At the start of the spectacular Baselworld 2013, Hublot presented its new Line, specially created to house all future versions of the brand’s in-house UNICO column wheel chronograph movement. The renowned Swiss watchmaker brings together all the best features and design solutions from its previous models, in order to produce aesthetically and functionally powerful base for its signature chrono mechanism. Despite a number of subtle changes, the new Big Bang Unico Chronograph watch stays faithful to Hublot’s recognizable design code.
One may says that the Unico Chronograph represents a contemporary reincarnation of the famous Big Bang model. It preserves a robust case with the diameter of 45.5 mm and the complex “sandwich style” construction, including a nicely satin-finished bezel, fixed by the characteristic, 6 H-shaped screws that now have a new, subtle and more technical design. A crown also presents a new design. It is screw-down with overmoulded rubber and finished with the noticeable H from the Hublot screw. At their usual positions, you can notice two push-buttons with the new, round shape. They are protected by a guard which is integrated in the middle and designed to look like an engine piston. Thanks to the optimized strap attachment (One click) system, the wearers can switch different straps with ease.
The Unico watch comes in four variations: one with titanium case and bezel (411. NX.1170.RX), the second one that combines a titanium case with a black ceramic bezel (411.NM.1170.RX) which is my favorite version; the third one comes in 18 karat king gold (411.OX.1180.RX) and finally, another interesting model with an 18 karat king case and a black ceramic bezel (411.OM.1180.RX). Each of them is available with a great looking structured and ribbed natural rubber strap that shows the new design of the Hublot’s signature rubber strap.
Of course, despite all these beautiful new details, the absolute highlight is the Unico fly-back chrono mechanism, which is completely designed, developed and produced by Hublot. Partially revealed through a skeletonized dial, this self-winding mechanism presents a series of innovative features and simplifications that increase strength and reliability. The position of this movement is unique, which allows dual coupling and a column wheel to be visible on the dial side. Hour counter is driven directly by a barrel, while the chronograph mechanism does not include a jumper. Furthermore, a pallet fork and an escapement wheel which are both made of silicon are fixed to a removable platform. Finally, an oscillating weight comes in a black satin-finished tungsten. This high-end mechanism oscillates at the frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and ensures the superb power-reserve of 72 hours.
The matt black, varnished open-worked dial is covered with anti-reflective sapphire crystal. It features redesigned hour markers and Arabic numerals covered with SuperLuminova. There are two prominent sub-dials: one that counts minutes is located at the 3 o’clock position along with the date window, while the small seconds counter takes the 9 0′clock position. The new Big Bang Unico Chronograph is water-resistant up to 100 meters (330 feet).