Since today is the kick-off of the World Cup in Brazil, we decided to bring back from our archives our review of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Bi-Retrograde Chronograph. This exceptional watch is a different type of chronograph. It is fitted with a different type of display. It's a watch specially designed for the world of soccer —fútbol. It's the Official Watch of this year's FIFA World Cup in Brazil. It's also the first Big Bang Unico Bi-Retrograde Chrono. It's a first for Hublot, who has never before produced a bi-retrograde function, along with a central chrono, a movement with patent pending. The engineers and watchmakers at Hublot were initially inspired to develop a watch movement specifically for the world of soccer —fútbol—, to pay homage to the prestigious 2014 FIFA World Cup for which Hublot is the Official timekeeper and the Official Watch. The UNICO Manufacture calibre —unique in the industry, with its column wheel and dual coupling on the dial side— was chosen to serve as the basis for the development of this watch, here embodying a very current example of its extraordinary flexibility.
It is the first time Hublot has unveiled a watch with a bi-retrograde display —the hands return to their starting points at lightning speed. How does it work in this particular case? When the chronograph is started, the chrono's seconds hand and minute hand move from left to right in a circular arc of 45 minutes —one half of a soccer match—, with an area for 15 minutes —added complementary time— to measure up to 60 minutes. There are two pushers on
either side of the crown for Start, Stop and Reset; the pusher at 2 o'clock which is green, is also used to show the period of time selected from the following 4 options: 1st half, half time, 2nd half and end of match, all indicated by a window in the center at 12 o'clock. The screw-down crown with over molded rubber is decorated on the end with the famous "H" from the Hublot screw.
Another challenge to be met by those designing the movement was energy. This rather unusual display design demands additional effort, as the rapid movements of the hands require more energy from the movement. This has been optimized, as far as possible, so as not to affect the correct operation of the time display; Hublot was highly selective in its choice of materials and functions, opting for those offering the lowest possible consumption and friction coefficient. Obviously, time doesn't stop during a gripping soccer match. This is why the two permanently rotating hands for the time are arranged in a counter at 6 o'clock. This way, they continue to display the passing hours and minutes while the seconds are shown by a small sector-shaped counter with a three spoke hand positioned at 9 o'clock which rotates permanently and allows the wearer to see at a glance that the movement is working correctly.
The dial bears the national colors of Brazil —yellow and green— where the FIFA 2014 World Cup will be hosted from June 12th thru July 13th. The design of the piece features a 'Big Bang Unico' case with a powerful 45.5 mm diameter for a stylish look. The bezel is secured by the famous 6 H-shaped screws, designed in relief to allow alternating polished and matte finishes. The sharp angles and intelligent sandwich system have been retained in the case design, but the strap attachment in particular has been optimized: it features the now famous "One click" system which allows the wearer to switch between a wide choice of straps – each watch is supplied with a structured and ribbed natural rubber strap which perfectly matches the end pieces of the
Although its official name is the Hublot 'Big Bang Official Watch of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brasil', it has already earned the nickname of "Soccer Bang". This new fascinating watch is available in 18K King Gold with carbon fiber bezel limited to 100 pieces or in black ceramic with carbon fiber bezel limited to 200 pieces. The beautifully finished Unico automatic calibre with a power reserve of 72 hours is of course fully visible via the display case back that happens to be decorated with the FIFA World Cup trophy logo.
Frankly, what a great way of commemorating the most anticipated World Cup ever. The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil is one that soccer fans across the globe had always dreamed of and without a doubt, it will be one that will never be forgotten by fans of the most played sport in the world.
Now, could this be the year where the Brazilian team adds a sixth star to their 'verde amarela' jersey? We can only imagine the celebrations that would take place, if Brazil were to win at home. Watchlifestylers get ready for the World Cup kick-off in less than three months. Kudos to Hublot for the live pictures as they are one of the very few manufactures to do this recently.
Sticker Price $42,200 USD for 18K King Gold and $26,200 for Black Ceramic. For more info on Hublot click here.