In a preview of what it has in store for Baselworld 2016, Hublot has revealed its first ever chronograph in sapphire crystal. The Big Bang Unico Sapphire is an almost completely transparent watch, with most of the case machined from clear sapphire crystal, with a few components in titanium and clear resin.
Sapphire crystal as used in watchmaking is synthetic, being grown in a laboratory, but has the same properties as natural sapphire. Consequently it is nearly as hard as diamond, rendering the Big Bang Unico Sapphire almost scratch-proof, though fragile as sapphire is prone to chip or crack upon impact.
The Big Bang Unico Sapphire follows in the footsteps of watches from Richard Mille and the very first of them all, the now defunct Alain Silberstein, to feature a transparent sapphire crystal case.
While the bezel, case middle and back are made of clear sapphire, the screws, crown, pushers and other metal parts in the case are made of titanium. The bezel insert that sits between the bezel and case middle, as well as the dial and hands, are made of clear resin. Even the strap is a translucent silicone.
The HUB 1242 Unico movement can be seen from both front and back, with the column wheel for the chronograph visible at six o’clock on the dial. The Unico is Hublot’s workhorse in-house movement that is the base for several complications, including the chronograph found here.
The case diameter is 45 mm, identical to the standard Big Bang, and it is rated to 50 m. The Big Bang Unico Sapphire is a limited edition of 500 pieces. The price is US$57,900 or €57,100.Back to top.