HANDS-ON: The Hublot Big Bang Unico Summer Purple embodies the best of the brand HANDS-ON: The Hublot Big Bang Unico Summer Purple embodies the best of the brand

HANDS-ON: The Hublot Big Bang Unico Summer Purple embodies the best of the brand

Zach Blass

Newton’s third law: every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When a brand, in any industry, gets super popular, it can become fashionable to try and tear it down. The power of the Hublot brand is massive, and if it is not their bold material innovation that drew you into their timepieces, then their major partnership with soccer – sorry, football – has made them a household name. Sure their watches aren’t for everyone. But if a brand’s catalogue garners unanimous praise, in all likelihood they play it safe.  And one thing Hublot cannot be accused of is being boring. With their mastery of materials, Hublot is an industry leader in case construction and colour variation. And, you know they have exciting products when a watch like the Big Bang Unico Essential Grey is considered a conservative offering. The Hublot Big Bang Unico Summer Purple, on the other hand, embodies the best of the brand, and is distinctly Hublot from a mile away.



The case

Steel, gold, titanium, platinum, carbon, ceramic… After playing catch up with Hublot, many brands now offer watches cased in these various materials. Few, however, have explored aluminium (outside of bezel inserts at least). The Hublot Big Bang Unico Summer Purple follows the same dimensional format as its collection colleagues, its 100m water-resistant case clocking in at 42mm in diameter, 14.5mm thick, and 52mm lug-to-lug across the wrist. But, it stands out with a fully satinated case made of lightweight and scratch-resistant aluminum – a material rarely utilised for cases in watchmaking. The usage of aluminium results in a distinct shade of purple, what I would almost describe as lavender-adjacent. Its fully brushed finish also dictates how the purple translates to the eye. Brushed surfaces do not go dark under light, instead they brighten. Like light hitting a sunburst dial, the finish acts as a gleaming (not glistening) highway for the light to follow the vertical lines from lug to lug. This introduces a dynamic flair to the hue, where it never goes black on the wrist but ever so darker and brighter depending on the angle.

The dial

As you likely expected, once again we have an openworked dial – this time around with case-matching purple accents – that provides a window into the front of the HUB 1280 calibre beneath it. Via connected rings, the applied indices, numerals, and the registers of the chronograph float above the movement beneath, with matte purple framing to the metal filled with white SuperLuminova®. At the centre you will find the central hours, minutes and running chronograph seconds hands. At 9’ you have the running seconds register, and at 3’ you have a 60-minute elapsed minutes register that also houses an aperture for the date complication. You can see the full calendar disc beneath the main dial, but as the disc rotates into position the lighter grey numerals find themselves on top of an off-white backdrop beneath the date aperture.

The straps

With the super easy to use One Click, by simply depressing a trigger with your finger you are able to swap between a velcro-fastened fabric strap with purple aluminium fastener and a textured purple rubber strap with a titanium deployment clasp. Considering the blood nature of the purple hue, I doubt leather would have provided the colour-match or befitting character of this youthful purple expression the Big Bang Unico Summer Purple.

The movement

Beneath an exhibition caseback, you can see the clean and industriously decorated HUB 1280. It is a flyback column wheel chronograph calibre that offers a a full three days, or 72 hours, of power reserve. Due to the future-forward nature of the brand, you will not find traditional decorations like Côtes de Genève or perlage. Instead, the calibre carries a clean matte finish that is both industrious and handsome.

The verdict

Is purple a colour I think everyone can pull off? Not particularly. But, as an online boutique exclusive of 200 pieces, there are definitely more bold characters who would love to strap the Hublot Big Bang Unico Summer Purple to their wrist than the actual number available. There are many common threads between different watch manufacturers and their designs, but the Summer Purple continues Hublot’s audacious tradition of bold design and colour with a watch that will immediately make you think of Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, and the legend that is Prince.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Summer Purple pricing and availability:

The Hublot Big Bang Unico Summer Purple is available exclusively through Hublot’s online store, limited to only 200 individually numbered pieces. Price: US$22,000

Brand Hublot
Model Big Bang Unico Summer Purple Limited Edition
Case Diameter 42mm (D) x 14.5mm (T) x 52mm (L2L)
Case Material Satin-finished purple aluminium
Water Resistance 100m
Dial Openworked, purple
Crystal(s) Sapphire crystal and caseback
Strap Purple velcro fabric and rubber straps
Movement HUB 1280
Power Reserve 72 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, date, flyback chronograph
Availability Now, limited to 200 pcs.
Price US$22,000