Hublot Big Bang Unico All Black

Angus Davies reviews the Hublot Big Bang Unico All Black, a flyback chronograph featuring the brand’s own in-house UNICO movement.

This detailed review of the Hublot Big Bang Unico All Black includes live images and specification details.

Hublot Big Bang Unico “All Black” - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Few colours are so interwoven with symbolism as black. The hue can seem sinister like a dark lane, threatening and harnessing latent dangers waiting to pounce. The shade is inextricably linked with death, exampled by the undertaker’s sobre attire. Secretive and stealth-like it chooses to be discreet, hidden from view.

Conversely, I am drawn to some of the beguiling associations with this darkest of tinctures. It is sensual, exotic, mysterious and sexy. It flirts and seduces with sinuous lines, outlined in silhouette beneath the nocturnal sky.

Indeed, “sexy” is a term that readily comes to mind as I caress this latest model from Hublot, the Hublot Big Bang Unico All Black. The soubriquet may be long, but appeal is immense.

Big, bold and beautiful

The Hublot Big Bang Unico All Black is big, bold and beautiful. It exhibits a powerful mien courtesy of its substantial 45.5 mm diameter. The black ceramic case has a muted air, absent of gloss or brilliant sheen, it tempers the tone of this behemoth watch.

Hublot Big Bang Unico “All Black” - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Nevertheless, look beyond the proportions and you will be rewarded with doses of subtle detail. The bezel is adorned with the now iconic six H-shaped screws, but with the head of each screw set in relief.

The screw-down crown combines black rubber and PVD titanium, featuring the brand’s “H” logo on its vertical plane. It is one of many examples of the fusion of materials which proffers bountiful tactile delights.

Hublot Big Bang Unico “All Black” - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Round push-pieces feature at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock and represent a departure from the trapezoidal shaped items we have grown accustomed to seeing on previous Big Bang models.

Open expression

Whilst the black hue of the watch evokes thoughts of a secretive soul, the dial openly reveals its inner thoughts.

Hublot Big Bang Unico “All Black” - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The Hublot Big Bang Unico All Black discloses many elements often hidden from view beneath a conventional dial. The result is a vista, populated with details which sate the inquisitive mind.

Hours and minutes are imparted with bold black, open-worked hands that reveal detail beneath.

Large, black Indexes and Arabic numerals collaborate with the hands to impart time. They appear to float above the horological landscape beneath, cleverly playing with depth. Indeed, it is the manipulation of depth and volumes which confers ease of read-off, despite the monochrome palette used.

The central chronograph seconds hand features an “H” logo near its fulcrum providing a stylish counterweight.

At 3 o’clock a 30-minute chronograph register resides. To its right, an aperture reveals the date. The wearer is aware of the date disc which encircles the dial, as it frequently bears its torso as it moves anti-clockwise. A black polished ring encircles the subdial, aiding interpretation and drawing the eye to the information shown. Located opposite, at 9 o’clock, a smaller subdial is used to impart the small seconds. It resembles the cross hairs of a rifle scope, causing the pupil to focus on the silver coloured wheel below. This horological exhibitionism is wonderful to behold and appeals to my penchant for movement voyeurism.

UNICO movement

However, beside the dazzling array of wheels openly shown, the most tantalising spectacle is the sight of the column-wheel positioned at 6 o’clock. The view of six brilliantly gleaming pillars adorning the column-wheel is a delightful vision which provides a notable tell that this is a “proper” chronograph. Nothing can surpass the wonder of a column-wheel chronograph, it is the finest expression of the stop-watch complication and affirms that, despite the efforts expended on the exterior, much merit is also housed within the case of this Hublot model.

Hublot Big Bang Unico “All Black” - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

The Hublot Big Bang Unico All Black is a flyback chronograph, ideally suited to timing consecutive events. Unlike the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang recently reviewed on ESCAPEMENT, this model features a 4 Hz movement and is solely the work of Hublot. The Manufacture movement, the UNICO, contains 330 components and includes some interesting, cutting-edge details.

The pallet fork and escapement wheel are made of silicon. Silicon, or silicium as it is sometimes called, is a glass-like substance that is non-magnetic, not subject to corrosion, light and exhibits low friction. All qualities ideal in watchmaking.

An exhibition caseback reveals more of the inner psyche of the model with an open-worked oscillating mass, treated in a “pearly black” and affords a near unhindered view of the balance wheel turning to and fro. The bridges ooze modernity, being delivered in a muted black.

Closing remarks

Hublot has not lost the essence of the former Big Bang models, but, in my opinion, has created one of the most interesting iterations of its famous watch. Prerequisite Big Bang details such as the user-friendly detachable strap system have been retained. However, new design elements like the round push pieces and introverted H-shaped screws adorning the bezel enhance the ownership proposition.

The UNICO movement, whilst modern in appearance and featuring state of the art know-how, harnesses a column-wheel chronograph, a complication admired for generations, that grants a pleasing action to the push-pieces.

Hublot Big Bang Unico “All Black” - watch review by ESCAPEMENT

Indeed, this brings me back to a key element of the Hublot Big Bang Unico All Black, it exploits tactility with various details which feel appealing to touch. Moreover, the flirtatious baring of some of its inner components is very seductive. This is a watch oozing sex appeal, clad in its tempting black attire, its bewitching form proves a very tempting proposition.

Technical Specification

  • Model: Hublot Big Bang Unico “All Black”
  • Reference: 411.CI.1110.RX
  • Case: Black ceramic; diameter 45.5 mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; flyback chronograph.
  • Movement: HUB 1242, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); 38 jewels; power reserve 72 hours; 330 parts.
  • Strap: Black Structured lined rubber presented on a black PVD titanium and black ceramic deployant.

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