This new Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic City should have been the official GTA VI watchZach Blass
- Hublot present a 35-piece limited edition Big Bang Unico Magic City released in and inspired by Miami.
- The openworked dial has a distinct gradient of pink to blue hues with a palm tree motif on the left counter.
- It comes with two straps – a black rubber strap and a multi-colour vivid pink and blue calf strap inspired by “Tropical Deco”.
Hublot really is a shot of Nespresso within an industry that sometimes plays it too safe and needs to be energised and livened up – for those needing a little help with the reference. You can always count on Hublot to polarise enthusiasts around the world, either welcoming of their innovative playfulness or off-put by the brand’s boldness. Born as pioneers pairing luxury watches with rubber straps, Hublot have never aimed to produce the status quo or try to fit in. Instead, their aim was always to stand out from the pack – leading to a love-hate relationship with enthusiasts where there is little-to-no ambivalent middle ground. On the ground here at Miami Design Week, Hublot, however, have just launched a horological love letter to the city, with their new Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic City. In its black ceramic case, the watch may initially feel subdued, but look to the dial and one of the straps, however, and you will immediately be hit with a blast of colour.
First and foremost, I am thrilled this is a 42mm watch rather than the 45mm size Hublot often stretches to. This makes the black ceramic case far more wearable for a wider spectrum of wrists. Normally, with Hublot Black Magic ceramic pieces, the case is finished largely in a glossy polish. Here, for perhaps a more ready-for-Miami-adventures sensibility, the black ceramic case has been largely given a micro-blasted finish with few accents of mirror polish. Considering the inherent scratch-resistance of ceramic, combined with the blemish-hiding micro-blasting, this watch will look pretty much pristine forever – short of dropping it from quite a height and cracking it. Also, the Big Bang Unico framework caters to the element of daily wear in Miami as it is a 100-metre water-resistant chronograph. You cannot release a Miami-inspired model and not be able to swim with it in a pool or the ocean. Therefore, I am glad this is a Big Bang Unico rather than a 50-metre water-resistant Classic Fusion. The usage of ceramic, while sleek and stealthy, is a strategic move driven by the Miami locale it is inspired by. Ceramic is both light and hypoallergenic, along with being temperature mitigating on the wrist – useful in the warmer Miami climate.
The openworked dial affords a futuristic and industrial aesthetic with much of the movement visible, and technically, the dial is described as “matte black openworked”. Most of the dial real estate has grey and black tones as a result, but the vibrance of the ’80s new-wave-inspired pink to blue gradient applied to the hour indices and chronograph counters overshadows the monochromatic nature of the remainder.
It is such a bold colourway that in its gradient of hues I cannot help thinking of Miami Vice or Grand Theft Auto’s Vice City – timely now considering the trailer for GTA VI, set again in Vice City which is based on Miami, just dropped.
You will notice that the left portion of the dial begins in a bright vivid pink, and towards the centre, purple (a merging of pink and blue). Once you reach the right of the dial, you then arrive at a rather bright turquoise blue. This gradient can also be seen on each of the counters, whether on the palm tree-motif small seconds counter at the 9 o’clock position or on the 60-minute elapsed minutes scale of the counter at the 3 o’clock position, and on the sloped outer minutes track. Embedded within the 3 o’clock counter you will find a legible date complication. I do wish the numerals were coloured, perhaps a roulette of the gradient hues. This, however, is not rational as the openworked nature of the dial means these numerals can be seen all around the dial at all times. So, the grey-white tone is a better blend into the overall dial.
This gradient of hues perfectly extends to the calf leather strap, one of two bundled strap options offered with the Magic City. Like the dial, the front of the strap begins with a vivid pink hue that gradually turns purple in its centre, and blue as you reach the right of the strap. To tone down the overall look, you can utilise Hublot’s one-click interchangeable system to quickly remove it and affix the black rubber strap for a more muted vibe. The rubber strap is also what you will ultimately want on the Big Bang Unico Magic City should you find yourself going for a swim. Multi-coloured leather for a bold look on a night out clubbing, black rubber for some R&R at the beach the morning after. A great combo.
Inside you have the in-house automatic flyback chronograph HUB1280 calibre which offers a weekend-proof 72 hours of power reserve. Befitting of Hublot and their brand aura, the calibre is not given traditional striped or perlage finishes. Instead, the bridges are matte and darkened for a more future-forward look. I would describe the aesthetic as industrial, but it certainly has an elevated look well beyond mass-produced calibres. Sometimes watch enthusiasts, in their tunnel vision, do not think of Hublot as a strong movement manufacture when watches from the Classic Fusion line use Sellita bases. The HUB1280, among many other calibres, exhibits Hublot knows their way around in-house movement development.
As I noted when kicking off this introducing, you are either going to love or hate this watch as an immediate reaction. This is just how it goes with Hublot. But, I think this is a configuration, while playful and varying degrees of colourful, a large portion of people could get behind. Sure, if you are a classic white dial and Romans kind of collector, this will likely not pique your fancy. But, for those who gravitate towards conversation-starting pieces with a bit of peacocking flair, this is a strong chronograph framework with a limited edition twist of having a subdued yet strong look. Objectively, it is strong horologically speaking, with its scratch-resistant case and in-house movement. It is, aside from finances, purely a subjective debate of whether or not its aesthetic jives with your preferences. All I do know is that in the wake of Hamilton partnering with the Far Cry video game franchise with a watch that be purchased in real life and worn in the video game, I do think Hublot, who certainly has that rebel spirit, could have worked something out with Rockstar Games to have this Magic City edition launched as a Vice City edition integrated into the game. Perhaps next time.
Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic City pricing and availability
The Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic City is available now as a limited edition of 35 pieces. Price: US$24,700
|Big Bang Unico Magic City
|42mm (D) x 14.5mm (T)
|Sapphire crystal front and caseback
|Matte black with blue/pink gradient
|Blue/pink calf leather and black rubber, quick-release system
|HUB1280, in-house, automatic, column wheel chronograph
|Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, flyback chronograph
|Limited to 35 pieces