When Hublot released two takes on sapphire Big Bangs last year, the Unico Sapphire and the All Black version, we suspected that wouldn’t be the last we’d see of the clear case material. Lo and behold, our hunch has proved correct with the release of the Big Bang Unico Magic Sapphire.
Compared to 2016’s white-on-white and jet black limited editions, the Magic Sapphire feels far less ghostly and much more tangible. This is largely down to the smart design. By using their ‘Black Magic’ visual style with its contrasting elements, such as the black strap and texture-heavy dial with red accents, Hublot has made the spectacular 45mm sapphire case shine. So while the specs of the Magic Sapphire are essentially the same as before, the result is a completely different watch, and one that really pops IRL.
Significant wrist appeal is only part of the picture. One of the most impressive aspects of this watch is the fact Hublot can make it at volume. Though it’s a limited edition of 500, being able to produce so many cases from sapphire – a material that’s notoriously tricky to work with – is no mean feat, and one the brand is rightly proud of. And while sapphire is most strongly associated with Richard Mille and a few other ultra-high-end pieces, I can think of no brand better placed than Hublot to take this simultaneously tough and ethereal material to a (slightly) more mainstream audience.