Now at the end of 2016, Hublot has just announced an interesting update/addition to a collection of watches which represents the brand’s most important partnership – that with Ferrari. Three new models showcase some cosmetic changes to the Big Bang Ferrari case, pushers, and dial, with a design which Hublot claims is a bit more inspired by the Ferrari automobiles themselves.
Hublot announced their relationship with Ferrari back in 2011, and in 2012 they released the first collection of Hublot Big Bang UNICO Ferrari watches. Later, in 2014, I did a review of one version of the Hublot Big Bang Ferrari watch here. These 2016 Hublot Big Bang UNICO Ferrari watches continue the successful theme, but with a look which clearly further integrates an aesthetic inspired by actual Ferrari car details – a good thing.
Perhaps the most notable new element of the 2016 Hublot Big Bang UNICO Ferrari watch is the thoroughly redesigned and refined dial – which again is mostly sapphire crystal over a skeletonized view of the movement. The 60-minute chronograph subdial, which includes an integrated date indicator is directly inspired by the distinctive tachometer gauge used on many Ferrari instrument panels. This is a cool design which I think any Ferrari fan will appreciate. Hublot further offers new hour markers and hands, and has moved the placement of the Ferrari prancing horse logo to 6 o’clock. The new hands are a fresh look from Hublot, and I’ll wait until I see them in person to make a final judgement. The same goes for the “revolving” style of the hour numerals which are positioned in a circular fashion as opposed to all being oriented the same way. I tend to feel that I prefer the original layout of the hour numerals, but as I said, I’ll wait to see the watch to have final thoughts. In all, the dial certainly has the most automotive feel out of all the Big Bang Ferrari watches to date.
You’ll also notice a new bezel design, which has countersunk notches for the bezel screws. This has a more “engineered” feel than the traditional Hublot Big Bang bezel, and doesn’t look too bad. Traditionalists will probably prefer the existing style at first, but I think the new look has merit, and new things may take a bit of time to appeal to loyal fans of the collection.
My favorite design updates for these 2016 Hublot Big Bang UNICO Ferrari watches are those of the crown and the pushers. The crown maintains its neat twist and lock system from before, but has an updated look. The pushers in the old version were cool, but now are more streamlined and set into the case. They are inspired by pedals from Ferrari car cabins, and are complete with dual red stripes that meet on the crown. While you can’t see it in any of the pictures, the other side of the case now has “Ferrari” emblazoned across the left-side profile of the case.
Overall, case dimensions are unchanged at 45mm wide (water-resistant to 100 meters), and of course the cases retain the useful quick-release buttons for the straps set into the lug structures. You still need to get replacement or alternate straps directly from Hublot as the strap attachment system is proprietary. Inside the watch is the existing and robust in-house made UNICO mechanical movement. The automatic movement has a flyback chronograph (with a column wheel transmission) and operates at 4Hz with 72 hours of power reserve. The pallet fork and escapement are made from silicon. Overall, I’ve been quite happy with this movement when I’ve tested it in the past.
The initial run of these updated Hublot Big Bang Ferrari watches will be represented by three limited-edition versions. First is the reference 402.NX.0123.WR in titanium, which is limited to 1,000 pieces and priced at US$26,200. Next is the reference 402.QU.0113.WR in black carbon (looks to be black ceramic, but I’ll get to see firsthand the type of carbon this is in the future) which is limited to 500 pieces and priced at $28,300. Last is the reference 402.QU.0113.WR in 18k King Gold (basically, red gold) which is limited to 500 pieces and priced at $42,000. hublot.com