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July 24, 2024

Big Bang Unico Green Saxem: green according to Hublot

Like many other industries, watchmaking often thrives on trends. One such trend, in vogue a few years ago, was green dials, which invaded trade fairs and shop windows, sparing only very few brands. If the infatuation with green has waned over time, the colour has not gone out of the brands’ assortment; on the contrary, some have taken the time to propose their own original interpretation of this colour. And when talking about originality, one cannot fail to mention Hublot. Which, to stay green, took advantage of LVMH Watch Week 2024 to unveil the case of the Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM. A green shade that isn’t a novelty for Hublot: remember the 2019 Big Bang MP-11 SAXEM, also with an emerald SAXEM case?

Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM

This time, the effect is certainly less impactful than with the latter, but only because of its sci-fi shape and the amazing movement it enclosed: the 14-day power reserve HUB9011. But there is no doubt that the new SAXEM is, in every way, a classic Big Bang Unico Chronograph – even though its case is made of one of the brand’s most rarely used and high-tech materials. Whose particular history must be told, before getting to the Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM.

THE HUBLOT SAXEM, IN A NUTSHELL

SAXEM is a material originally developed for the satellite industry, and is similar to synthetic sapphire, although they differ in molecular structure and in how colours are obtained during the manufacturing process. Sapphire and SAXEM are both largely composed of aluminium oxide, but sapphire has a three-sided crystal structure while SAXEM has a cubic shape. This characteristic makes SAXEM more suitable for rich, vibrant colours, as it is always the same shade that appears when viewed from different angles.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM
Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM

Furthermore, while sapphire is coloured with metallic oxides, SAXEM uses rare earth elements to achieve its vivid hues. A manufacturing process that is the basis for the material’s rather unusual name; SAXEM is in fact a sort of acronym for ‘Sapphire Aluminum oXide and rare Earth Mineral‘. As for its green colour, it comes from mixing aluminium oxide (the basic component of sapphire) with elements such as thulium, holmium and chromium. The result is aesthetically and technically extraordinary: it is harder than emerald and brighter than sapphire.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM

This is of course not the first SAXEM watch created by Hublot. In addition to the aforementioned Big Bang MP-11 SAXEM, let’s recall the Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon SAXEM in a vibrant yellow shade. A timepiece that was proof of the chromatic potential of this avant-garde material, moulded by the brand’s technicians in the colour of the sun.

HUBLOT AND THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE BIG BANG UNICO GREEN SAXEM

SAXEM, therefore, has the same resistance as sapphire but shines brighter because its structure has less internal tension, being more uniform and homogenous. This is why Hublot’s new Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM is simply dazzling. Because this material is very similar to sapphire, the watch case is practically unscratchable and does not turn paler or get darker over time, as happens with transparent plastic materials. 

Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM

Speaking of the case, besides its transparency and bright green colour, that of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM is the same as that of the chronograph whose collection is one of the pillars of the brand’s current catalogue. It has a diameter of 42 mm and a thickness of 14.5 mm, similar in size and design to other models in the collection. Instead of being made of gold, titanium, carbon or ceramic, all its components are made of SAXEM, including the bezel. The same material is also used for the dial and the caseback porthole, while the black components of the watch – the crown, the chronograph pushers and the screws tightening the case – are all made of titanium.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM
Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM

To tell the truth, however, there is one detail differentiating the SAXEM case from those made of other materials, and it’s about water resistance. The Unico Big Bangs with metal alloy or ceramic cases have a water resistance of 100 metres, while those with transparent cases, such as the sapphire models and the new Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM, are only guaranteed to 50 metres. This difference is mainly due to the structure of the material, which is more difficult to waterproof in the case assembly process.

THE CALIBRE AND THE DIAL

From a functional point of view as well, the Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM is the same ‘machine’ as the classic Big Bang Unico Chronograph 42 mm, driven by the same in-house automatic chronograph calibre HUB1280 UNICO 2 with flyback function. The movement works at 28,800 vibrations per hour, and has a 72-hour power reserve.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM

It is different from the one found on the previous Big Bang SAXEM because it had a HUB6035 micro-rotor, while here we have the high-performance tungsten oscillating weight, visible through the transparent back. The calibre is entirely finished in black PVD and the same treatment is applied to the crown and the two pushers which, as we have seen, are made of titanium.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM
Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM

The dial is skeletonised and presents thesame overall design as the Big Bang Unico collection, with a two-counter layout, and the date window incorporated into the counter at 3 o’clock. The date disc is entirely visible around the movement, an aesthetic signature of the Big Bang Unico that further demonstrates Hublot’s desire to make this watch stand out by using SAXEM. 

Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM

As the dial is largely transparent and skeletonised, the black-finished movement components are visible through both sides of the watch and create a visual contrast between the dial and the case. To make it easier to read the information, which is not easy for everyone when it comes to skeletonised dials, Hublot has succeeded in reproducing the same bright green colour as the case on the luminescent material applied to the hour markers and hands, which thus match SAXEM’s rich green hue.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM
Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM

HUBLOT AND EASY LUXURY

The case is equipped with Hublot’s One Click system for quick strap change, whereby the wearer can pull the strap off and press the trapezoid-shaped buttons located on the top of the lugs to detach the two pieces and change strap. Although it would be a shame to change the colour, as the green and black combination of case and dial also extends to the semi-transparent green rubber strap, while the folding clasp is made of titanium with a black finish. The name Hublot is written in bright green letters on the outside of the buckle.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM
Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM

Given the complexity and innovation of the case material, the Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM is beingproduced in a limited edition of 100 pieces, each selling for 126,000 euros. An important figure, a value dictated mainly by the refinement of the material but which the watch, with its young, dynamic and sporty look, does not entirely betray. 

Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM
Hublot Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM

At the end of the day, we are not dealing with an extravagant or flashy timepiece as one made of solid gold or studded with diamonds might be. Despite its preciousness, the Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM is a perfect watch to wear with a pair of trainers, jeans and a polo shirt, without attracting dangerous attention but, on the contrary, giving an idea of freshness and playfulness. These days, this is no small thing, and Hublot, in creating such a watch, has understood this idea very well.

By Davide Passoni