INTRODUCING: The Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger is inspired by cryptocurrency INTRODUCING: The Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger is inspired by cryptocurrency

INTRODUCING: The Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger is inspired by cryptocurrency

D.C. Hannay

The future. It’s always here before you know it. And in an industry based on the anachronistic idea of the mechanical timepiece, Swiss watchmakers Hublot have always looked forward. From their striking, sometimes polarising designs, their forays into the connected watch world with the Big Bang E, and their use of cutting-edge materials like ceramic, carbon fibre, man-made sapphire, and proprietary alloys, the future is set firmly in their sights. Since their beginnings in the ‘80s, their models have soundly rejected the more conservative designs of the past, creating their own language in the process. That design language may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you gotta respect the sheer audacity, and Hublot’s worldwide success is evidence that there are plenty of fans.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger

That audacity is on full display in their new partnership with crypto platform Ledger, resulting in the striking, limited-to-50 collab, the Big Bang Unico Ledger. Who’s Ledger? They’re touted as the most secure crypto and digital asset platform in the world, with more than 4 million users. And according to many, cryptocurrency is the future. Fittingly, the new Big Bang Unico Ledger features a raft of clever nods to this brave new world of commerce. Let’s explore some of the watch’s, um, assets (sorry).

The case shape will look instantly familiar to fans of the Unico Big Bang, and the 42mm size should appeal to a wider range of wearers. The main case structure is black ceramic with a golden-hued bezel, and that bezel is the big story of this watch. You see, it’s crafted from a unique alloy known as Electrum, a stainless 50/50 gold and silver blend, which not-so-coincidentally was used in some of the earliest known coins from around 580 BC. It’s a rather pointed touch that cleverly mashes up one of the earliest currencies with the newest. The bezel also seems to have a bit of a lower side profile than other Big Bangs, giving it a coin-like appearance. Along that coin edge, the Latin phrase “Vires in Numeris” is stamped six times, a tip of the hat to Bitcoin’s credo, translating to “strength in numbers”. This is just one of the ways old collides with new in this release.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger

Like much of the Hublot lineup, the bezel is secured with six titanium H-screws, blackened to pop against the gold of the bezel. The ceramic case retains the dramatic sculptural lines of the Big Bang range, with chrono pushers positioned at 2 and 4, and the “H-screw” inlaid crown at 3. An anti-reflective sapphire crystal protects the dial, where quite a bit of eye candy is on display. The blacked-out dial is skeletonised, as is the matching handset, for maximum stealth badassery. In a design hallmark of the brand, the indices “float” above the rest of the dial, and the date wheel is completely visible, with the current date indicated at 3, inset into the 60-minute chrono subdial. Speaking of the chronograph, it’s based on the in-house 43-jewel calibre HUB1280, an auto-winding flyback movement, which is also skeletonised to complement the dial. All that horological indulgence resides behind a sapphire caseback, engraved with the Ledger logo and the fifty-piece limited edition number. The entire affair is good for 100 metres of water resistance.


Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger

The matching ribbed black natural rubber strap is another brand hallmark, after all, Hublot were pioneers in fitting luxury timepieces with rubber. The strap, of course, is suitably luxe, secured with a signed black ceramic and titanium deployant clasp.

As for the packaging, it’s really quite something. Personally, I’ve never seen a watch box rendered in sapphire, let alone smoked black sapphire. Decadent, to be sure, but the conceit behind it is clever. The clear case represents the transparency and security of blockchain technology and decentralised currencies. The top of the box also features an oversized blackened “bezel”, complete with the signature H-screws. That’s all well and good, but bottom line, it’s a massive flex, which is no bad thing at this level of luxury watchmaking. Completing the package is the Ledger & Hublot Nano X-branded digital asset “wallet”, a Bluetooth-capable crypto key.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger

Hublot has certainly proven to be one of the most forward-leaning watch brands since their beginnings in the go-go ‘80s, and they show no signs that they’re going to slow down. This latest collab with a leader in what many believe is the future of commerce is further evidence that they’re not afraid to go out on a limb. Frankly, this is objectively one of their most handsome offerings, and regardless of the underlying crypto cues, it’s just a flat-out baller timepiece, destined to turn heads.


Pricing and availability

The Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger is a limited edition of 50 pieces available now via Ledger, priced $28,300 USD.