Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary
In 1980 I was six; my understanding of watchmaking and everything that ticks were nonexistent; I began discovering watches via a handful of printed magazines, like AD. If you used to browse AD, back then, you'd agree that Condè Nast's premium interior design magazine was a favorite destination to most luxury watch brands. Then, Hublot was barely a watch manufacturer. Instead, it was a collection of timepieces sold under the MDM logo; that experiment proved to be among the most remarkable and enduring ones. The company debuted the first-ever gold watch on a rubber strap. Today, this combination is trendy, and I think most luxury brands should somehow pay tribute to Hublot, who pioneered the modern sports gold wristwatch.
After acquiring the brand, LVMH's Biver turned the small porthole-logo brand into a case study in the watch industry and a global success story. This year Hublot turns 40, which might look hilarious given the majority of Swiss Made manufactures are far more than 150 or even 200 years old. Yet Hublot is a visionary manufacturer, whose mission is to innovate at a pace so fast that the last forty years equal a standard one-hundred-year time of a traditional watchmaker. The Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary collection is an unexpected market move; it's a call to action to classic Hublot die-hard collectors, whose desire is to wrap the Holy Grail classic Hublot around their wrist. From a marketing strategy standpoint, it is geared towards those looking for the original one, whose market price is higher than you'd expect. The new collection also aims at capturing the more mature European market watch lovers, in my opinion.
The new Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary collection is available in three limited series options: the most alluring and meaningful is undoubtedly the 18-karat yellow gold variant. It is as faithful to the original as it gets, with the other two options, one in titanium the other in black ceramic, mimicking the old non-in-gold original Hublot. However, titanium is a common trait to all these three timepieces since it comes standard on the double folding clasp.
The 45mm case, across, is a surprise; not only is it somewhat larger than the original 39mm one, but bigger than expected given the timepiece's original size. However, a slightly smaller than 11mm thickness is a guarantee it easily slides under the cuff. Comfort is a key feature of any Classic Fusion. I'm quite surprised and a bit upset too, the brand did not introduce a manufactured caliber, given Hublot's capability, price point, and allure. The HUB 1112 movement is a workhorse, namely a sturdy Sellita-based and customized caliber, but I believe such a collection would deserve an equally collectors-ready new caliber.
The dial is an eye-catcher: the designers introduced a lacquered, pure, and no-frills dial, with no applied indexes, oversized raised logo, and brand name excluded. The lacquered dial paired with the yellow gold case is just right; take a look at how the lacquer seems to be flowing into the date windows, whose base color has turned from white to matte black.
I also appreciate how the slim rubber insert separates the bezel from the case, making the commemorative edition far more contemporary. The retail prices reaffirm how exclusive this limited series is: the Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary Yellow Gold is a one-shot run of 100 pieces, each priced at 24,800 Euros. Get ready to pay 8,200 and 10,300 for the titanium or the ceramic options, respectively; they're both limited to 200 pieces. The yellow gold version 40 Years Anniversary is my cup of tea, and I hope Hublot will soon replicate this scheme by introducing this line up as standard in its catalog soon.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Hublot)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®