The Big Bang Unico: Hublot's Flagship Collection
The Big Bang Unico embodies the Hublot brand philosophy more than any other collection. Its imposing case holds a modular in-house caliber that can be expanded with GMT or perpetual calendar functions, for example.
Impressive Timepieces With In-House Calibers
Hublot Big Bang Unico timepieces are imposing: Most of their cases are 45 mm in diameter and 15 mm thick. In spring 2018, the manufacturer added a slightly less intimidating 42-mm model to the Unico collection. One of the Unico's greatest strengths is its distinctive design that stands out, even from a distance. The Big Bang's angular, mechanical appearance also breaks with tradition.
The Unico gets its name from its in-house chronograph caliber, which is visible in all models thanks to the use of skeletonized dials. Hublot launched the Unico caliber in 2010, only six years after Jean-Claude Biver took over as the Swiss company's CEO. This movement allows additional modules with various functions to be added, such as a flyback chronograph, a second time zone, or a perpetual calendar.
Hublot offers the Big Bang Unico in a wide range of case materials, including titanium, ceramic, carbon, King Gold (a rose gold alloy), and even sapphire crystal. There's also Magic Gold, an exclusive patented alloy that combines ceramic and 18-karat gold. The result transforms the usually soft and scratch-prone precious metal into a material so hard that only diamond can scratch it.
5 Reasons to Buy a Hublot Big Bang Unico
- A distinctive, highly recognizable sports watch
- Cases made of Magic Gold, titanium, carbon, or sapphire crystal
- Modular in-house Unico chronograph caliber
- Top models with a perpetual calendar, flyback chronograph, or GMT function
- Numerous limited edition models
Prices at a Glance: Hublot Big Bang Unico
|Model/Reference number||Price (approx.)||Diameter, Material|
|Perpetual Calendar Sapphire, 406.JX.0120.RT||93,500 USD||45 mm, sapphire crystal|
|Integral King Gold Pavé, 451.OX.1180.OX.3704||86,500 USD||42 mm, King Gold and diamonds|
|Rainbow King Gold, 411.OX.9910.LR.0999||80,500 USD||45 mm, King Gold with diamonds on the case and bezel|
|Magic Sapphire, 411.JX.1170.RX||45,500 USD||45 mm, sapphire crystal|
|Ferrari King Gold, 402.OX.0138.WR||31,500 USD||45 mm, King Gold|
|Sang Bleu King Gold Pavé, 465.OS.1118.VR.1704.MXM18||31,000 USD||39 mm, King Gold|
|Red Magic, 411.CF.8513.RX||25,000 USD||45 mm, red ceramic|
|Golf, 416.YS.1120.VR||24,000 USD||45 mm, carbon|
|GMT Carbon Blue Ceramic, 471.QL.7127.RX||19,500 USD||45 mm, carbon with a blue ceramic bezel|
|Integral Titanium, 451.NX.1170.NX||18,000 USD||42 mm, titanium|
|White Ceramic, 411.HX.1170.RX||16,000 USD||45 mm, white ceramic|
|Black Magic, 441.CI.1170.RX||15,500 USD||42 mm, black ceramic|
How much does a Big Bang Unico cost?
Prices for the Big Bang Unico range from about 12,000 USD for a pre-owned titanium chronograph to around 120,000 USD for a brand new, diamond-encrusted King Gold model. The Big Bang Unico Integral Pavé ref. 451.OX.1180.OX.3704 is one of the collection's more opulent gold watches with over 840 diamonds adorning its case and bracelet. Its case is a moderate 42 mm in diameter, making it a fantastic option for both men and women. The in-house HUB1280 caliber powers this timepiece and comes with a flyback chronograph module. You can view this ornately skeletonized movement through the equally intricately skeletonized dial. Also known as the "Unico 2," this caliber follows in the footsteps of the manufacturer's first in-house movement from 2010. The Unico 2 measures 6.75 mm thick, making it 1.25 mm thinner than its predecessor.
