The most recent metamorphosis of Hublot’s Big Bang Unico comes in a shade of green that took me an entire afternoon to put my finger on. Hublot is calling it emerald green. I’m not convinced. I Googled “green Pantone color chart” at least eight times and I still couldn’t match it.
I spent even more trying to come up with relevant Hublot-isms and finally landed on a color descriptor: Astroturf Green, because “Hublot loves football.” Which feels like a cheap shot, but it’s the best I could do, without consulting Werner’s Nomenclature of Color, which just felt pretentious.
This hulk-ish / astroturf-ish / emerald-ish green is made of Hublot Big Bang Unico Green Saxem. As in Sapphire Aluminium oxide and rare Earth minerals. SAXEM is the next rung up from sapphire crystal on the very-fancy-materials-watch-brands-use-to-impress-people-who-have $100,000-to-spare ladder. It’s Hublot’s latest phase of material innovation if you don’t count ground-up Nespresso pods.
Let me explain Hublot Big Bang Unico Green Saxem (or better yet, read Sarah Miller’s description of it here, which is quite possibly the world’s greatest ever verbal articulation/explanation of a watch brand’s proprietary material). For the sake of this article, I’ll give you a brief rundown. SAXEM is a material compound that gets its color from rare earth minerals and has a cubic (four-sided) form. Unlike sapphire crystal, which gets its color from metallic oxides and has a trigonal (three-sided) structure.
Hublot’s manufacture in Nyon Switzerland is where all of the sapphire crystal and SAXEM babies are born. It’s all in-house on the R&D front chez Hublot. They have developed 2 shades of SAXEM since its first SAXEM release in 2019: “Mellow Yellow” and “Astroturf Green.”
SAXEM is just as resistant as sapphire, apparently the difference is in its monochromatic uniformity and shine. This is hard to judge having never seen a SAXEM case next to a Hublot sapphire crystal case, but I believe it. Last year at Watches and Wonders I tried on the yellow Hublot Big Bang Unico Green Saxem Big Bang and it was so bright it felt like staring directly into very aggressive fluorescent overhead lighting.
This Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM is 42mm in diameter (honestly small by Hublot standards) and houses Caliber UNICO 2 (HUB1280), a self-winding flyback chronograph powered by a tungsten oscillating weight, which isvisible through the watch’s caseback.
The black PVD finished Caliber HUB1280 features a column wheel at six o’clock, a Unico signature and the date disc is entirely visible around the movement, with the aperture set in the center of the 60-minute counter at 3 o’clock. And if you wanna get really freaky and embody a James Goldstein approach to life then Hublot has also released a new rainbow gem-set Spirit of Big Bang.
The thing I admire most about Hublot Big Bang Unico Green Saxem is its ability to withstand a constant barrage of attacks. Rather than give in to the very negative noise by watering itself and its designs down, it comes back stronger each and every time.
And where Hublot really shines is in its limited edition product. Every new design is an even crazier rebirth of its already crazy predecessor. Because Hublot doesn’t care what you think. They know who their audience is and they cater to their fans, not their enemies. I might take a leaf out of the Hublot guiding principles handbook.
I am admittedly a fan of “Mellow Yellow” Hublot Big Bang Unico Green Saxem, and I also had a soft spot for the purple sapphire crystal Big Bang released in 2022. I have a feeling that once I see it IRL I’ll be a fan of the Big Bang Unico in astroturf green too. It’s an aesthetic that’s almost unique to the watch space, and reminds me of the way certain fashion brands behave and create with a (albeit somewhat calculated) carefree nonchalance, “we make what we like, subscribe if you like, ignore if you don’t.”
I fully align with Hublot’s rebellious spirit and the “no holds barred” attitude. This is a watch for somebody with a free spirit and a loose lifestyle.