15mm. Despite the titanium, it still is a relatively heavy watch. The black satin ceramic bezel with its 6 titanium screws gives it the porthole look. Interesting to notice is the sandwich-like case construction. The pushers, as well as the crown bearing the same “H”. The crown has a black rubber coating.
The Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic has a display back to demonstrate the Unico movement. Just like the bezel, the case back is also fixed with 6 screws to the case. Hublot stays quite low-key with the inscriptions in the caseback. Even the water resistance indication is missing, which is 100m by the way. You get the model number, the reference and the small “Titanium” engraving towards the 6 o’clock. All relevant information is on there.
The only thing that is a bit bothering is the ceramic bezel which “loves” to hold on to fingerprints but apart from that, as you would expect from a watch from such a brand, it is a nicely and firmly put together piece.
The dial is pretty busy at first. But you will get used to it very quickly. Basically it has two sub dials; the 60-minute chronograph at 3 o’clock and the continuous seconds at 9 o ‘clock. The date is hidden in the 3 o’clock sub dial. Since the design of the dial is skeleton-like, the entire date wheel is visible all around under the numbers and indexes. The main color of the dial is matte black with a rhodium plated upper layer. The indexes are satin finished and filled with luminescent. A mix of numbers and indexes were used. 6-8-10 and 12 are visible while 2 and 4 are cut-in by the sub dials. The rest of the hours are marked by indices.
The Hublot logo and the name is on the AR coated sapphire crystal. The hands just like the indexes are satin finished and rhodium plated. They are also micro blasted and contain the same white luminescent. The chronograph hand has a red square tip and the classic Hublot logo as counterweight. See, now that you are acquainted with all the elements it’s not that busy-looking after all.
The movement visible from both sides is the caliber HUB1242. This is, as Hublot calls it, a UNICO Manufacture A 38-jewel, automatic column-wheel chronograph movement with flyback function. The movement consists of 330 parts. The power reserve of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic is a comfortable 72 hours. The column-wheel is visible just behind the 6 on the dial. It is also marked with a little Hublot “H”.
The Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic comes on a titanium bracelet with ceramic center links. Edges of the bracelet on the back are however covered with rubber to give a more comfortable and steady sit for the watch on the wrist.
The double folding deployant clasp is made of titanium. It can be released using a push button. Once closed, the top of the claps bears the Hublot logo „H”in the center.
The cool thing about the bracelet however is that it’s interchangeable. Do you see those trapeze-shaped things between the two screws on the case above 12 and below 6? These are actually push buttons and by pressing them the mechanism releases the pins that hold the bracelet in the case.
So with two pushes you can release the bracelet, take your rubber strap, two clicks and you are ready to go with your new strap attached. Easy as that.
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The price of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic. Retail price is €19.600 for this reference 411.NM.1170.RX. The used materials, the chronograph flyback in-house movement, the strong brand name and the fact that this is one of their flagship models all correspond to this price. As we already discussed, Hublot is extremely popular among the young and fortunate who like sports, travel and live an active life in general. Exactly the group targeted by Hublot.
I’m a vintage guy at heart so as much as I enjoyed my short and intense love affair with the Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic I had to say good bye to it only to think about what my next Hublot would be.
I put my 38mm vintage chrono back on my wrist which felt super funny after this giant and started browsing Hublot’s website for the next candidate. Maybe this time I will go with the subtler Classic Fusion models. Or I wild out with one of the Lapo Elkan/Italian Independent signature watches? Stay tuned and find out soon.
You will find further information about the above model as well as many other at Hublot‘s website.
Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up... read more