Those with more modest tastes may prefer the Big Bang Unico ref. 411.NX.1170.RX. This 45-mm timepiece has a titanium case and comes on a rubber strap. Both its dial and movement are skeletonized. The movement, the HUB1242, belongs to the first generation of Unico calibers and features a flyback function and 72-hour power reserve. You can purchase this model for roughly 12,000 USD used and 15,500 USD new.
The Big Bang Unico Sapphire ref. 411.JX.4802.RT occupies the middle of the Unico price range. Its 45-mm case is made of polished synthetic sapphire, an extremely hard material that makes worries about scratches a thing of the past. Like the Unico Titanium, this watch gets its power from the HUB1242. Depending on its condition, be sure to have between 38,000 and 47,500 USD on hand for a Unico Sapphire.
The 45-mm Big Bang Unico
The Big Bang Unico 45 is the collection's most iconic model. The series contains everything from simple titanium watches on rubber straps and colorful ceramic editions to more extravagant timepieces like the Unico Rainbow in King Gold. Hublot has decorated the Unico Rainbow with more than 220 colorful precious stones, including 176 gems on the case and a further 48 on the bezel. The watch sparkles with rubies, amethysts, blue topaz, tsavorite, and pink, blue, orange, and yellow sapphires. A strap made of multicolored alligator leather and black rubber perfectly complements the array of gemstones. Inside the case, you'll find the Hublot caliber HUB1242. You can call a mint-condition Unico Rainbow your own for around 81,000 USD.
If you would like a colorful watch but want to save some cash, you should consider one of the ceramic editions. For example, the Unico Blue Magic in blue ceramic demands as little as 17,000 USD new. The White Ceramic model costs about 1,200 USD less. The Red Magic in red ceramic is the most expensive of these models, with never-worn pieces selling for approximately 24,500 USD. One of the Unico collection's most popular ceramic watches is the Black Magic, named after its black ceramic case. At 15,500 USD, it also happens to be the least expensive version.
In summer 2020, Hublot announced the Big Bang Unico Sky Blue, a light blue ceramic timepiece. Its white textile strap is reminiscent of clouds against a pale blue sky. Like the other ceramic models, the final watch is water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft). Limited to a run of 100 pieces, the Unico Sky Blue has an official list price of 21,500 USD.
The Unico 45 series also offers options for fans of gold watches. Hublot crafts several models out of their proprietary King Gold alloy. The version with a black rubber strap and King Gold bezel bears the reference number 411.OX.1180.RX and costs around 32,000 USD new. You can save about 7,300 USD by purchasing a pre-owned timepiece. There's also a model with a black ceramic bezel (ref. 411.OM.1180.RX), which demands between 24,000 and 30,000 USD, depending on its condition.
Features of the Big Bang Unico 45
- 45 mm diameter
- Titanium, ceramic, sapphire, and King Gold cases
- The Big Bang Unico Rainbow with more than 220 gemstones
- Ceramic models in black, white, blue, or red
- Big Bang Sky Blue: limited run of 100 pieces
Since 2018: The 42-mm Big Bang Unico
Hublot introduced the 42-mm Big Bang Unico at Baselworld 2018. Not only is its case 3 mm smaller than that of the Big Bang Unico 45, but it is also slightly flatter and, thus, a great choice for all wrist sizes. The announcement of this more modestly-sized model coincided with the debut of Hublot's new and improved in-house caliber, the Unico 2. Like its predecessor, this movement has a 72-hour power reserve.
Like its larger sister model, the Big Bang Unico 42 is available in a wide variety of designs and materials, including titanium, ceramic, gold, and sapphire. The Big Bang Unico Yellow Sapphire is an especially eye-catching example. Hublot has limited its production run to only 100 pieces. It pairs a yellow sapphire case with a yellow rubber strap. Plan to spend around 85,000 USD on this show-stopping timepiece.
The Titanium Blue ref. 441.NX.5179.RX comes with the much more budget-friendly price tag of about 17,000 USD. The Black Magic ceramic edition is even more affordable with prices between 13,000 and 15,500 USD.
