back to top

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch Hands-On

One of our shared goals here is to help bring watch enthusiasts closer to a diverse range of watches. Why? Simply because I am yet to meet a fellow watch-lover who’d be lessened by a broader, more vibrant appreciation of timepieces. Forming that bond through a detailed and honest analysis is sometimes an easy thing to do; and other times, it’s nigh-on impossible. From a quick glance at the Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold, I trust you can tell which end of the spectrum we are experiencing today.

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch Hands-On

First things first. If you dislike or deeply disapprove of bejeweled watches, the Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold will not change your mind — in truth, chances are that it will just fuel your displeasure in them. Strangely, both Ariel and I have a very open-minded approach when it comes to bedazzled watches, so when discussing such a timepiece, we need not convince ourselves about its raison d’être. The Unico Rainbow King Gold is a tough one to crack even for us, and I’ll share why in a moment.

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch Hands-On

A neat compilation of recent rainbow-themed luxury watches. Source: Bloomberg.com

Rainbow-themed ultra-high-end watches are all the rage these days. Just look at that neat image assembled by Bloomberg to get a vague idea of where things stand these days. Rolex has been making the Rolex Daytona Rainbow for ages, but it was not until 2018’s Rainbow Daytona, and its immediately tripled resale value, that really urged brands to take note — and develop an appetite for this long-ignored market segment. Notably, rainbows also make for one of the safest ways of making an eye-catching and ultra-luxurious watch — as was discovered by Rolex back then and is being rediscovered by others, today.

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch Hands-On

In typical Hublot fashion, though, the Nyon-based manufacture went all out on the rainbow theme and applied it to the bezel, the flange ring (!), and the indices, as well as the entire top section of the lug structure. What I think about truly outlandish, jewelry-style luxury watches I have shared in this hands-on with the infamous Richard Mille Bonbon collection — if you are here, reading this for whatever reason, I suggest you take a look at that train of thought, as well.

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch Hands-On

A core component of Hublot is the fusion of materials. As recently as just a few months ago, I was checking the specs of an Hublot model (don’t recall which one) and I was still surprised by the inclusion of a random modern material in some obscure spot on the exterior. They have made 18k-gold scratch resistant (I tested it here), made all kinds of crazy translucent cases, paired rubber straps with luxurious 18k gold cases (the norm today, definitely not the norm when they begun), and the list of Hublot’s more or less logical combinations of materials just goes on and on. This one though? It’s a gold watch with some colorful stones in it. This definitely counts as a “fusion of materials” for conservative brands like Rolex, surely, but a walk in the park by Hublot standards.

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch Hands-On

I am a fan of a lot that Hublot has done under the leadership of Jean-Claude Biver — with their marketing and ultra-high-end exercises, as well as some of the relatively more attainable models. The Hublot that I like, however, wants to be, looks to be, and is made to be a Hublot, not something else. For this reason, I don’t quite like the whiff of “me-too” that lingers around this baguette-rainbow madness or the Spirit of Big Bang, for that matter.

That’s my only gripe with this new piece; but that does not answer what we should make of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch, so here’s why I like it — and why I propose this watch as something that should be celebrated.

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch Hands-On

As I slide this weird Big Bang around my wrist with its color-transitioned, purple-green-blue-red strap, the gazillions of facets on the gazillions of colorful stones create a laughable lightshow even under the dullest, normally terribly unflattering spotlights in the ceiling. It is so ridiculously over-the-top that there is no way anyone in their right mind would ever want to make a case for this as a serious piece of watchmaking.

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch Hands-On

It’s a serious watch that put on a masquerade — like a serious actor that puts on a clown’s make-up and clothes to cheer people up. The Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch is a joke, it’s a laugh. It’s as though the watch (and with it, all of Hublot) were looking at you with its curious Swiss face, asking, “Do you want colors? How about lots of colors?” BANG! “We hope you’re happy now!” I look at this watch and this is what I can hear in my head — I’ll seek assistance, don’t worry — but not with a negative or aggressive tone, but rather an over-the-top-playful tone.

