We discussed how this fancy and innovative material came to be and we talked about most all important issues linked to wearability and usability. However, in closing, I did want to dedicate a brief paragraph to how this material really performed out in the real world.
Well, for starters, it may be 18k gold, but it sure doesn’t look like it. Nobody, not one watch enthusiast, nor any horological newbie could identify Magic Gold to be actual gold. Magic Gold has a color of yellow-ish green with a silky, satin sheen to it and so it looks like bronze to most. This is a bad thing if you want everyone to know that you are wearing (and paid for) an all-gold watch, but an excellent thing if you want all the “prestige” and whatnot that comes with gold, but not all the attention.
I did wear this watch around in town and on public transit quite a bit and was wondering how many (or rather how few) people could give an even remotely close estimate of its worth. Upon a closer look, those who have seen a luxury watch from up close will be able to tell that it is an expensive watch because it sure looks like it. But, because it doesn’t look like gold at all, I doubt anyone but those already familiar with Magic Gold could tell that this watch had a bezel and case components made of solid 18k gold.
Because of its size and complex-looking dial, the Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold is not a discreet watch – not at all. But it still is, in its own way, more under-the-radar than most other modern, sporty watches that come in gold. Whether or not this is a good thing is for everyone to decide as it completely depends on what you expect from your gold watch.
On a personal note, I really enjoyed wearing the Hublot Big Bang in Magic Gold because it was something totally new and hence so much more entertaining. If you want a safe watch, you are not going to get this, but, then again, you probably won’t get a Hublot at all in the first place.
However, I do believe that there is a market for this thing, because what many are looking to get in a super expensive watch is a fun factor and a sense of novelty – everyone else has myriads of safe and, largely boring watches to choose from.
Hublot deserves tremendous credit for having the idea, and especially for going through the struggles of developing a completely new material. On this note, I will add here that I would like to see luxury watch brands (not just Hublot but all the others) finance fewer ambassadors and logo-placement partnerships, and more universities and third party engineers and scientists. Hublot does have an incomparable presence in more fields than I could count (NFL, Formula 1, Ferrari, and goodness knows how many other areas), but they didn’t shy away from providing the budget and opportunity for EPFL’s and their own engineers to create something new – even if the end result is a difficult sell as gold, because it does not look like it and hence will remain undesirable for the show-offs.
My main gripe with Magic Gold is that it is extremely limited in its availability meaning that presently, it only comes in 45mm cases. Also, I understand that its non-luxurious color will turn many away. This noted, the good legibility, solid wearing comfort, interesting-enough movement and, most of all, the novelty-factor and actual performance of this new material, render this a lesser known, but that much more interesting piece not just in Hublot’s vast range of timepieces, but also among luxury watches in general. A classic fusion in a smaller size and at a more competitive price point could make a splash. Until then, a few privileged individuals will be able to enjoy the perks of the most scratch-resistant gold ever. Price for the Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold