The Art of Fusion is a philosophy that has allowed Hublot to create some of the most unorthodox timepieces in the market today, time and time again.
It’s an approach that has enabled Hublot to seamlessly have itself become part of universes far removed from its own. Often, it’s a matter of delving into the sciences, through their Metallurgy Department, which has given rise to such novel precious materials as Magic Gold: A chemical mix of ceramic and 18K gold that is the world’s first scratch-resistant gold.
At other times, it’s a matter of partnerships and friendships with corporations and individuals, who are masters in their own domains. These partnerships allow for Hublot to be visible far outside of the immediate watch crowd, such as, in the realms of film, art, music, sports and etcetera. Which then creates the opportunity to become acquainted with someone who might not have known much about the world of horology previously.
But in the most extraordinary instances, it creates, for Hublot, an avenue to tap on the expertise represented by their partner to create watches unlike any in existence. Consider the Big Bang Sang Bleu, which from a distance is the unmistakable Big Bang in form. However, in close proximity is where you’ll realize that what you have in front of you is anything but ordinary.
Now the Big Bang Sang Bleu was made possible thanks to the partnership Hublot forged with Maxime Büchi, who is ultimately the mind behind the unique design with which the watch tells time. Perhaps something more phenomenal in the same vein of watchmaking was this year’s Techframe Ferrari 70 Years Tourbillon Chronograph.
This is a watch that was dreamt up and designed in the stables of Ferrari in Maranello, Italy under the guidance of Ferrari’s own design head, Mr. Flavio Manzoni.
These would be the more recent creations and, of course, thanks to the great designer minds behind both efforts, the results have been outstanding. But here’s something even more unconventional to think about — even for Hublot. Consider the intersection points of sports and horology. The most common answer you will get here is the use of chronographs in auto racing.
But how about a watch that allows for the measurement of elapsed time during the two halves of a football (or, soccer if you prefer) game, including the extra time and the added time. That folks, is a watch that Hublot produced in 2014 when it was named the official time keeper of the FIFA World Cup that year. This watch was the Unico Bi-Retrograde Chrono.
And again, this year, Hublot’s showcased its ingenuity in this field with a watch that allows you to keep track of your golf game. Introduced recently, at an event in Shanghai, with the help of golf’s present day world number one, Dustin Johnson, the Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf essentially helps you to count strokes per hole played and, as well, for the overall game.
The watch is, first and foremost, very cleverly disguised to look like a Big Bang chronograph. Which, when you think about it, is natural considering the movement developed for the watch — the MHUB1580 — uses the robust Unico as a base and then has a module built over it that allows for the functionality it boasts.
You start off by pressing the ‘Shot’ button to count the number of shots you’ve taken at a given hole. This is reflected in the window at 3 o’clock. Next you have the ‘Hole’ button, which keeps track of the number of holes played and it also resets the shots counter. The number of holes played is displayed in the window at 9 o’clock. The total number of shots played in a given game is summed up in the window at 6 o’clock.
Lastly, the tee shaped pusher at 8 o’clock resets all the counters to zero, ready to go for another game.
Functionality wise, you’re thinking it’s simple and easy enough for even a monkey keeping track of its strokes. But wouldn’t wearing a watch impede the player’s quality of playing? Just by virtue of the fact that a golf stroke is a very precise science, based on timing and technique, wouldn’t having a watch on your wrist actually get in the way of playing a good shot?
You’re right. It definitely would get in the way if it wasn’t a light enough watch. And in this regard, the Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf is well suited for the game, weighing in at a feather-like 97.93 grams. This is largely made possible thanks to the watch’s case, which is made out of carbon fiber with grey Texalium on the upper surface.
Also, so the watch isn’t moving about on your wrist, while you’re trying to play a stroke, Hublot will be providing a Velcro strap, along with the more traditional rubber sports strap shown here, which you will be able to easily switch out, thanks to the brand’s quick swap system.
When asked at the announcement event, whether he’d be inclined to wear the watch while playing, Dustin Johnson explained that you could, in fact, wear the watch to play thanks to its lightness. The caution to take, however, is that just so the watch isn’t getting in the way of your wrist’s motion, the idea is to wear the watch quite high and secure it comfortably with, of course, the Velcro strap.
Needless to say, golfers are sure to get a kick out of bringing the watch to a game — be it casual or on a more competitive note. Certainly, would help against having to carry a score sheet and pencil to scribble strokes down on.
The new functionality that the Big Bang Unico Golf brings to the table is not necessarily a solution to a problem. Rather it is an elevated way to manage a very specific situation. But this truth remains that Hublot was able to devise such a simple and clever function with golf in mind, because it is a watchmaking brand, which is constantly involving itself in universes far removed from its own. Therefore, allowing the brand and its watchmakers to see watchmaking in a manner that many others in the industry would never be able to.