Big Bang Unico GMT and Perpetual Calendar
In the Unico GMT, Hublot replaces the chronograph function with a second time zone. The resulting caliber is known as the HUB1251. This movement displays the time in the other time zone using an additional hour hand and a day-night disc. The timepiece retains the two chronograph pushers but repurposes them so that you can easily set the main time display forward or backward in hour increments. As with the chronographs, its dial and movement are both skeletonized.
Hublot produces the Big Bang Unico GMT in titanium, King Gold, and carbon. You can find the carbon edition under the reference number 471.QL.7127.RX. It demands about 20,000 USD in mint condition. The titanium version is slightly more affordable at 17,500 USD, while the King Gold model requires an investment of 31,000 USD.
The Perpetual Calendar is yet another interesting take on the Big Bang Unico. Not only can it function as a stopwatch, but it also comes with a perpetual calendar equipped with a moon phase display. Two small pushers hidden beneath the bezel are used to set the date, while the two large pushers operate the chronograph. A Unico Perpetual Calendar with a titanium case costs about 53,000 USD. There's also a ceramic edition, which sells for around 54,000 USD. Variants in King Gold and Magic Gold come in at 69,000 and 49,500 USD, respectively. Finally, sapphire models are the most expensive at over 92,000 USD.
Big Bang Unico Special Editions
The Big Bang Ferrari Unico also gets its power from a Unico movement. Ferrari's Senior Vice President of Design, Flavio Manzoni, helped Hublot design this stunning timepiece. Defining features include the famous Cavallino Rampante ("prancing horse") logo and a dashboard aesthetic that mimics the look of one of this Italian company's luxurious sports cars. For example, the chronograph's minute counter resembles a Ferrari's rev counter, and the rotor looks like a sports car's wheel rim. Depending on whether you choose a titanium, carbon, or gold model, this Big Bang Unico will set you back between 18,000 and 36,500 USD.
Hublot frequently releases extremely limited editions of the Big Bang Unico. There have been special-edition models for the European Cup, the UEFA Champions League, and the FIFA World Cup. Some teams even have their own models dedicated to them, including FC Bayern München and Chelsea FC. The Unico Depeche Mode, created in collaboration with the eponymous pioneering synth-pop band, is also a coveted collector's item. Hublot has even come up with the Unico Golf for golfers, which can count strokes and holes. These special edition models tend to cost anywhere from 20,500 to 30,500 USD.
The Flexible In-House HUB1242 Caliber
The HUB1242 caliber is at the heart of the Big Bang Unico. Hublot developed the movement over a period of four years. It's comprised of 330 components put together by hand and has a balance frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. It also has a 72-hour power reserve. The movement's modular construction enables the manufacturer to add different complications such as a GMT function, flyback chronograph, or bi-retrograde chronograph.
Hublot equipped the official watch of the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a bi-retrograde chronograph. Appropriately, the manufacturer designed this timepiece specifically for timing the two halves of a soccer match. Its two retrograde displays show the elapsed minutes and seconds, while the center of the dial lets the wearer know which half the game is in. Once the half is over, the chronograph hands return to their initial position and begin timing the next half.
Hublot has been outfitting their 42-mm models with the smaller HUB1280 caliber, also known as the Unico 2, since 2018. The Unico 2 is more than just a scaled-down, slightly more advanced version of the original movement. According to Hublot, they rebuilt the caliber from the ground up to make sure it offers the latest and greatest technology. The final result has 24 more components than the first Unico, bringing the total to 354 individual pieces.
Hublot's Flagship Model: The Big Bang
The Unico truly represents the entire Big Bang collection. It has been Hublot's flagship series since 2005 and has played a significant role in the brand's success. Combining different materials is a central element of Hublot's philosophy. The famous pairing of rubber straps with gold watches, which first put Hublot on the map in 1980, marked the beginning of their "fusion concept." This concept involves combining materials that would otherwise never appear together on a watch. In 1980, rubber and gold were not combined by any other manufacturer. Hublot continues to create new timepieces according to their fusion concept to this day.
The French word "hublot" means "porthole" in English, a direct reference to the company's penchant for porthole-inspired timepieces. The watches are characterized by a distinctive wide bezel with visible, H-shaped screws.