The Hublot Big Bang Unico Chrono Bi-Retrograde
Most of you may not yet be aware of the fact that Hublot will be the official timekeeper for the upcoming World Football Championships that will take place in Brasil this summer. I may be wrong but I do believe this is their first time ever, as Hublot is such a young brand that it cannot boast of a longstanding tradition in sports timing and is perhaps taking over from its sister company of the LVMH Group, TAG Heuer.
This event is so crucial and planetary, that Hublot has already started its ad campaign and entered into a close partnership with legendary Brazilian football player Pelè. However, Hublot will not just be acting as timekeeper for the event, as the company has already unveiled a special, new and innovative limited edition timepiece, a true first for the brand and for the entire world of horology. They have not just made an aesthetic renewal of their timepieces, as has sometimes occurred in the past, or made a technical upgrade to an existing timepiece of their collection. They have actually developed a very special concept and added a technical feature we all hope will become an essential part of their upcoming collections.
The Hublot Big Bang Unico Chrono BI-Retrograde will surely be eagerly awaited by (wealthy) football fans or found wrapped around international referees’ wrists as the instrument to time any football match. By using the Big Bang case as its mainstream, Hublot has fully reworked its Unico manufacture movement, the flagship of the brand, and come up with a bi-retrograde movement that clearly draws inspiration from the world of football.
The Hublot Big Bang Unico Chrono BI-Retrograde displays on its dial, along a 45 degrees graduated scale, a double retrograde seconds' and minutes' visualization which has a red 45' tick on the seconds scale to mark when 45 minutes are over (the duration of a half), leaving room also for any 15 minute overtime periods when the regular 90 minutes are over. If you are not familiar with this horological complication, you should know that seconds and minutes, respectively, jump back instantaneously when 60 seconds or 60 minutes have elapsed.
The yellow push button placed at 2 o' clock activates the start-stop functions and is also used to indicate which half of the match is being played at the moment simply by looking at the number displayed in a small window placed at 12. Making a bi-retrograde movement, and with this lay-out, is no easy task and it’s no accident that this achievement by Hublot is covered by various patent pendings and required a tremendous amount of effort by the R&D technical department, which managed to release it in just 18 months. A period of time needed to perfect the movement itself and the very high energy consumption retrograde device. With what outcome? The Unico movement has turned into the new HUB1260, composed of 385 parts, with a balance wheel that vibrates at 4Hz, for a total power reserve of about 3 days.
But even with such a highly technical complication, that clearly stands out on the dial, the Hublot Big Bang Unico Chrono BI-Retrograde remains a timepiece, which is located at 6 o’clock, with the small seconds counter in the shape of a wheel with three arms at 9 o’clock. The case of the “Soccer Bang” as it has already been widely nicknamed, reminds us, with its colours, of the Hublot Big Bang Ayrton Senna we wrote about last week (HERE); it has a 45,5mm wide case and is being made in two limited edition models: the first made of King Gold, Hublot's proprietary gold alloy, the latter in black ceramic, both sporting a carbon fiber bezel and a transparent sapphire glass on the case back, which gives full view on the Unico bi-retrograde movement and its rotor where the official Brasil 2014 championship logo has been applied.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Hublot; Horbiter®'s proprietary photo shooting)
Gaetano C./Raffaella R. @Horbiter®