Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold
The prospect of a blemish-free appearance led Angus Davies to place the Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold upon his wrist. This watch is a new model for 2015 and incorporates a bezel made of the innovative brand’s Magic Gold.
This detailed review of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold includes live images and specification details.
Looking back at my youth, I recall my late father’s fastidious behaviour. In order to preserve the factory fresh appearance of the floor mats within his car, he would place an additional set on top. The seats would always be protected with aftermarket covers. I can even remember one car where the retailer had failed to remove the protective polythene from the sun visors, prior to delivery. As a result, my father left the clear film in position for the three years he owned the vehicle.
This degree of persnicketiness is clearly genetic as I demonstrate similar obsessive traits. I appreciate the beauty of many vintage watches, but scratches, dents, discolouration or anything less than perfect condition imbues me with a sense of disquiet. I find it hard to comprehend the idea of owning a watch with a badly marked glass or faded bezel. The notion of “delightful patination” is abhorrent to me, although there are clearly many watch collectors who do not share my opinion.
Personally, I adore the warmth of a gold cased watch and experience a pang of sadness when I see scratches marring its soft surface. Therefore, the sound of Magic Gold sounds highly appealing.
Hublot first announced its scratch resistant gold in November 2011. The following year, it released a limited edition model made of the innovative gold material, the Big Bang Ferrari. The watch brand, which is synonymous with fusing different materials together, has recently released a new version of the Big Bang Unico featuring a bezel made of Magic Gold.
Magic Gold Bezel
In 2014, I visited Hublot’s Manufacture in Nyon and recall visiting the room where Magic Gold is produced. The gold is 18-carat or 75% pure. The remaining 25% is evidently different from the norm, resulting in a much harder version of the precious metal. While ordinary 18-carat gold is rated at 400 Vickers, when tested for hardness, Hublot’s Magic Gold is almost 1000 Vickers.
A boron carbide powder is preformed in a mould to create the shape of the bezel and then hardened at a very high temperature, resulting in a rigid, porous structure. Thereafter, 24 carat gold with 3% molten liquid gold is injected under pressure and high temperature, filling the ceramic pores of the moulded material and leading to the formation of the Magic Gold bezel.
The Magic Gold does not resemble conventional gold in appearance. Indeed, it reminds me a little of brass, exhibiting a muted tone. Nevertheless, it remains highly attractive and the prospect of preserving its scratch free appearance strongly resonates with me.
Last year, I had my first ‘hands-on’ encounter with the Big Bang Unico All Black and succumbed to its many charms. The Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold shares many elements in common with its stealthily clad sibling, including the HUB 1242 calibre.
The Unico chronograph is a fully integrated manufacture movement and an aspect I particularly appreciate is the location of the column wheel. Hublot clearly understands that there are many admirers of watches, myself included, who appreciate seeing the column wheel and coupling interface. Unlike the majority of watches, there is no need to remove the watch from the wrist to see this spectacle via the case back, the column wheel is visible adjacent 6 o’clock.
This watch is also unusual in that it does not have one clutch, but two. Moreover, this is a flyback chronograph, proving ideal when measuring the elapsed time of successive events.
The HUB 1242 oozes modernity with black PVD finish to the movement bridges and oscillating mass.
The appearance of the dial
Where the dial proves particularly interesting, notwithstanding the aforementioned exposed column wheel and movement components, is with its layered construction.
The gilt-plated hour markers, a combination of Arabic numerals and batons, appear to float above the black open-worked date ring. This design detail does not impede interpretation of the time, but confers an abundance of interest to proceedings.
The 60-minute chronograph register, positioned adjacent the crown, is simple to read, courtesy of the repeated use of gilt plating. However, the date display, presented via an aperture on the left surface of the subdial, is less obvious and does prove more challenging to see.
A small seconds display, located at 9 o’clock, is also open-worked. The exposed wheel beneath the display does not adversely inhibit read-off, courtesy of a subtle black grid at its core.
The sparing use of red varnished detail on the inner flange and the tip of the chronograph seconds hand delivers an additional flourish of excitement.
Some brightly coloured Hublot models in the past have not been to my liking, appearing too conspicuous for my own tastes. However, the Swiss brand has continued to expand its collection of models and there are many options within its catalogue which do grab my attention with their innovative use of materials and highly original design.
This Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold is especially handsome and ideally suited for casual attire. Its styling accentuates the mechanical composition of the watch and yet, save for the date, everything remains highly legible.
In some areas of life, the delivery of style comes at the expense of substance. No such allegations could be levelled at the Unico movement which delivers an impressive specification.
Ultimately, all roads lead to the reason why I placed this watch upon my wrist in the first place, namely the Magic Gold bezel. The bezel does not resemble conventional gold but is highly attractive, contrasting well with the black elements employed on the case. Moreover, the concept of scratch-free ownership sounds very appealing, especially to those individuals, such as myself, who seek an everlasting factory-fresh appearance to their timepiece.
- Model: Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold
- Reference: 411.CM.1138.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.