Watches: Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on April 24, 2015

As everybody knows Hublot is renowned for the “Art of Fusion”, a principle they apply not only to the creation of their timepieces but also to their marketing approach: the brand has indeed developed very unusual partnerships over the years. They do not restrict themselves to the safe worlds of sports and celebrities but draw their inspiration from more unusual pairings.

Indeed, in recent years, they have teamed up with such unlikely partners as high-tech ski manufacturer Zai or cigar specialist Arturo Fuente and last November, they even announced a new partnership with eyewear brand Italia Independent.

During Baselworld 2015, the Nyon-based manufacture unveiled the first two limited edition models inspired by this collaboration. Suffice it to say, these timepieces are as bold and trendy as the sunglasses their Italian partner is creating!

For the occasion the brand’s hottest model, “Big Bang Unico”, received a special makeover as it features a blue or grey Texalium case and bezel. We are now all used to the characteristic appearance of carbon fibre, a material that Hublot like many other brands uses extensively in their collections. Although the material presents many interesting properties (including its characteristic look), real carbon fibre usually only comes in the standard black/grey weave and Hublot was looking for more colour versatility.

They have found it with Texalium, a fiberglass-based fabric that has a proprietary finish and a thin coating of aluminium on the surface. Looking quite similar to carbon fibre it offers the possibility of colour. Surprisingly, apart from some early use on the dial of a few Pierre Kunz models, this material did not enjoy the same widespread success as carbon fibre in Fine Watchmaking so far.

It has a little electric shine that can make it over-the-top when presented in a vivid colour like blue or red but it definitely makes a statement! Particularly so when it is paired with the equally flashy denim strap with countersunk studs in titanium as on the “Big Bang Unico Italia Independent” models! Luckily, these watches are equipped with the “one click” system allowing the owner to change the strap easily and opt for a more all-purpose black rubber for instance.

The little discretion that the matt black skeleton movement and black Super-LumiNova brings to the Big Bang Unico Italia Independent Grey Texalium is entirely lost on the Big Bang Unico Italia Independent Blue Texalium featuring an anthracite grey varnish movement with vivid blue luminescent material. This is obviously not a watch for an everyday wear but it could be nice for a night out if you have decided to show-off.

Despite all the craziness, the “Big Bang Unico Italia Independent” models remain fine pieces of watchmaking: they house the HUB 1242 Unico movement. This self-winding chronograph with flyback function is entirely developed and manufactured in-house by Hublot. In addition to its reliability, it offers an interesting construction with the column-wheel and double clutch visible from the dial side.

If you are unsure whether you want one or not, my advice is take your time: with 500 units of each version, the Big Bang Unico Italia Independent Blue and Grey Texalium won’t be sold out any time soon…

For more information please visit the Hublot web site.