LVMH WATCH WEEK: Hublot Unveil The Big Bang Unico Green SAXEM

by Matt Clymo

Hublot goes green with their latest Big Bang Unico made from SAXEM – a space-age material years in the making!

Last year at LVMH Watch Week, Hublot unveiled their Big Bang Unico Neon Yellow SAXEM. It was no mean feat taking around 3 years of R&D to develop the neon yellow colour for the SAXEM material. Hublot is known for its ingenious use of cutting-edge materials, and this year, they’ve added to the SAXEM family with an intense green Big Bang Unico!

The new Hublot Big Bang Unico SAXEM Green

But first, what is SAXEM? It’s a material that was primarily used in Lasers and Satellites due to its lightness and toughness. SAXEM stands for “Sapphire Aluminium oXide and rare Earth Mineral”. It is an alloy of aluminium oxide, the basic component of sapphire, with rare earth elements like thulium, holmium, as well as chromium. The resulting material is ultra-resistant and endowed with a brilliance that is greater than that of sapphire.


“It took almost two years of R&D to successfully create the uniform, homogenous colour of this chemical compound. While as perfect and resistant as sapphire, the finish differs. This is something collectors appreciate as the new green SAXEM captures the essence of Hublot: first, unique and different.”
– Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO Hublot


The material is ultra-luminous, and whilst it doesn’t absorb and then give off light, it does look like it is emitting in the way the material cleverly diffuses the light from different angles. If you’ve seen these in person, then you’ll understand just how the case is able to shine and almost glow with the natural light coming through it!

The brilliant green of the SAXEM case looks like it’s glowing whilst diffusing the light

This isn’t the first time Hublot has done a piece in green SAXEM. They unveiled the Hublot MP-11 in a green SAXEM back in 2019 which was a first for the brand with the material, then followed this up in 2020 with a Spirit of Big Bang Model. Since then, Hublot have been working on it to produce the neon yellow last year and today, the new Big Bang Unico SAXEM green, which is more emerald than the previous green for the MP-11.

The 2019 SAXEM Green MP-11

Whilst the Neon Yellow version from 2023 used the HUB6035 Manufacture automatic tourbillon movement and fully skeletonised it so it appeared the dial elements were floating, Hublot has chosen to go with their in-house HUB1280 UNICO 2 movement, the same found in their standard 42mm Big Bang Unico collection. This is a self-winding, flyback chronograph movement, and I’ve said this previously, one of the best flyback chronograph movements out there due to the smoothness of its operation.

The UNICO 2 movement on display via the dial with date disc and Column Wheel on display

The HUB1280 is equipped with a high-performance tungsten oscillating weight to give the watch its 72 hour power reserve, features the iconic column wheel at 6 o’clock and visible date disc around the movement, with the aperture set in the centre of the 60-minute counter at 3 o’clock. This is finished in black PVD, which matches the crown and chronograph pushers and combined with the green, gives this piece a unique look – for some reason, Green Lantern (The DC Comics Superhero) comes to mind when I see it!

The HUB1280 UNICO 2 movement through the display caseback

The Big Bang Unico SAXEM Green is robust at 42mm and 14.5mm thick with a 50m water resistance. Whilst you’re not getting the same WR as the standard Big Bang Unico which sits at 100m, I would bet you’re probably not going to be scuba diving with it anytime soon! The SAXEM green also comes with Hublot’s One Click strap system, now standard across a range of their collections, so should you want to pair the watch with a different colour strap or material, you’re able to effortlessly swap them out at the push of a button.

The black PVD titanium clasp on the interchangeable strap

Final Thoughts

Hublot continues to break ground with new materials and technology and is one of the rare brands out there pushing boundaries with them. Whilst heritage and tradition have their place in the watch world, for a brand that is just over 40 years young, then thankfully this isn’t too much of a constraint for them, and the Big Bang Unico SAXEM Green is very much a watch that breaks down conventional barriers.

If you’re one of the lucky 100 people to get their hands on this limited-edition piece, then you’ll certainly have something unique to talk about, and a piece sure to stand out on the wrist. The HUB1280 UNICO 2 movement is a great movement and one that is now tried and tested with a silky smooth flyback chronograph function. Whilst not as technically or aesthetically impressive as the floating skeletonised movement in the Neon Yellow SAXEM, this one is more functional for everyday use.

Reference: 441.JG.4990.RT – limited to 100 pieces

Specification:

  • Case: 42 mm and 14.5mm in thickness
  • Case Material: Polished green SAXEM with “One Click” strap change system
  • Dial: Polished black transparent composite resin
  • Bezel: Polished green SAXEM
  • Crystal: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating 
  • Movement: HUB1280 UNICO 2 Automatic Flyback Chronograph movement. Vibrating at 4Hz / 28,800 with 354 components and 41 jewels
  • Case-Back: Polished green SAXEM and sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment
  • Water resistance: 50 metres / 5ATM
  • Power reserve: 72 Hours
  • Strap: Lined, transparent green rubber strap and Titanium deployant buckle clasp

Australian Recommended Retail Price: AUD $175,000

Availability: Available through Hublot Boutiques. For more information, head to Hublot.com

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