Like their recent self-winding King Power Red Devil collection, the 2011 Hublot Big Bang Flamengo (Ref. 318.CI.1123.FLM11) is, too, dedicated to soccer. Featuring the same 45-minute chronograph counter, it nevertheless comes in a more tranquil, sober case and also sports a simpler movement.
The Brazilian-based Clube de Regatas do Flamengo multisport club is a perfect partner for the young brand. The club was established almost 116 years ago by a group of six young and not particularly wealthy gentlemen who, according to Wikipedia (not the most reliable source, I know) were seeking attention among “the young ladies of the city’s high society.”
It took Flamengo only a couple of decades to turn from a one-team rowing club into a multisport establishment that would own one of the most popular football teams of the XX century with around 35 million followers and the 9th place in FIFA Clubs of the 20th Century list.
The new Hublot Big Bang Flamengo is released in the well-known among the fans of the club black-and-scarlet color theme.
While the black is reserved for the micro-blasted ceramic case, bezel, and strap, the scarlet covers the faceted, diamond-polished, black nickel hands, and hour markers, as well as the rubber inserts in the chronograph push-pieces and the setting crown.
You probably already noted that the watch features only one sub-dial with a single chronograph hand running around a 45-minute totalizer. Counter-weighing it, the other “sub-dial” at 3 o’clock is not functional. It only features Flamengo’s famous Shield with the CRF monogram.
The date aperture at 6 o’clock with a white calendar wheel nicely matches the Hublot logo, also printed in white at 12 o’clock.
From a technical point of view, the Big Bang Flamengo is less interesting than the aforementioned King Power Red Devil.
It is powered by the Caliber HUB 1146 self-winding movement that we have already seen in the limited edition Big Bang Maradona and the Red Devil Bang II, also sporting the same design of their bodies and dials.
However, the new watch will certainly be more practical and more pleasant to wear, since the mid-sized 44.5 mm Big Bang case will feel better on a normal wrist.
Also, as all their Big Bang watches, the Flamengo offers better legibility with its matte black dial providing an almost perfect background for the luminous hands and indexes.
At this time, Hublot plans to make and sell to select customers only 250 individually numbered examples and will possibly have absolutely no problem selling them all.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Hublot Big Bang Flamengo (Ref. 318.CI.1123.FLM11) Limited Edition specification
Price: $18,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber HUB 1146 (probably based on ETA 2892,) 28,800 vph, 55 jewels, Glucydur hairspring, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Bridges: Satin-finished, beveled and polished; Mainplate: Micro-blasted with black galvanic coating; Oscillating weight: Tungsten carbide with black PVD treated dimpled surface
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, 45-minute chronograph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case and Bezel: Micro-blasted black ceramic
Crown: Black PVD steel
Size: 44.50 mm
Dial: Black, red accents
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Adjustable black rubber and alligator leather strap with red stitching and black PVD steel deployant buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides
Back: Solid, engraved