While not a participant in the SIHH, Hublot was among several luxury watch brands exhibiting new products outside of the show during the third week of January, when Geneva annually becomes a watch wonderland. One of the brand’s most notable new releases was the Hublot Big Bang Unico GMT, which marks the debut of an all-new, user-friendly second-time-zone function for frequent travelers.
The watch’s in-house Unico movement has been merged with a new, patented, proprietary module that enables the wearer to instantly change the local time with the simple push of a button, while reading the home time, which is synchronized with a day-night display, on a second, arrow-shaped hour hand set by the crown.
The two push-buttons that control the second-time-zone function are located at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock on the 45-mm case; their rectangular shape, reminiscent of early Hublot Big Bang watches, differentiates them visually from the chronograph pushers on other Big Bang Unico models. The 2 o’clock pusher moves the hour hand forward in one-hour increments, and the 4 o’clock pusher moves it backward in the same segments. A safety device built into the mechanism prevents simultaneous activation of the two pushers. The local time is set independently of the other hands; the gears for the minutes and seconds are not driven, meaning it is not necessary to synchronize all of the hands with every change of time zone.
The openworked dial, a hallmark of the Big Bang Unico series, is designed to display both time zones in the same space simultaneously, adding to its legibility. The arrow-shaped hand indicating the home time uses a 12-hour display and is correlated to a day/night disk so that the user can see at a glance whether the time back home is in AM or PM. The graduations for the 12 hours are alternated: engraved on the dial and indexed on the bezel.
The Hublot Big Bang Unico GMT is available with either a titanium (pictured at top) or carbon fiber (above) case, and comes on a structured, ribbed, black and blue natural rubber strap that can be easily swapped out and replaced with Hublot’s recently introduced “One Click” interchangeable strap system. The movement, Caliber HUB 1251, is based on the brand’s original, in-house Unico movement, here with the chronograph functions removed and replaced by the GMT module. Composed of 358 pieces, it features automatic winding, a 28,800-vph (4 Hz) frequency, and a 72-hour power reserve.
Prices are $19,900 for the titanium version and $23,100 for the carbon fiber.