Add up all that about design, materials and engineering, and you’ll see why I think the Big Bang is its own thing now that no longer is a watch that could be labeled as a me-too wannabe. For one, it is universally recognized as a Hublot. People (again, non-watch people with just a superficial knowledge of luxury items, in general) will recognize it as a Hublot, and those with at least a bit of an interest in watches will all know that it’s a Big Bang. Gone are the days when there’s room for confusion, and Hublot has worked very, very hard to achieve that.
By contrast, Audemars Piguet has become a victim of its own success with the Royal Oak and has failed (rather miserably) to step out of its shadow — although it has vocally and openly been trying for five-plus years now. The ultra-high-end stuff of AP, although impressive, is few and far between, and nowhere near the effect of Hublot’s really crazy stuff. More importantly, the Big Bang outperforms the Royal Oak in the number and versatility of creative designs, use of materials, and any combination of those elements. If I wanted something restrained, would I take a 39mm base Royal Oak over a base Big Bang? Any time of day. But the moment I’d mature (bore) beyond that, I’d want something that is all-around more entertaining. I’d seek those brands that were more successful at creating technically impressive watches that managed to be entertaining at the same time. Watches “brave” enough to replace the “impress-your-peers factor” with the goal of entertaining a watch enthusiast who’s had it with the stuffiness and condescension of brands exactly like AP.
As I said in the beginning, the Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic 42mm is one of many ways that Hublot has for showing the world its horological prowess. The Unico movement is not only a technological marvel, but one that Hublot goes through the trouble of updating and modifying… For what? A 3mm smaller version of the same watch. Now, that’s dedication. The addition of the high-tech, flexible gear is both spectacular and impressive, as is the finishing and quality of execution. Legibility is great, as is the execution and design of the case. Wearability could be a lot better — now that the Unico is such a kick-arse horological achievement, it’s perhaps time to see to updating the rubber straps.
I greatly respect and appreciate Hublot for doing Hublot — without getting sucked into its own past successes, as has happened to so many others in this field. And once you take the time for a closer look at the Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic 42mm, you’ll be greeted by a truly impressive and thoroughly amazing watch that’s a strong contender in its field… Once you are done ticking the boxes of “boring old watches to I need to own to impress others.”