October 1, 2015
by Rob Nudds
Everybody likes to receive a nice present to mark a special occasion. For my birthday, I got a new razor. For the 10th birthday of the Hublot Big Bang, the Nyon-based manufacture is giving you, the paying public, a little gift in the form of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Haute Joaillerie Collection. If you happen to have $1,000,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you are cordially invited to purchase one of Hublot’s ten anniversary creations, marking the release of the most significant watch the brand has ever produced.
Love it or hate it (and there are few models that have so many passionate critics in each camp), the Hublot Big Bang is a staple in the watch world. So iconic is its shape, Hublot felt comfortable using it as a canvas for their latest madcap notions. New materials, new designs, new adornments… They all find their way onto the Hublot Big Bang. And this time, Hublot have pulled out all the stops to catch your attention. Or, if the wearer of one of these unique pieces is standing in direct sunlight, blind you.
Yes, these ten new watches in the Hublot Big Bang UNICO Haute Joaillerie Collection are all covered in white diamonds, black diamonds, rubies, sapphires, maybe even an emerald or two. Each one is unique. And each one costs exactly one million bucks. Okay, it’s crazy money, but these watches are crazy beautiful! At least I think so, but I think I have a serious weakness when it comes to Hublot and to shiny things. I’m pretty sure any of these watches would look ridiculous on my wrist, but maybe that’s the point? You don’t wear a Hublot if you’re a shrinking violet – these are statement pieces in the brashest sense. And yet, I still find them (most of them, at least) unerringly elegant.
There are plenty of diamond-encrusted watches out there, and the majority are meretricious monstrosities. To be honest, the bulk of Hublot’s bejeweled output could arguably sit beneath that description quite comfortably. But I think these pieces have a bit more balance. It’s hard to claim they are in any way restrained when there is barely anything but diamond visible on the wrist, but there is a satisfying uniformity to the layout of the gem settings that I really like. The layout is identical on nine of the ten watches, which binds them as a collection despite each piece being a stand-alone one-off. One piece, however, has a totally different setting pattern. It’s encrusted with just white diamonds, making it one of three monochromatic pieces in the range, and one of the two that use white diamonds instead of black.
Technically speaking, the watches are all identical. They are powered by the Hublot HUB 1242 UNICO movement developed and manufactured in-house by Hublot. It is a self-winding flyback chronograph with column wheel and double clutch, both visible on the dial side. There is a date window at 3 o’clock, revealing a disappointingly tradition date disc (as opposed to the cool, skeletonized date discs Hublot often use). The watches are all 45mm wide and boast a 72 hour power reserve and a water resistance of 30 meters.
For example, the black diamond watch features 558 baguette-cut stones, totaling approximately 36.24 carats. The dial itself features 62 black diamonds with a combined weight of 1.82 carats. These watches even feature Hublot’s new strap release system, and boast the fanciest strap release button you have ever seen (it’s the big, color-coded gem in the middle of the lugs). Even the deployment buckle is made of white gold with a black chrome coating, and is set with 33 black baguette diamonds, totaling approximately 3.70 carats If you’d like to own a member of the Hublot Big Bang UNICO Haute Joaillerie Collection, you should contact Hublot directly. With a price of $1,000,000 each, these watches will no doubt be heading to a very nice home indeed! hublot.com