Watches: Hublot Big Bang Unico Bi-Retrograde Chrono Kobe “Vino” Bryant

By Thierry Ané on May 6, 2015

More than any other Swiss luxury brand, Hublot always knows how to create beautiful timepieces to honour their numerous ambassadors. What makes these tributes stand out is undoubtedly the Manufacture’s ability to incorporate clever aesthetic and/or mechanical references to the celebrity that agreed to put his or her name on the timekeeper.

To give only two examples here, the model dedicated to Diego Maradona features a 45-minute central chronograph (the duration of a football match period) while the limited edition developed for Usain Bolt uses the same gold-coloured synthetic leather as this famous runner's shoes.

This is the level of attention this well-regarded Manufacture puts into all their partnerships. But for some reason, some of them seem more fruitful than others and a few ambassadors are truly spoiled by the brand as they enjoy more than one stunning model in their honour. This is true for legendary racing driver Ayrton Senna but it is equally the case with basketball sensation Kobe Bryant!

The relationship between this American professional basketball player and the Swiss brand kicked off in 2013 with the amazing King Power Black Mamba in black ceramic that was later introduced in [113819 King Gold] and even in a Pavé alternative. This month, the brand is delighted to unveil the latest model inspired by this respected athlete: the “Big Bang Unico Bi-Retrograde Chrono Kobe ‘Vino’ Bryant” available in black ceramic or in King Gold.

The aficionados of the brand will immediately realise this is a customisation of the Official Watch for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Also presented in black ceramic or in King Gold, this unusual chronograph with double retrograde display was built with football in mind and had to be entirely reworked to time basketball.

Now equipped with the in-house HUB 1261 Unico movement, this exciting timepiece is the first mechanical watch perfectly suited to time basketball. The time of the day is indicated in the sub-dial located at 6 o’clock while the small seconds appear in the counter at the 9 o’clock position. The upper part of the dial is used for the chronograph function with a bi-retrograde display for the seconds and minutes. The latter measures the 48 minutes of the game but can also time the potential overtime.

Both versions feature a great-looking dial with a basketball design in a refined (and quite unusual) burgundy colour in reference to Kobe “Vino” Bryant. This beautiful colour is picked up on the python strap sewn onto black rubber. For some occasions this could be a lot of burgundy though and python is quite fragile. Since the watch is equipped with the brand’s patented “one click” system allowing to change the strap easily, Hublot had the good idea to deliver it with a second strap in black rubber with burgundy stitches.

The “Big Bang Unico Bi-Retrograde Chrono Kobe ‘Vino’ Bryant” is limited to 200 pieces in black ceramic and another 100 units in King Gold. Whether you are a basketball fan or not, this is a great-looking Hublot watch with an unusual colour palette and an equally unconventional chronograph mechanism. If you factor in the relative rarity, you clearly are in the presence of two highly collectible references…

For more information please visit the Hublot web site.