For better or worse, cryptocurrency has become a massive part of the modern investment landscape. Proponents of various cryptocurrency systems promote these digital currencies as the money of the future: completely digital, decentralized, and able to adapt to the new challenges of an increasingly online world. As a brand dedicated to championing the avant-garde, Hublot is an ideal watchmaking partner for this evolving and often volatile new marketplace. For its latest release the marque has partnered with digital asset platform Ledger to create a striking and capable tribute to this new frontier of investing. Combining homages to the earliest and newest forms of global currency, the limited edition Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger blends a dramatic new monochrome colorway with an exclusive new cryptocurrency key, linking to Ledger’s Nano X digital asset wallet.
Despite having a unique color, a bright luster, and a fascinating history, electrum is a material almost never used in the field of watchmaking. This natural alloy of gold and silver was used to mint the earliest coins known to history, in Lydia, modern day western Turkey, in around 580 BCE. Ever since, the pale golden metal has held a symbolic connection with currency, and to reference this legacy the 42mm case of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger renders its signature screw-topped bezel in a proprietary “stainless electrum” alloy using an equal 50/50 mixture of gold and silver. The color of this material strikes a handsome midpoint between traditional yellow gold and silver in initial photos, while its vertically brushed top surface and polished sides showcase the brand’s finishing capability. Around its edge, this bezel is engraved six times with “vires in numeris.” This is the Latin motto of cryptocurrency Bitcoin, and translates to “strength in numbers.” While this is an interesting combination of references to ancient and modern currency in theory, in practice the lowercase letters and typewriter-esque font of this inscription detracts from the gravitas of the message somewhat in images. Hublot forms the rest of the familiar Big Bang Unico case in matte black ceramic, giving this complex layered design a subdued and minimal look while directing visual attention squarely to the bezel. Around back, the Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger’s sapphire display caseback is topped by a printed Ledger logo, and the watch maintains its regular production counterpart’s sporting 100 meters of water resistance.
The dial of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger takes on the standard Big Bang Unico skeleton design in a moody black-on-black monochrome style. Although both all-black dials and skeleton designs can carry notorious legibility problems, Hublot combats the inherent visibility issues here with a wide variety of finishes and multiple shades of black. By reserving the darkest matte black shade for key elements such as the skeleton hands, applied stencil-style numerals and indices, and the outer rings of the skeleton subdials, the brand makes these elements stand out effectively in images. This also allows other elements such as the skeletonized date wheel, the central chronograph seconds hand, and the subdial scales to play with various finishes and black shades, giving this monochrome colorway an impressively dynamic visual range. Hublot also uses this skeleton layout to selectively highlight movement elements such as the gear train and the column wheel in brighter polished metal, allowing some of the movement’s visual complexity to shine through without becoming overwhelming.
As with the rest of the line, Hublot powers the Big Bang Unico Ledger with its in-house HUB1280 automatic chronograph movement. Compared to the dial side view, the view of this movement through the sapphire caseback devotes more visual real estate to its clean matte black cutout bridges, but still allows elements such as the balance wheel and mainspring barrel to shine through. Power reserve for this movement stands at a hefty 72 hours, with a 28,800 bph beat rate. Hublot pairs this watch with its simple ridged rubber integrated strap in black. As part of Hublot’s special partnership with Ledger, the Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger also includes the bespoke Ledger x Hublot Nano X, a matte black cryptocurrency key leading to Ledger’s most popular Bluetooth-enabled digital asset wallet.
With a stark and evocative monochrome design that pays tribute to the past and future of currency, along with a capable skeleton movement and an exclusive cryptocurrency key, the limited edition Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger is a suitably avant-garde homage to the burgeoning world of cryptocurrency. Only 50 examples of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Ledger will be made, and the watch is available now through authorized dealers