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch Hands-On

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch Hands-On

I mean, placing brilliant-cut stones next to baguette-cut stones is a real challenge to pull off right. It’s like wearing polka dots with stripes. It can be done, but it’s very, very hard, and there’s a very, very high chance that you’ll look ridiculous when you try to mimic those who can do it. Although the photos exaggerate the effect when compared to how this watch appeared to my eyes in reality, even when holding it in one’s hand, there is a strong and immediately apparent dissonance between the sizing and overall effect of these two stones.

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch Hands-On

Hublot has a small, but capable gem-setting department in its manufacture near Geneva, and they have done some truly impressive things before. On this occasion, I have some issues with their work, but said reservations are just of a stylistic kind, not qualitative. Just so you know the level of complexity they can handle, the Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold features 176 colored stones on its case, 48 on its bezel, and 212 on its dial. Altogether, there are 436 stones, rubies, pink sapphires, amethysts, blue sapphires, blue topazes, tsavorites, yellow sapphires and orange sapphires, and that’s Jacob & Co. territory.

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch Hands-On

All those stones make for a lot of eye candy also — and also a lot of ways for things to go wrong. The bezel, with its baguette-cut sapphires, looks proportionate to the case and the watch as a whole, and that’s great. The lugs and the dial components, however, look exceedingly weird, as though these small stones originally belonged to a Michael Kors fashion watch, not a six-figure-priced piece — even though the quality of the settings and the cuts do, of course, belong to the luxury segment.

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch Hands-On

All that noted, criticizing this watch for the disproportionate stones and resulting overall look is like a makeup artist walking up to a clown and criticizing the nuances of his makeup. It’s clearly missing the point, and that’s something I don’t want to do. So, here’s what I will say in closing, instead.

Hands-On: Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch Hands-On

Would I wear the Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold Watch? Hell yeah, I would. It’s a gold watch with tons of baguette-cut sapphires (they are my weakness, my kryptonite) and brilliant-cut colorful stones on them. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t a sucker for these things. If given the choice, would I take this over a base Lange 1? No. Have I lost my mind? Therefore, I think no, I haven’t. But if I could wear this for weeks or months, I totally would, because I know this unafraid, likeable, laughable watch would cheer me up. And I think it would cheer most of my fellow watch-lovers up, too. Even though we will never have a chance to prove this, I very much believe that, if given the chance to wear this exact watch for a week or so, nine out of 10 watch enthusiasts would grow really rather fond of it. They, too, would still take the Lange 1 — but they wouldn’t be as repulsed by this rainbow-themed watch, as they may be now.

Price for the Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold is €90,300 which makes it an expensive piece of bedazzled horological fun. If you are so inclined, you can find yet more fun watches on hublot.com.

Explore

Comments

Disqus Debug thread_id: 7763564985

  • Agnar Sidhu

    If I was a pimp, this Hublot would be my watch!

    I’d be the Big Bang pimp! 🙂

  • Carmen Brisante

    “The point of clowns was that, after watching them, anything else that happened seemed enjoyable.” – Terry Pratchett.

  • Rob Crenshaw

    I agree with all of Mr Bredan’s sentiments about ridiculous watches and just having fun with the sheer absurdity of it all. But not with this watch, it’s beyond awful.

    There are many other over the top bejeweled watches that are worlds more tasteful: the Rainbow Daytona, the new ??? Daytona, the Bulgari Octo Baguette, the Parmiginani in the story picture, the Rolex sapphire GMTs and Subs, the AP RO Rainbow, the list is long.

    Surely if we accept the notion of a colorful bejeweled watch as a given, this does not mean that all such watches are the same purely due to their bejeweling. There must exist a hierarchy, some standards of good geometry and theology. Which this Hublot trounces all over, and stomps into the ground.

    Perhaps we can convince Lange to make a Rainbow Lange Uno, and have the best (worst?) of all possible worlds.

  • Swiss_Cheese

    It somehow doesn’t feel sporting to rip into this one. In an attempt to cut down on the vitriol in keeping with the holiday season I present my praise for this watch:

    It sure is colourful and I’m sure it probably keeps reasonably good time. As for my one constructive criticism, the sapphire numerals and sub dials are a tad bit over the top don’t we think?

    Also, could we put some kind of seizure warning on that group photo shot thanks, cheers.

  • IanE

    Liberace must be turning in his grave – if only, he must be thinking, I could have one of these!

