When Italian entrepreneur Carlo Crocco founded Hublot in 1980, the brand was the epitome of a disruptor. Not only did Hublot introduce the first ever natural rubber strap in the history of watchmaking, but Hublot paired that rubber strap with a gold watch – an unthinkable combination back then. But it worked.
The rest, as they say, is history. That unexpected fusion of sporty rubber with luxurious gold and a minimal, industrial design proved to be a hit with watch fans – and 43 years later, Hublot remains one of the most popular and disruptive watchmakers on the market.
These days, Hublot’s best known for chronographs like the Big Bang and their unique experiments in material technologies – ceramics, sapphire crystal, and of course, gold… Their watches aren’t what you’d call subtle. Not that there’s a problem with that, but it’s easy to forget that the brand’s first effort; the one that established them, was an exercise in subtlety.
Forget no longer. At LVMH Watch Week 2023, Hublot has brought back that original, groundbreaking design in the form of the Classic Fusion Original collection: a watch collection that remains incredibly faithful to those original Hublots of the 1980s while continuing that tradition of innovation.
While these new Classic Fusion Originals are dead ringers for the, well, originals, they bring a few new changes to the table. Firstly, they’re available in three different case materials as well as three different case sizes: yellow gold, titanium and black magic (black ceramic); and 33, 38 and 42mm respectively.
It’s quite a unisex watch so having that choice of sizes makes a lot of sense. Despite the integrated nature of the rubber strap, they all wear slightly smaller than their cases sizes advertise, actually. Having tried them on, my favourite is easily the 38mm. I’ve got big wrists and can easily rock a 42mm but the 38 is super elegant; super classy.
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Indeed, that’s the allure of the Classic Fusion Original: it’s an elegant, understated Hublot, if such a thing is possible. There’s that fertile friction between the avant-garde nature of its design and its restrained execution. It’s both peak 80’s maximalism and minimalism all in once, with an undeniable air of sprezzatura.
Hublot had some pretty out-there high watchmaking releases this LVMH Watch Week but it’s the Classic Fusion Original that I reckon is the best of the bunch. It’s an accessible, stylish and quirky dress watch for those who’re looking for something a bit different – both in a watch and in a Hublot. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, we suppose.
Find out more about the Hublot Classic Fusion Original collection as well as Hublot’s other January releases at their online boutique here.