Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent Green Camo

The Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent Green Camo artistically fuses several enchanting shades to glorious effect, causing Angus Davies to think of golden fields and verdant valleys.

This detailed watch review of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent Green Camo includes live images and specification details.

Hublot_Big_Bang_Unico_Italia_Independent_Green_Camo_wrist1 - ESCAPEMENT magazine - watch reviews by Angus Davies

Many members of the general public will state the purpose of a wristwatch is purely to indicate the time. I concede that for large swathes of the population, this is the sole reason for acquiring a watch. Moreover, I also note the tendency for the youth of today to determine the prevailing hour by looking at a mobile phone screen. However, for many admirers of fine watchmaking, myself included, there are other reasons for purchasing a mechanical wristwatch.

The raison d’être for haute horlogerie is the creation of fine timepieces imbued with exalted craftsmanship and timeless aesthetics. A compendium of complications housed within a slender case stands testament to the creativity of the finest watchmaking’s maisons. Flawless hand finishing of components and artisanal crafts, such as grand feu enamelling, are further persuasive arguments for depleting the children’s inheritance and, post haste, venturing into one of Bond Street’s most prestigious boutiques.

All of the aforementioned reasons resonate with my watch obsessed psyche. Additionally, there is another explanation for my proclivity for timepieces, namely their ability to educe thoughts.

On seeing a timepiece for the first time, I note the technical attributes and the quality of the construction. Thereafter, my mind commences a journey of association and recollections. I consider the symbolism of the horological creation presented. Indeed, I would liken this scenario to the appeal of a piece of art where the beholder is invited to interpret the motivation of the artist and the subtext of the subject depicted. Perhaps the most pertinent aspect of this experience is the inference of the unsaid, the perception of the observer and the personal connotations elicited by the work of art.

When I placed the Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent Green Camo upon my wrist, I was captivated by its unusual appearance. The extraordinary design is the result of the Nyon-based watch brand and Italia Independent, the Italian eye-wear company, joining forces and creatively styling this ticking piece of art.

The Swiss brand describes the very distinctive, green textured case finish as ‘camouflage’ patterned. However, thoughts of verdant valleys and golden fields readily entered the frontal lobe of my brain. Furthermore, the lightish green tones gracing the case and the warm highlights populating the dial engendered cheerful thoughts of the summer sun in my native England.

The dial

The dial of the of Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent Green Camo flirtatiously reveals many of its undergarments, typically hidden from view with prim timepieces. Most notably, the open-worked date disc is enticingly shown, circumnavigating the whole of the dialscape. At 3 o’clock, an aperture in the left flank of the 60-minute chronograph register reveals the current date.

Openworked dial with 60 minute chronograph register

Golden yellow dial detail is harmoniously paired with matt black surfaces. The hour and minute hands are bold, cooperating very effectively with the hour markers to disclose the time. Arabic numerals depict the even hours, except where other dial elements take precedence. The odd-numbered hours are indicated using faceted batons, lined with matt black fill.

Adjacent 9 o’clock, a small running seconds resides. Once again, it employs golden tones with matt black ingredients. The central chronograph second hand features a green, openworked tip and a golden counterweight formed in the shape of the Hublot logo.

A chapter ring, blending green, gold and black hues allows the wearer to easily determine both minutes and elapsed seconds.

The Hublot logo and nomen are positioned below noon and applied to the underside of the sapphire crystal. Similarly, above 6 o’clock, the Italia Independent motif is depicted. Both logos appear to float above the mechanical manoeuvres below, boosting the three-dimensional allure of the dial vista.

Despite the dial area revealing numerous components, it remains simple to read. The three shades employed synergistically cohabit the dial, proving aesthetically attractive without unduly impairing readability. I accept that one plain dial surface could prove even easier to interpret but that would mean sacrificing the splendiferous sight of the date disc, circular grained hour wheel and, most pertinently, the comely column wheel at 6 o’clock.

The case

Hublot’s strapline is ‘The Art of Fusion’ and throughout its history the Swiss watch company has ingeniously combined different materials to spellbinding affect. In this instance, the 45mm case of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent Green Camo pairs green carbon fibre with a curiously named substance, Texalium®.

Hublot_Big_Bang_Unico_Italia_Independent_Green_Camo_case1- ESCAPEMENT magazine - watch reviews by Angus Davies

Texalium® is a fibreglass based fabric, featuring a thin coating of aluminium on its surface, 200 angstroms in depth (0.00002mm). A camouflage pattern is applied to silk and then laid over the Texalium®, permitting the pattern and texture of the latter, cutting-edge material to show through.

Congruent with the Big Bang design language, the bezel is adorned with 6 H-shaped, 18-carat yellow gold screws. The green chino fabric strap is paired with a black coated titanium deployant. This strap can be readily removed by pressing two trapezium shaped push-pieces, positioned adjacent 6 o’clock and noon. Both these push-pieces and neighbouring H-shaped screws are formed of matching 18-carat yellow gold.

An additional black rubber strap is supplied with this timepiece.

exhibition caseback

Hublot’s penchant for mixing cocktails comes to the fore, once again, with the black composite resin bezel lugs and the crown formed of 18-carat yellow gold and black rubber. The 18-carat yellow gold push-pieces for the chronograph look resplendent and exude an air of luxury. Wearers are granted a view of the self-winding movement, courtesy of the exhibition case back.

Despite blending several different materials together, the resultant synthesis proves very attractive.

The movement

I first encountered the HUB 1242 movement in March 2014, beating at 28,800 vph within the eye-catching Hublot Big Bang Unico ‘All Black’. The movement immediately garnered my attention with its specification.

Hublot HUB1242 movement with column-wheel

The chronograph features a flyback function, proving ideal for timing consecutive intervals. The movement contains 38 jewels and the power reserve is approximately 72 hours. A total of 330 parts coalesce within the HUB 1242 movement.

Pressing the chronograph push-pieces rewards the wearer with a smooth, positive action which only a fully integrated chronograph can deliver.

The open-worked oscillating mass exposes silver-toned, circular grained wheels in all their glory. The bridges, rotor and main plate exhibit an anthracite shade, bestowing a sense of modernity.

Closing remarks

The Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent Green Camo fizzes with vitality. In some lights, its case exhibits a beguiling metallic sheen, an aspect which elicited a smile of appreciation from my direction during our period of association.

Beyond the obvious style of this timepiece, there is much functionality and substance to its composition. The dial is highly legible, the push-pieces operate with a silky smooth motion and the open-worked movement is pleasingly executed.

However, it is the appearance of this watch which I feel compelled to return to. Its design not only fuses different materials to agreeable affect, but successfully interweaves the worlds of horology and art. This timepiece is a creative composition that deserves to be appraised and admired. Furthermore, like any artistic masterpiece the Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent Green Camo encourages contemplation and reflection.

Indeed, as I looked at the green and golden tones of this watch, I was transposed to an idealised field, lying on the grass, staring at the sky and thoughtfully chewing a long strand of sun-dried grass. It is the capacity of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent Green Camo to evoke thoughts that distinguishes it as a timepiece fit for exhibition within any prestigious gallery.

Technical Specification

  • Model: Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent Green Camo
  • Reference: 411.YL.1198.NR.ITI16
  • Case: Green carbon fibre and Texalium®; diameter 45mm; 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: Green chino strap presented on a black coated titanium deployant. Additional black rubber strap also provided.
  • Limited Edition: 250 pieces

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