Luc Virginius / Chronopassion


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Notice of laurent

It's a different chronograph. It's a different display. It's a watch specially designed for the world of football.

See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion



 It's the Official Watch of this year's FIFA World Cup. It's also the first Big Bang Unico Bi-Retrograde Chrono. It's a first for Hublot, who has never before produced a bi-retrograde function, along with a central chrono, a movement with patent pending. 

The engineers and watchmakers at Hublot were initially inspired to develop a watch movement specifically for the world of football, to pay homage to the prestigious 2014 FIFA World Cup™ for which Hublot is the Official timekeeper and the Official Watch. 

The UNICO Manufacture calibre – unique in the industry, with its column wheel and dual coupling on the dial side – was chosen to serve as the basis for the development of this watch, here embodying a very current example of its extraordinary flexibility. 

The fruit of 18 months of research and development, the new automatic HUB1260 manufacture movement has arrived: a bi-retrograde movement with central chrono comprising 385 components (Frequency 4 Hz, 28,800 Vib/Hour), patent pending. It is also one of the only movements of its type in the watchmaking industry today. 

It is the first time Hublot has unveiled a watch with a bi-retrograde display (the hands return to their starting points at lightning speed). How does it work in this particular case? When the chronograph is started, the chrono's second hand and minute hand move from left to right in a circular arc of 45 minutes (one half of a football match), with an area for 15 minutes' added time up to 60 minutes. There are two push-buttons on either side of the crown for START, STOP and RESET; the push-button at 2 o'clock is also used to show the period of time selected from the following 4 options: 1st half, half time, 2nd half and end of match, indicated by a window in the centre at 12 o'clock. 

Another challenge to be met by those designing the movement was energy. This rather unusual display design demands additional effort, as the rapid movements of the hands require more energy from the movement. This has been optimised, as far as possible, so as not to affect the correct operation of the time display; Hublot was highly selective in its choice of materials and functions, opting for those offering the lowest possible consumption and friction coefficient. 

Obviously, time doesn't stop during a gripping football match. This is why the two permanently rotating hands are arranged in a counter at 6 o'clock. This way, they continue to display the passing hours and minutes while the seconds are shown by a small sector-shaped counter; this has a three-spoke hand positioned at 9 o'clock which rotates permanently and allows the wearer to see at a glance that the movement is working correctly. The power reserve is approximately 72 hours. 

Finally, the dial bears the national colours of Brazil – yellow and green – in reference to the competition's host country.

The design of the piece features a "Big Bang Unico" case with a powerful 45.5 mm diameter for a stylish mechanical look. The bezel is secured by the famous 6 H-shaped screws, designed in relief to allow alternating polished and matt finishes. The screw-down crown with overmoulded rubber is also decorated on the end with the famous "H" from the Hublot screw, with its two push-buttons positioned at 2 o'clock and 4 o'clock. 

The sharp angles and intelligent sandwich system have been retained in the case design, but the strap attachment in particular has been optimised: it features the now famous "One click" system which allows the wearer to switch between a wide choice of straps – each watch is supplied with a structured and ribbed natural rubber strap which perfectly matches the endpieces of the middle. Water resistant to 100 metres. 

Although its official name is the "Hublot Big Bang Official Watch of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™", it has already earned the name "Soccer Bang". It is available in two versions: firstly, an 18K King Gold version with carbon fibre bezel limited to just 100 pieces and, secondly, a black ceramic version, also with a carbon fibre bezel, which is limited to 200 numbered pieces.

Technical specifications

  • 412.OQ.1128.RX
  • King Gold Carbon
  • Limited to 100 numbered pieces 
  • "Big Bang Unico"
  • 45 mm diameter 
  • 18K King Gold  polished and satin-finished. 
  • Bezel Carbon fibre with 6 H-shaped titanium screws, countersunk, polished & locked 
  • Crystal Sapphire with interior/exterior anti-reflection coating 
  • Bezel lugs Black composite resin 
  • Crown 18K King Gold black overmoulded rubber with Hublot logo 
  • or Black PVD titanium with black overmoulded rubber and Hublot logo 
  • Case back 18K King Gold or Black ceramic - both satin-finished 
  • Sapphire crystal with interior anti-reflection coating 
  • Water resistance 10 ATM, i.e. approx 100 metres 
  • Black, matt and satin-finished 
  • Yellow retrograde display and minute hand 
  • Green retrograde display and second hand 


  • HUB1260 UNICO Manufacture self-winding movement, 
  • Bi-retrograde movement with central chrono 
  • Components 385 (44 jewels) 
  • Power reserve Approximately 72 hours 


  • Structured and ribbed natural black rubber 
  • Clasp Black PVD titanium deployant buckle with 18K King Gold 

Who's who

“I’d known Jean-Claude for 20 years. When he took over Hublot, I offered to open a dedicated store in Paris. He came to see the premises. We talked together for barely 45 minutes before reaching an agreement.” The relationship between Chronopassion and Hublot is built on mutual trust, spontaneity – and firm convictions about the projects with the greatest potential. As Lauren Adams would say, “there’s no point discussing what’s already been agreed.” It’s the perfect adage when it comes to the personalities of former Hublot CEO Hublot Jean-Claude Biver and Laurent Picciotto, the founder of Chronopassion. Rather than simply being the story of a brand and its products, Hublot and Chronopassion is above all a story with a strongly personal touch. When Carlo Crocco created the Hublot watch with a gold case and a rubber strap in 1980, it was the first time in the history of watchmaking that a precious material, gold, had been used alongside rubber. In the mid-1990s, rubber became prized by many leading watchmaking brands, demonstrating that Hublot’s decision had been the right one. For the brand, rubber was anything but a fad – rather, it embodied its philosophy and became its hallmark. Having headed up Hublot for fifteen years, Carlo Crocco became increasingly busy with work for his MDM Foundation, so he set out to find the right person to take the helm of the watchmaking firm. That was when he met Jean-Claude Biver, who had just left Blancpain. Biver put Hublot back on the road to recovery, becoming head of the company from May 2004 through to 2012. “Our paths crossed in 2006,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. “Jean-Claude had already brought the brand right up to date, with lines like Big Bang, Classic Fusion and King Power. This was the beginning of the rebirth of Hublot. He drew plans, diagrams, rebuses and roadmaps for me. When he stepped down from his position as CEO in 2012, I realised that he had had his entire roadmap in mind right from the word go. Not only that, but that he had completed it – ahead of time.” The takeover of BNB Concept proved to be a key turning-point for the brand. The company had been subcontracting for Hublot since 2004, dealing with complication watches, particularly tourbillons. At a time when BNB was struggling financially, Hublot offered to buy out the firm. The brand thereby became a “manufacture”, enabling it to supply haute horlogerie models, notably a large number of tourbillons and Minute Repeaters, as well as more atypical pieces such as the Key of Time. Together, Laurent Picciotto and Jean-Claude Biver forged a partnership rather than a commercial relationship. The two men created a number of custom series and set about laying the foundations of what was to become Hublotista, the community of Hublot owners. At the end of the day, they are still motivated by passion – and guided above all by instinct.
Journalist : Olivier Müller
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