By Dhananjay Pathak
Since 2005 Hublot has been a regular participant in the Only Watch auction event, proceeds from which go towards the noble cause of treating people suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and this year is no different. For Only watch 2017, the brand has come up with a unique watch in the form of the Big Bang Unico Sapphire Usain Bolt for Only Watch, a tribute to the legendary athlete Usain Bolt. This watch features a 45mm case completely made out of Sapphire and a dial rendered in yellow Gold/green, showcasing the colors of the flag of Jamaica, the country that Usain Bolt represents.
Though I am not a big Fan of Hublot, I often see myself admiring the brand for its experimental nature, especially in context with the different materials that the brand utilizes, giving its watches a distinctive appeal.The Big Bang Unico Sapphire Usain Bolt for Only Watch is not a watch for the faint hearted coming in at 45mm and a thickness of around 16.30mm this is one bold watch and would surely have a strong wrist presence. The case as the name suggests is completely made of out Sapphire, which lends this watch a certain degree of transparency, and should also make it highly resistant to scratches. Interestingly all the screws along with chronograph pushers and the crown at 3 have been painted in yellow gold following the overall color scheme of the watch. As expected the watch is topped with a sapphire crystal upfront giving a clear view of the dial beneath.
The dial on this watch is of skeletonized variety and is similar in layout to the Hublot Big Bang Unicorn Blue Sapphire and Red Sapphire watches released during Baselworld 2017. Skeletonized dials normally tend to suffer from legibility issues, which to an extent is the case with this watch as well. Having said that, the Gold and green color scheme does act as a saving grace, making it a little easier to read the time. The chronograph arrangement on this watch comprises of a running seconds counter at 9 and a larger 60 min counter at 3. Both the sub dials have been rendered well with some nice touches such as Usain Bolt’s Silhouette with this victory sign on the counter at 9 and the cutout for the date at 3. The hour indices on this watch are a mixture of applied indices and Arabic numerals which seem to sit nicely between the outer chapter ring comprising of the minutes and an open date wheel beneath giving the watch a sense of depth and some visual dynamism.
This watch is powered by Hublot’s Caliber HUB1242 which is an in-house column wheel based Self-winding chronograph fly back movement. When you are operating a normal chronograph, you would first need to stop the chronograph before resetting it, which isn’t the case in a flyback. The flyback mechanism allows one to reset the chronograph without having to stop it. Cool isn’t it? The movement operates at a frequency of 4 Hz offering a power reserve of 72 hours. The movement can be viewed partially from the front courtesy of the skeletonization and can also be seen through the Sapphire crystal exhibition case back.
The Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire Usain Bolt for Only Watch is a truly collectible watch for fans of Usain Bolt and as only one would ever be produced, the Only Watch 2017 auction is the only way to get your hands on one. The watch would come fitted on a transparent rubber strap, along with an additional yellow gold calf strap with the flag of Jamaica. As an icing on the cake, the proud owner of this watch would not only get an authentic jersey signed by Usain Bolt and not only that, he/she would also get the opportunity to meet the legend in person. The watch is estimated to be sold between 50000 – 80000 CHF.