Hublot’s Latest SAXEM Creation is a Dark Green Big Bang Unico

We all have our preferences in life. I like “The Sopranos” more than “Breaking Bad,” and thin crust pizza over thick. I like sparkling water over still, and would rather listen to vinyl records than CDs. I’m a Mac user, and I like 1990s action-thrillers more than almost any other type of movie. I’d rather be cold than hot, and I like staying up late more than getting up early. And when it comes to Hublot, I like their colored sapphire and SAXEM cases more than anything else they make. I just do, I can’t help it. The brand in general interests me to no end, but when I see they have a new colored sapphire watches, I get really excited. 

For LVMH Watch Week this year, Hublot has unveiled a new and somehow, in the grand scheme of crazy watches, slightly more approachable version of a watch that I’ve been transfixed by over the last few years. There was, of course, the giant purple Big Bang Tourbillon in 2022, and a tennis ball colored version of the same watch (in their SAXEM material) in tennis ball yellow last year. This year, they’re sticking with SAXEM, but have gone back to the traditional dark green material traditionally used with this material in the new Big Bang Unico SAXEM Green. 

If you’re reading this and asking yourself “What the hell is SAXEM? It sounds totally made up,” you are hereby forgiven. In my excitement for the new watch, I neglected to provide the primer on the material that is probably necessary if this is your first time hearing of it. Basically, it’s a synthetic sapphire material that, according to Hublot, is composed of rare earth elements such as thulium and holmium that make it more robust than regular sapphire. It also has a clarity, transparency, and uniformity in color that is tough to describe, except to say that it looks absolutely flawless. In person, it looks like a real-life special effect, like something made in a computer for a Star Wars movie. It’s weird, and almost disconcerting, but that’s why I love it so much. 

The past two years have been filled with sapphire/SAXEM Big Bang Tourbillons (there was a blue one, too), but this year Hublot has scaled things back a touch with a SAXEM take on the trusty old Big Bang Unico. This Big Bang featuring the brand’s in-house chronograph caliber has a similar case profile as the tourbillon but is a bit smaller, coming in at a very reasonable 42mm versus the tourbillon’s 44mm case, which in a bold and bright color somehow wears a little larger. There’s also something inherently more, I don’t know, pedestrian about a chronograph, and I really like Hublot has taken something just about everyone is familiar and comfortable with and put it inside an absolutely crazy case that’s an honest-to-goodness feat of modern materials science. 

Naturally, without a tourbillon to stare at on the dial side, we also have a more subdued and traditional display of the time. Subdued is a relative term of course, but it’s at least conventional by Hublot standards, with skeletonzed version of the UNICO 2 (HUB1280) caliber taking up most of the dial real estate, with black coated bridges providing contrast against the green numerals that match the tone of the case. I won’t sit here and claim that this is the most legible chronograph ever (the subdials at 9:00 and 3:00 get a little lost), but at least the column wheel is easy to spot at 6:00. 

The sapphire and SAXEM Big Bang Tourbillons all carried retail prices in the multi hundreds of thousands, making them true-blue Super Watches by any definition, or at least the one that involves having an eye watering MSRP. Am I really about to say that the Big Bang Unico SAXEM Green is a relative bargain at a mere $116,000? I mean, I’m not not saying that. 

The dark green color is a return to the original color used in the Spirit of Bang Bang SAXEM, and it’s a rich dark shade that evokes emeralds. While of course my own preference would be to see Hublot create a completely new color for a SAXEM release, it’s quite possible that the nature of the material simply doesn’t allow it, and we’ll only see this dark green and last year’s yellow going forward. Still, it’s certainly aesthetically pleasing, particularly with the black accents on the movement as seen through the dial, and there’s something kind of amusing about the case looking like an enormous emerald. 

The Big Bang Unico SAXEM Green is a limited edition of 100 pieces. More information here

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.