Last year’s release of the Hublot Square Bang collection marked a pivotal evolution in the brand’s design DNA. Taking cues from the core aesthetic of its iconic Big Bang series, Hublot defied conventions by introducing a square-shaped case that sits alongside the classic round profile and tonneau versions in its “Shaped” collection. The Hublot Square Bang Unico Sapphire, part of the latest offerings for Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023, stands as a testament to the brand’s innovation and willingness to explore uncharted design territories.
Easily the standout feature, the transparent sapphire case of the Square Bang Unico Sapphire (ref. 821.JX.0120.RT) exudes a sense of purity and refinement. Though familiar to those acquainted with Hublot’s square-shaped Big Bang watches, the new sapphire edition is slightly more compact, measuring 41mm in diameter by 12 mm thick.
Constructed from transparent sapphire and secured with titanium screws, the bezel and case-back sport anti-reflective sapphire crystals. Accompanied by a water resistance of 50 meters, the Square Bang Unico Sapphire also flaunts Hublot’s One-Click strap changing system, connecting to a transparent textured rubber strap with a titanium deployant buckle.
Hublot’s legacy of skeletonized/transparent dials is well-represented in the Square Bang models, with the Unico Sapphire edition donning a clear sapphire dial that harmoniously mirrors its case. Two registers dedicated to running seconds and chronograph minute totalizer flank the display. Luminous material on the hands and large applied baton markers ensure low-light legibility, while the entirety of the movement is visible through the dial. A small aperture at the 3 o’clock position reveals the date, and the hands echo the signature style of other Big Bang watches, with a Hublot logo counterweight adorning the centrally-mounted chronograph seconds hand.
Beneath its transparent surface, the Hublot Square Bang Unico Sapphire is driven by the Cal. HUB1280 Unico 2 automatic chronograph movement, a thinner design specifically tailored for smaller watches. This 43-jewel, in-house manufactured calibre runs at 28,800vph (4 Hz) and boasts a power reserve of approximately 72 hours. Comprising 354 individual components, the HUB1280 Unico 2 is a flyback chronograph movement, operating via a column wheel visible through the dial above the 6 o’clock position.
The Hublot Square Bang Unico Sapphire transcends mere aesthetics; it serves as a real-world example of how the brand’s unique design is not restricted to a specific case profile. The juxtaposition of the square case with the clear sapphire construction results in a watch that is elegant, functional, and distinctively Hublot.