The 19th of September 2017 was a day of surprises. Arriving in a hotel room in Munich, I was greeted with a traditional “dirndl” dress hanging in the wardrobe. After shoe-horning myself into the costume, I took the elevator to the hotel lobby where things got even stranger. Among a crowd of strangers, all attired in Alpine ensemble, I found Wei Koh, my boss and co-founder of Revolution, dressed in full Bavarian national costume – lederhosen, Tyrolean jacket, knee-high socks… the works. But it was when we arrived at the local Hublot boutique, where a similarly attired Jean-Claude Biver (Head of LVMH Watch Division) and Ricardo Guadalupe (Hublot’s CEO) were already in residence, that it became obvious we were definitely not in Kansas in anymore!
The reason for the hordes in traditional German dress was two-fold. Firstly, we were about to attend the annual Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival and an important part of Bavarian culture. Secondly, our host Hublot was launching the new, 100-piece limited-edition Big Bang Unico Bavaria designed in collaboration with leather-company Meindl – originally a shoemaker in the 17th century and today a creator of the finest leather clothing.
Following one of the biggest trends of recent years – but for the first time in a Big Bang model – the case of the Big Bang Bavaria is made of bronze. Non-magnetic, corrosion-resistant and naturally patinated, the 45mm bronze case has a black ceramic caseback to prevent any possible skin irritation and gold screws. The bund-style straps are made from the same deer leather used in Bavaria’s lederhosen and dirndl bodices. In a process that takes up to four months, the hides are salted and soaked in a limestone solution before being treated with cod-liver oil, sun-dried and coloured with tropical wood bark dyes. The new watch comes with two quick-change straps, the first in natural brown embroidered with two deer heads; the second is dark brown leather embroidered with oak leaves.
The Big Bang Bavaria is powered by Hublot’s manufacture self-winding Unico movement, with 330 components, 72-hour power reserve and flyback chronograph function. The matte black skeleton dial and yellow-gold plated indexes and hands filled with beige luminescent material provide a striking contrast to the brushed bronze case. And to allow a deeper view of the calibre, there is a sapphire crystal opening to the caseback.
Following the tradition of Oktoberfest, the new watch was unveiled in exactly the same way as the festival is declared open – by tapping the first barrel of beer. The honour was conducted by Guadalupe who, on the strike of 4pm, yelled “O’zapft is!” (“It’s tapped!”), as he took a mallet to the keg. And, following initial celebrations of the watch’s unveiling, the party continued on to the 420,000-square-metre Theresienwiese, home to Oktoberfest, where traditional celebrations welcomed the Big Bang Bavaria into the heart of the festival.
Technical Specification: Big Bang Unico Bavaria
Automatic Hublot MHUB1242, Unico manufacture calibre; flyback chronograph with column wheel; 4 Hz; 72-hour power reserve
45mm brushed bronze case and bezel; microblasted black ceramic and sapphire crystal caseback; yellow-gold “H” screws; 100m water resistance
Deer leather cuff with embroidered deer head plus black rubber and brown leather deer strap with embroidered oak leaf; deployant buckle clasp in black PVD-coated titanium with brushed bronze insert