New chronograph watches: The Hublot Big Bang Unico GMT in titanium and carbon fibre
Hublot finally introduces the GMT function to its range with the Big Bang Unico GMT watch
Some things are surprising by their absence, which one might rightly feel on seeing this new Big Bang Unico GMT watch. Yes, it looks like it has chronograph pushers but those pushers control the arrow shaped hand indicating home time. Surely, Hublot has created such a basic piece before, considering the brand has every kind of complication in its horological stable. In its press release for the Big Bang Unico GMT, the brand even spells out this expectation: “GMT has proven to be one of the most useful and frequently used complications, hence the need to simplify its operation and make it easier to read.”
Scanning through the brand’s website, it clearly looks like there isn’t another GMT watch there but, if memory serves, there was a rather unusual GMT/Dual Time Zone watch in the mix back in 2011. This one was certainly not simple but it was, arguably, quite a good bit of fun. Well, whatever the case may be, there is a proper GMT watch in the Hublot assortment now and we got personal with it in Geneva.
Happily, this is a simple and unfussy watch, completely in keeping with the sentiment expressed in the press notes, as included above. The idea here is that air travel is so commonplace today that more people than ever before are crossing time zones. In other words, knowing the time in more than one place is today more of a necessity than a luxury. This is why Hublot has opted for the aforementioned plus/minus system to adjust home time. Moving between time zones should be seamless in mechanical watches, just as radio- and GPS-controlled functions do for their electronic kin. In fact, none other than Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe states his case for why Hublot didn’t have a GMT model and why this one is a winner:
“I travel so much that, as often as not, my watch is the only way I can keep track of what time it is at home, and where I am landing. And, I must admit, I have never found a GMT model which is simple enough to really be useful, and that I can use as intended. Thanks to the ingenuity of our R&D team, this is now possible…”
Presumably, what Guadalupe likes best about this new GMT is that ease of use, given both the fact that this is a plus/minus system and that the pushers are optimally placed to be easily used, without taking the watch off. Having tried it out, we can say for sure that it is certainly very easy to use, and to read the time. Of course, having a day/night counter adds to the user-friendly approach here and is crucial given that the home time indicator works on 12-hour increments rather than a 24-hour one (arguably easier to use).
There are two versions of this 45mm watch, one in titanium and other in carbon fibre. The press release emphasises that this watch both looks distinct from regular Hublot chronographs thanks to its purpose-designed pushers. On the other hand, the release also notes that these pushers might remind you of the original pushers on the Big Bang.
Movement Self-winding Unico HUB 1251
Power Reserve 72-hour
Case 45mm carbon fibre or titanium
Water Resistance Up to 100 m
Strap Ribbed black and blue rubber, with deployant buckle in carbon fibre and black PVD titanium or titanium