For humans, an 18th birthday is often a highly auspicious one, as it represents the point where society considers a person to be an adult, and they gain a number of new privileges and responsibilities. However, when it comes to the milestone anniversaries of products, 18 is a seldom-recognized number, with most brands simply choosing 20 as the next year to warrant a celebration. That said, Hublot is not like most brands, and to celebrate the 18th birthday of the Big Bang, Hublot has released a limited-edition version of the Big Bang Unico chronograph that is crafted from its proprietary and highly scratch-resistant Magic Gold alloy. Additionally, despite the rather bold and flamboyant sound of its name, the overall appearance of the new Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold is surprisingly pared-back (by Hublot standards) due to the dark and smoky appearance of its Magic Gold case.
For those not familiar with Hublot’s Magic Gold alloy, it is a fusion of ceramic and pure gold that results in an incredibly hard structure that is true 18k gold by weight, but rather than being soft like traditional gold alloys, it offers the same highly scratch-resistant properties of ceramic. I’m personally a big fan of Magic Gold, although due to its dark color (a result of the boron carbide ceramic), Magic Gold doesn’t offer the bright and shiny appearance of traditional 18k yellow gold, and the more muted and industrial hue of its surface almost makes the material look like burnished brass. I had the opportunity to see how Hublot produces Magic Gold during a visit to the brand’s production facilities last year, and for those who are curious about how this unique proprietary alloy comes together, you can find the article from my trip to the factory right here.
Aside from the update in materials, the overall case of the new Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold (reference 421.MX.1130.RX) is very much the same as what you get from the rest of the current-production Unico chronograph models, and it measures 44mm in diameter by 14.5mm-thick with the Big Bang’s signature multi-component “sandwich” style construction and 100 meters of water resistance. Sapphire crystals are fitted to both the bezel and the caseback, and on the new Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold, the bezel along with the upper and lower sections of the case are crafted from Magic Gold, while the caseback is made from black ceramic. Rounding out the case materials is black-finished titanium, which is used for the pushers and guards, along with the screws that run through the case and connect the various components together.
Fitted to the integrated lugs of the new Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold is a black rubber strap, which is completed by a signed deployant clasp that is made from black-finished titanium and ceramic. Just like other Big Bang Unico models from the current-production series, the two ends of the strap connect to the case with the brand’s One Click system, which allows the strap to be disconnected with the press of a button to allow for easy and tool-free strap changes. Although the case and bezel are both crafted from Magic Gold, the prominent use of black for the various accents on the watch and its strap help to compliment the dark and smoky tones of the metal, while simultaneously providing the new Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold with a slightly more restrained overall appearance.
Much like the case, the dial fitted to the new Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold is essentially a black and gold version of what you will find on similar models from the current-production Unico chronograph series. Featuring a largely skeletonized design with a two-register layout, the running seconds are displayed by a sub-dial at 9 o’clock, while a date display is set within a 60-minute counter that sits on the opposite side of the dial at the 3 o’clock location. Matte black is used for the chapter ring and the background of the minutes totalizer, while the hands, hour markers, and sub-dials all appear in either sand-blasted or satin-finished 3N gold with matte black accents to match the case.
Functionally identical to other Big Bang Unico chronographs, the new Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold is powered by the same self-winding Caliber HUB1280 Unico 2 flyback chronograph movement that can be found inside other models from the current-production series. Running at a frequency of 28,800 (4 Hz) and offering users a power reserve of 72 hours, the 43-jewel Hublot Cal. HUB1280 Unico 2 is a 354-component column wheel-controlled flyback chronograph that places its column wheel on the dial side of its structure to allow users to view its operation through the skeletonized surface that forms the face of the watch. In addition to being fitted with a black-finished skeletonized rotor, the version of the HUB1280 fitted to the new Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold also features black-finished plates and bridges to better compliment its black and gold color profile.
Despite being produced as a limited edition of 200 pieces and being made from the brand’s proprietary scratch-resistant gold alloy, the new Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold isn’t actually any more expensive than similar models that are made from traditional types of gold. Since Magic Gold is still 18k gold by weight, Hublot does not charge more for its Magic Gold watches compared to otherwise identical 18k gold models, regardless of the fact that the material offers superior scratch resistance and requires a more involved production process. Additionally, with an official retail price of $38,800 USD, the new Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold ref. 421.MX.1130.RX is actually slightly less expensive than even its smaller 42mm siblings in yellow gold or King Gold, simply due to the fact that its pushers are made from black-finished titanium, rather than also being crafted from gold to match the case. While Magic Gold might not be the best material for the person who wants the classic bright and shiny experience, the new Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold offers a dark and muted take on the large gold statement watch. For more information on the Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold, please visit the brand’s website.