Does it feel like summer? Is this what 2020’s summer will be? My answers to those questions are ‘No’ and ‘Yes’ respectively, the lockdown summer hasn’t been spectacular, but we in the UK dodged a lot of the typical summer swelter as well. Luckily, Hublot is on hand to soothe us with a gentle cooling breeze in the form of the new Big Bang Unico 45 Sky Blue limited edition. If you know your stuff about watches, you’ll know that blue dials are all the rage right now, but Hublot has gone one step further.
Coloured ceramic is not new to Hublot, they’ve done it in a few limited edition watches before, but the new light blue coloured ceramic is new to the brand and matches up well with the pink watches we saw earlier in the year. To break up the form of the watch and provide some contrast, the central caseband is made of white-coloured ceramic, and the pushers and crown are silver-coloured which can assume to be titanium which keeps with the lightweight-yet-robust theme to the piece.
The dial and movement also seem to follow on from that lightweight theme, at least in appearance. The automatic-winding chronograph movement inside this watch is given the name ‘Unico’ to signify its in-house-ness. The calibre HUB1242 Unico has a long power reserve of 72 hours and a beat rate of 4Hz. The chronograph features a column wheel to control its functions and has a flyback feature as well to put it on the same level as other pricey chronograph watches.
If I were critical of this watch, I’d focus on what has been the bugbear of quite a few folks over the years. The main concern is that, for all the sciencey witchcraft going into the cases and the building of the movements, there is very little in the way of fine decoration for the movements. It’s not unique to this watch; I’d say nearly all of the Unico-powered watches suffer from this. While the industrial-style matte finish works, it would be great to see that combined with some polished chamfers and more detail on the gear wheels. Hublot’s pretty much nailed the cases and the materials, and there’s no doubt in my mind that their cases are well made, but the finishing doesn’t justify the price, which is $21,500 in this instance.
The watch does come on either a blue rubber strap or a white velcro-fastened textile strap, and they can be changed quickly with the seatbelt-style quick-change system, but the price is too high to justify the finish level. And there’s only going to be 100 of them.