The ultimate golf watch isn’t a smartwatch. It’s Hublot’s Big Bang Unico Golf

There are golf watches, and then there is the Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf — the ultimate timepiece for wearing on the green. Hublot has experimented with smartwatches recently, but the Big Bang Unico Golf is not digital. It’s the world’s first mechanical golf watch designed specifically to tracking your game. It’s a wonderfully tactile, uniquely Hublot watch that performs its function in an eye-catching, smile-inducing way. We went to see the latest version of this fabulously luxurious piece.

Hublot launched the first Big Bang Golf in 2018, which came in white, and has released a new version this year in blue Texalium — a material made from fiberglass and aluminum — which you can see in our pictures. The case is made from titanium, carbon fiber, and ceramic, with anti-reflective sapphire crystal over the face and the case back, exposing the movement. The materials are high-tech, and the design is unlike any other golf watch you’ll find.

Unico movement

The movement is what makes the watch special. Hublot took its automatic Unico movement, which has a 72-hour power reserve, then added its own, specially-developed mechanical module to keep track of your golf game. It’s a highly technical piece of moving art, which can be seen shifting gears and turning numbers every time you press one of the buttons. How does it work? On the outside it’s wonderfully simple, but inside things are much more complicated.

Looking at the watch face. There are three windows, one at 9 o’clock, at 3 o’clock, and at 6 o’clock, which show which hole you’re playing, its shot count, and the overall score. The Big Bang Unico Golf is not GPS controlled, and doesn’t alter these aspects for you. It’s all done mechanically, by you. On the right side of the case is the crown, flanked by two buttons marked Shot and Hole. Press the shot button every time you hit the ball, and the yellow figure advances, along with the overall score at the bottom of the face. When you’ve sunk the ball, press the Hole button to move on and the shot count resets to zero, while the overall score continues counting.

The buttons are extremely tactile, and need some heft to operate. If you’re used to soft-touch buttons on a smartwatch, or any digital device, it feels very different. Like going back to a car without power-assisted steering. When you press down, you can feel — and see — the movement operate, and it’s a special experience.  At the end of your game, the button on the left side resets everything, ready for the next game.

An event on your wrist

Describing this simply as a golf watch is wrong. It’s an event. From the design down to the highly-specific function, it’s a plaything for the golfer that already has all the best equipment, and their own golf cart to match, yet still knows great watchmaking. The Big Bang Unico is insane to look at in blue, with the intricate design of the face looking quite dainty next to the wide bezel, commanding lugs, and oversize crown.

It really could be worn at any time, despite being really only for golfers.

The 45mm case is large, and at just over 18mm thick, it’s not a watch for the shy and retiring. However, it’s highly wearable due to the 98 gram weight, and the well-thought out case design. It really could be worn at any time, despite being really only for golfers. The sporty strap in the pictures has quick release buttons, and the watch comes with a second, all-black strap to make it slightly more formal.

Look closer and you begin to see all the golf-inspired design nods. The shot and hole buttons resemble the head of a putter, the reset button looks like a golf tee, and the sports strap has a look reminiscent of a golf glove. Hublot has a rich history of making watches linked to sport, or sporting brands, from Ferrari to this year’s cricket tie-up. The Big Bang Unico Golf is different. It’s not just commemorating something, it serves a purpose. It has a genuine function, which it performs in a deliciously tactile manner.

Only 200 made

Obviously, this is a Hublot watch and you’ll have to pay for the joy of owning it. It’s $33,500, or 26,900 British pounds, and what’s worse, there are only 200 in existence, so you will have to work to find one. Hublot, despite having given us the Big Bang Referee last year, said it won’t make a smartwatch again, but if it continues to experiment with innovative and fun mechanical watches like the Big Bang Unico Golf, we don’t mind.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Golf fans who don’t have the budget for Hublot’s golf watch may want to look at Tag Heuer’s special Connected Modular 45 Golf Edition (like Hublot, Tag Heuer is also a LVMH brand). The $1,850 smartwatch comes with a newly-developed, highly-accurate golf app, making it a very different proposition to the Big Bang Unico.

Gaming

Brace yourself. Sony’s PlayStation 5 is going to be expensive

How much will Sony's PlayStation 5 cost? Official pricing will stay under wraps for months, but early details provide enough information to make a guess. Our estimate suggests the price will be higher than fans expect to pay.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for April 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Deals

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for April 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Gaming

Get the most life out of your Xbox One controller with these tips

The Xbox One controller has fantastic battery life, but eventually your batteries will still die. To make it even better and ensure you never have to stop gaming, follow these tips.
Deals

Amazon slashes $131 off Samsung Gear S3 Frontier, discounts other smartwatches

Amazon is dropping the price on the Samsung Gear S3 by 37 percent. We've reviewed the Gear S3 and found that it is a great smartwatch for both Android and iOS users. And this deal is one of the best deals we've found online.
Mobile

A Google patent hints at a new attempt at an augmented reality headset

Google may be working on another augmented reality headset. The company was awarded a patent for an augmented reality headset. Unfortunately, the patent isn't specific as to what the headset will look like.
Outdoors

When it's not keeping you dry, Gore wants to keep Silicon Valley innovating

The Gore Innovation Center in Santa Clara, California is designed to help tech start ups to create innovate new products that integrated Gore-Tex fabrics and other materials in wearables, health devices, and more.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Wearables

The North Focals smartglasses help you rock out with new Spotify support

The North Focals are a pair of smartglasses with a whole lot to offer. They not only look pretty good, but they allow you to get directions, check upcoming items on your calendar, and more. Here's everything you need to know.
Wearables

Army uses modified Microsoft HoloLens 2 for ‘real-life game of Call of Duty’

The U.S. Army gave CNBC an exclusive look at its modified Microsoft HoloLens 2 augmented reality headset. The Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS, provides various functions for training and combat.
Wearables

Now is the time to pick up and wear a discounted TicWatch smartwatch

Mobvoi is running a promotion on two of its desirable smartwatches, the TicWatch C2 and the TicWatch Pro, where you can get 20-percent off the usual price. This brings our favorite, the C2, down to just $160.
Wearables

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch: Is more expensive better?

Samsung has finally launched its latest smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. The device is aimed at sporty people and is clearly well-designed. But is the new device better than Samsung's flagship watch?
Deals

Smartwatch deal: The Apple Watch Series 3 just dropped to $199

Now’s a perfect time to grab the last-gen (but still awesome) Apple Watch Series 3. It's a great wearable for those looking to hop into the world of smartwatches, and this limited-time deal makes the Series 3 even more attractive.
Deals

Apple Watch Series 3, Fitbit Charge 2 see price cuts from Walmart and B&H

Save around $50 on the Fitbit Charge 2 from Amazon and more than $100 on the Apple Watch Series 3 at B&H Photo Video and Walmart. These may be slightly older models, but they're still excellent fitness trackers and smartwatches.