Golf, according to Hublot, is “the ultimate precision sport,” making the creation of a precision timing instrument devoted to the game’s scorekeeping both wholly appropriate and, for an often-experimental, non-risk-averse brand like Hublot, perhaps inevitable. Unlike other watches made with golf in mind, this one is not only lightweight so as to not to impede one’s golf swing (just 97.93 grams), but also features a module, integrated into its MHUB1580 Unico movement, powering a counting mechanism that allows golfers to keep track of their strokes in the dial’s aperture displays. (For the record, Richard Mille’s RM 27-01 watch, a timepiece actually worn during tournament play by PGA star Bubba Watson, clocks in at an even more super-lightweight 19 grams, though its signature feature, a tourbillon, is decidedly less utilitarian for a golfer than a counting mechanism, and its price tag is substantially bigger.)
The 45-mm case of the Big Bang Unico Golf achieves its robust yet lightweight character through its use of Texalium — an amalgamation of carbon fiber and aluminum that is exclusive to Hublot. Texalium is used for the upper layer of the case, bezel, and caseback, while carbon fiber makes up the lower layer of those components; polished titanium is used for the pushers and the H-shaped screws that bolt the bezel to the case.
The counting mechanism of the Big Bang Unico Golf works on the principles of a chronograph, with return-to-zero heart-piece cams that ensure the robust and reliable performance. A putter-shaped pusher at 2 o’clock activates the mechanism for displaying the number of strokes taken and counts the strokes per hole. The pusher at 4 o’clock resets the stroke counter to zero when the wearer is ready to move on to the next hole. The counter at 6 o’clock displays the total number of strokes played and simultaneously updates. Another tee-shaped pusher at 8 o’clock resets all the counters to zero at the end of the round; during play, the wearer can lock it by rotating it by 45 degrees to ensuring that it is not activated accidentally. Like all Unico movement’s the MHUB1580 is fully skeletonized and on display through cutouts in the matte-black dial with luminous-treated, rhodium-finished hour markers.
The watch comes with two interchangeable straps, each equipped with Hublot’s One Click quick-change system. One is made of white leather sewn onto rubber and designed to echo the look of a golfer’s glove, while the other is made of technical fabric with a Velcro fastener (below) for a perfect fit on the wrist. Both attach by means of buckle clasps made of black ceramic and black-plated titanium. The watch, introduced on October 23 in Shanghai alongside Hublot’s announcement of current #1-ranked golfer Dustin Johnson as its newest “brand ambassador” — will be available at retail next year, priced at $31,500. What do you think? Is the Big Bang Unico Golf really (as Hublot’s release states) “A stroke of genius?” Let us know in the comments section below.