When we talk about Hublot, we tend to imagine ruggedly stylish chronographs, avant-garde materials, eye-catching color combinations, and sporty design influences from football to racing cars. Rarely do we consider the classic dual time function, which is a shame, because Hublot’s Big Bang Unico GMT models – launched in 2017 in titanium and carbon case versions, and this year joined by a King Gold and ceramic version – represent a uniquely masculine, easy-to-read and user-friendly interpretation of this classic ‘practical’ complication. Let’s see more detail here.
Even without the flagship chronograph model’s busy, the watch is immediately recognizable as a Big Bang, sporting an unapologetically large 45-mm case, constructed of carbon fiber, a material long connected with Hublot and its “art of fusion” design ethos. The material makes the thick case rather sturdy and yet pleasantly lightweight.
Large, bold, eminently legible, and equipped with Super-LumiNova, these numerals alternate with thick bar indices for the major time display i.e., the current time in one’s location away from home, which is displayed by thick, partly skeletonized and luminous-filled pentagon-shaped hands.
Following a very intuitive design code, the button at the 2 o’clock position moves the hands forward one hour, while the button at the 4 o’clock position moves the hands backward one hour. In a matter of moments, the luminescent GMT hand at the triangular tip will continue to point to the home time on the 12-hour bezel, while the main hour and minute hands will be set to local time. Best of all, for jet-lagged wearers who may not want to do the math required for a more standard 24-hour GMT chronograph, the day/night indicator on the dial will show at a glance whether your home time is in the morning or afternoon. To make it less likely to be misunderstood, it’s also labeled as such – the disc moves with the hands, allowing people to quickly refer to the “day or night” home time.
Like many modern Hublot replica watches, the lugs, also made of carbon fiber, are tightly integrated into a structured rubber strap, which is dark blue and grooved like a racing tire. Both the lugs and the strap feature Hublot’s “one-touch” easy-change design, which allows the strap to be changed at the push of a button – but the midnight blue strap that this watch comes with is so perfect that I’m not sure why anyone would feel the need to change it; perhaps a black rubber or dark grey version would work, but even that would make the blue element of the dial look a little isolated.