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The Mood: Red Carpet, The Watch: Hublot Square Bang Unico

We take a look into how Hublot, the iconic watchmaker from Nyon, took on the square-shaped challenge.

Mitrajit Bhattacharya

Actor Hansika Motwani is the Digital Cover Star for Zee Zest’s November 2022 Wedding Special. A shoot of three looks, the theme was formal red carpet. The third look was dramatic. Hansika wore a sequinned gold gown by designer Bennu Sehgall. To match the look, the team opted for a men’s size, bold and powerful yet dressy, luxury watch in matching gold alloy. The watch makes a strong statement with its new shape and future-ready materials.  

Earlier this year, Hublot unveiled its own interpretation of the square watch — a totally new geometry for the watchmaker. Inspired by the iconic Big Bang, this new Square Bang Unico has now added a new pillar, ‘The Shaped Collection’.

The watchmakers’ challenges

When Hublot's R&D department was asked what hadn’t been explored in watchmaking yet, the obvious answer was to work on a new shape. Hublot currently masters three shapes — a round watch, a barrel-shaped watch, and for those Master Pieces (MPs) they have broken free from all conventions. Earlier this year, at the Watches and Wonders Geneva, a fourth shape was introduced — the square.

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The square watch is a very specific object that most watchmakers find difficult to master. Its geometry challenged the watchmakers at Hublot to come up with something never done before. The first challenge for a square-shaped watch starts with the round movement as every calibre has a wheel as its basic component. To place a round movement harmoniously in a square case requires a specific aesthetic. This is why most watchmakers give the illusion of using a shaped movement by hiding the movement. Hublot decided to take the challenge head-on by hiding nothing, particularly the in-house Unico movement, the pride of the watchmakers from Nyon. The chronograph has a visible column wheel at 6 o’clock and its bi-compax display dispenses with a dial, to allow the wearer to appreciate its secret inner workings.

The second challenge is the modular construction of the case, designed in line with Hublot's core aesthetics. But this time, in spite of the watch being square in shape, and therefore much more difficult to offer higher water resistance — Hublot pulled off an amazing feat with guaranteed water resistance to 100 metres. Hublot also ensured a perfectly ergonomic case in a big size, providing comfort to the wearer similar to that of the 42 mm Big Bang.

Continuing themes from its predecessor

Keeping the design codes from the predecessor intact, Hublot continued with the sandwich construction of its dial. This provides a look with different levels of depth and a highly architectural feel. Just like the Big Bang, the watchmaker makes extensive use of sapphire on Square Bang Unico’s dial to give a clear view of the Unico movement.

Another continuity with design is the placement of the six functional screws on the bezel, exactly at the same places as on the Big Bang. Similarly, on either side of the Square Bang, you find the ‘ears’ from the predecessor’s case, giving balance to the design while protecting the case. Finally, the Square Bang uses the same avant-garde materials Hublot is now known for that include titanium, ceramic and King Gold, and the famous ‘All Black’ finish. The one we chose for the shoot was obviously the King Gold variant, which was a perfect accessory to Hansika’s golden gown.

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Lastly, Hublot developed a new strap to go with the watch that is decorated with ‘chocolate squares’, further emphasising the Square Bang’s identity. The interchangeable (One Click) system allows you to change the look of your watch in one click with an impressive range of rubber, alligator and soft-touch leather straps.

Finishing touches

At the heart of these original designs of the Square Bang Unico beat is the HUB1280 Unico Manufacture movement, a 354-component automatic chronograph, set at 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour).

The finishing, just like any other Hublot watch, has a very modern feel — polished and sandblasted screws, over-moulded rubber crown, push-pieces decorated with rubber ‘chocolate squares’, polished satin bottom and rhodium-plated or 5N gold-plated hands, depending on the model. The crown comes in over-moulded rubber.

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The shoot’s other two looks needed softer, feminine and dressy watches. There couldn’t be anything more suitable than the Hublot Big Bang One Click Steel Pavé in a delicate 33 mm diameter to go with the black gown created by designer Rudraksh Dwivedi. Meanwhile, the Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu Steel Pavé in 39 mm accessorized the shorter lilac dress by label Geisha Designs. 

Photo: Atul Kasbekar
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