The Bad-Ass MF – Introducing the new Hublot Big Bang Unico Berluti Cold Brown
Editor’s note: This is a Mind (stats), Body (design features) & Soul (what’s special) review of the new Hublot Big Bang Unico Berluti Cold Brown watch. For our detailed reviews, please head to our dedicated review section here.
The American actress Rachel Bilson once said: “Leather accents on pieces make it fun and spices up an outfit”. The new Hublot Big Bang Unico Berluti Cold Brown seems to embody that vey sentiment and makes use of Berluti’s iconic Venezia leather to bring the curves of the Big Bang architecture to life. Let’s find out more…
What is it: The new Hublot Big Bang Unico Berluti Cold Brown LE ref. 411.CI.0500.VR.BER20
Why: To mark the 4th anniversary of the on-going partnership between Hublot and Berluti.
When released: 17 November 2020
Where: Global release, but limited to a 100-pieces and delivered in a chest signed by the two houses that includes the emblematic Berluti shoehorn key ring and travel case
Who is it for: For any and everyone who appreciates the mixing of timeless with contemporary – Hublot has managed to nail this quality
How does it do: There is something about leather that says bad-ass. Pairing it with a timepiece that’s designed to kick some serious horological butt is simply genius
Missing: Nada, Zilch, Nothing. For a change, I like a timepiece as it is, for what it is. And for me that’s rare.
The new Hublot Big Bang Unico Berluti Cold Brown Limited Edition features the calibre MHUB1242 UNICO Manufacture self-winding chronograph flyback movement with column wheel. It features 330 components, 38 jewels, beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h), and boasts of an impressive 72-hour power reserve.
This UNICO movement has been designed, developed, machined and assembled in-house by Hublot and its pallet fork and escapement wheel are fixed to a removable platform and made from lightweight silicon. The movement features microblasted anthracite ruthenium plated mainplate & bridges and incorporates the above mentioned flyback chronograph, a date indicator, and a mechanism with dual coupling and column wheel that is visible on the dial side.
The movement is encased inside a 45mm diameter and 16.40mm thick microblasted and polished black ceramic case with a polished black ceramic with genuine Berluti patinated Venezia leather insert bezel.
This 100m water-resistant case also features a microblasted black ceramic display case-back engraved “LIMITED EDITION 100 NUM”. The trademark “sandwich” construction of Hublot watches is obviously maintained and the polished & beveled surfaces complement the stylish and sexy leather quite well.
The use of leather in the bezel is the highlight of this release and is achieved by an intricate process. Using an adhesive and rigidifying resin, about 1mm thick leather is inserted onto a lower base in black ceramic, and this combination is then screwed onto the case of the watch. Obviously visible on top are the iconic ‘H-shaped’ screws.
Says Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot about the bezel: “The final result combines an exercise in style, due to Kris Van Assche’s flair for fashion, with an amazing technical feat made possible by the expertise of our watchmakers, designers and engineers, all of whose know-how was required to master the conception of this new bezel”.
This stunning bezel frames the handsomely finished genuine Berluti patinated Venezia leather case with embossed indexes and satin-finished rhodium plated hands with brown luminescent in-fill. The dial construction encases the leather between two pieces of sapphire glass to allow the wearer to marvel at the gears of the brand’s in-house Unico movement.
Unlike the recently released Hublot x Harrods edition or the Big Bang UNICO Red Magic we have reviewed here in great detail, the dial doesn’t feature baton-style appliqués and that could be a problem when it comes to legibility but of-course I can’t say for sure unless I have the timepiece in my hand.
Completing the bad-ass look is the black rubber and genuine Berluti patinated Venezia leather strap on a black ceramic and black-plated titanium deployant buckle clasp.
French men’s fashion house Berluti is one of the giants in the patina leather industry who creates amazing bespoke shoes and leather accessories. Personally, their service of being able to change the colours on your existing Berluti product is something I have always lusted after. The brand believes that “you cannot be elegant if you are not comfortable and well shod”. The new Hublot Big Bang Unico Berluti Cold Brown, the sexy as hell in leather beauty, is a testament to that.
Says Kris Van Assche, the Creative Director of Berluti – “The Big Bang chronograph’s strong, unmistakeable and modern identity reflects Berluti’s new universe and lifestyle. The patina is our trademark, usually present in our shoes and leather goods, but all that know-how can also be used for something totally different. Bringing the Cold Brown patina – which was inspired by an archive patina and renewed through a glaçage process to obtain a rich, cutting edge colour – to the Big Bang Unico is an opportunity for Berluti’s craft to be discovered in a new context. Using our tradition and heritage in innovative, forward thinking ways has opened up a world of possibilities”.
There is something intrinsically manly and timeless about this piece, and personally the more I stare at the press photos, the more I seem to like it. Of course coming in at 24’900 CHF it’s well above any watch I can afford, but if there was one Hublot timepiece I would recommend and even personally like to own, would be the new Hublot Big Bang Unico Berluti Cold Brown. Usually Hublot pieces are a bit too bold for my personal tastes, but this has an understated charm that I admire. Plus it helps if you are also a fan of the fashion brand they have partnered with.
The leather bezel definitely is the high point, and the best part about it is that it will continue taking on a patina over time. Talk about ageing with grace.
If you wish to find out more about this or other Hublot watches, head to their website here. All images unless stated otherwise © 2018 HUBLOT – ALL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS RESERVED.