  • Ugo

    i don’t know who was the first who thought that rainbowing gems around a watch is a good idea, but for sure there’s a special place in hell for him.
    right between the inventor of gasoline engine leafblowers and the funny guy who started the trend of biting gold medals when posing for pictures.

    and yes, it stands even if he was from rolex…

    • Esteban

      I think the gold biting started way early as a means to tell gold from fake gold, because gold is soft and biting it would leave marks.

      • Ugo

        yes.
        but, apart from this widely known and mostly movie-connected anecdote, what is still unclear is why everybody feels so compelled to show their dentists performances in pictures while testing qualities of the gold in medals they’ve just received for being spelling champion of their apartment…

      • Carmen Brisante

        Apparently it was to determine whether a coin was gold alloy (harder) or lead with a coating of some kind (softer). If anyone ever actually did it for real …

  • commentator bob

    I will be inspired by Swiss_Cheese and say something nice for the holidays. Sure, this is “inspired” by (knocks-off?) classic AP RO (like every Hublot) and Rolex (the rainbow) designs, but: No Waitlist!

    The reason that rainbow works so well on a Rolex is because of the otherwise ultraconservative design. Here it is just another design feature piled onto a dumpster of design features.

    Question: What are the stones on this thing worth. They are all sapphires or lesser stones. Consider that the typical $1,000 or less mechanical watch has a very large clear/white sapphire and ~25 red sapphires, also known as rubies.

    • SuperStrapper

      We’re you going to get around to saying something nice?

  • Mark Lewis-Jones

    Love it or hate it, the small production of this watch will likely sell out entirely. You don’t have to like it for whatever your reasons may be, the same way that some will love it, for whatever their reasons may be. No watch can be everything to everyone, and this watch makes no apologies for what it is. As they say in Spanish, “Cada mierda tiene su cucarón.” Do not misinterpret the saying, it does not imply that this watch is shit; it says that everyone has their own taste. So whoever acquires one of these, deliriously enjoy it!

  • SuperStrapper

    The hate i can feel brewing behind this one is monumental. I hope there’s a Costco sized butthurt salve available today, Hublot articles hurt fragile feeling on a good day. And ices one? In RAINBOW? I’m sure people are downright insulted it’s allowed to exist without their permission.

  • Le pot d’or sous l’arc-en-ciel pour le lutin en toi

    • BNABOD

      Not St Patrick’s day yet

  • Raymond Wilkie

    If i wore this folks would assume it was fake. But I would wear it. I just need some kind gentleman to wire $100,000 to my paypal account.

  • Independent_George

    I couldn’t wear it, but this is so unabashedly over-the-top, I kinda like it.

  • Berndt Norten

    All I have in my defence is my innocence
    I’ve been Hublotized

  • Robert McKean

    An obscene piece of pretentious garbage.

  • I could definitely see Madagascar’s King Julien wearing one of these.

  • BNABOD

    The perfect carnival watch. Let’s go to Rio ….
    Seriously a big fat NO here and why because it it just ugly to me . Some will find it attractive some will be kidnapped for wearing it , me I am happy to be able to say No just No and move on w my life. Happy holidays …

  • Norman Stansfield
  • Dan Baxter

    Good lord, that is an ugly watch.

  • Dan Baxter

    This is a trend that needs to stop. I don’t get iced watches in general, but this is an abomination.

  • Craig A Clark

    I like the Big Bang watch design, always have, but this (just like any other watch brand plastered in gem stones) looks straight out horrific. There is no redeeming feature to any watch done this way.

    Clever maybe, using very impressive skills, which ultimately results in a crap looking piece. IMO obviously lol

  • Larry Holmack

    Egads!!!!

  • Harley D boy

    yes i’d like to wear it for a laugh too, but what are all the bezel screws facing in different directions for , that would drive me a bit nuts, am i being a bit OCD ???

  • Pete L

    Unless you are Elton John, no.

  • al-nitak

    circus material, devised to mesmerize wild animals…

  • Esteban

    We can all agree that rainbow gem watches take the price in tastelessness. The strap look incredibly cheap.

  • Pedro Lambareiro

    Both boutiques of the jeweler Le sentir in Medellin told me that there’s a waiting list of several years for this watch just in that city alone…

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png.