The Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Black Skeleton Skull
Unusual? Yes! Irreverent? Definetely. This is the Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Black Skeleton Skull, the latest creation from the brand that has first launched, successfully, the “skull-mania” in haute horologerie, following up that which HYDROGENJEANS, the renowned Italian fashion brand and leader in co-branding, has made in fashion wear.
The Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Black Skeleton Skull is not, however, the first Skull watch. It all began in 2007 with the Skull Bang, a timepiece made out of black ceramics and a skull like dial, made in just 100 pieces and sold exclusively in Rue Saint-Honorè, Paris, at the famous Laurent Picciotto’s boutique: Chronopassion.
Looking more like an experiment, it has been a huge and unexpected success by Hublot, that has this year added two new timepieces to this line up: the Skull Pavè and the Tourbillon. By introducing the last one, made in two limited edition versions, it has, indeed, aesthetically reworked the Holy Grail of watchmaking: the tourbillon. And did it its way: innovating.
The Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Black Skeleton Skull, love it or hate it, is as intriguing as it is out of the ordinary: case and bezel are made in ceramic coated Aluminum obtained through a treatment that consists of a surface conversion through plasma discharge in an electrolyte bath. The ceramic layer is then micro-blasted to get a final distressed look. Hublot thus claims this compound has a superior hardness and resistance to corrosion, and is twice as light as ceramic.
If you take a close look at its bridges you might notice that they’re not as flat as you’d expect them to be, but they have been laser machined to get a 3D aspect. The components’ white surface (as you can see in the video above) treatment is instead obtained via an electroplating process. Where’s the “profanity”? Hublot has placed the skull just on top of the one-minute tourbillion cage of the manual wind caliber with a 5 days of power reserve.
The Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Black Skeleton Skull is the first Hublot to ever adopt roman numerals, a choice dictated maybe by the skull’s iconography. In all honesty I do love the Classic Fusion range, but I’d hardly wear this one, as it is too unconventional in my opinion (while I do, indeed, like the Skull Bang ) and little has to do with the Classic Fusion’s design codes. Most probably, this timepiece is intended for unusual people with a strong personality. But It also proves that at Nyon creativity never stops! When it comes to create new materials and finishing processes, two fields where Hublot is among the world leaders in fine watchmaking, it truly represents an unstoppable innovation lab.
(Photo credit: Google; Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)