Hublot’s cornerstone Discount watch turns 40 and looks better than ever.
In Stephen Hawking’s universe, the Big Bang marked the beginning of time; in watchmaking, it’s the best-selling Hublot watch. Hublot has always been a brand that likes to make noise, a lot of noise. It’s loud, explosive and disruptive; a brand you love or hate. Although the Big Bang is largely a 21st century creation, it owes its character to the watch released in 1980. You could say that Carlo Crocco’s Hublot started the concept of fusion, an unorthodox but refreshing combination of materials the brand noticed. As the watch enters a respectable era in 2020, the brand has released the new Hublot Classic Fusion 40th Anniversary Collection.
CARLO CROCCO Unconventional Material Combinations
Italian entrepreneur Carlo Crocco founded the MDM Genève brand and, after three years of research, launched Hublot (“Porthole” in French) at Baselworld in 1980. An unconventional 37mm yellow gold watch with a black rubber strap, this stunningly noble combination of a water-resistant rubber material like gold was an industry first and made waves in the Baselworld crowd. With its porthole-shaped case and sporty flair, the watch (later known as the Classic Fusion) would become the cornerstone of Hublot’s thriving empire and was quickly adopted by sporty European royalty. With the arrival of Jean-Claude Biver in 2004, the concept of fusion was amplified on the brand’s flagship collection, the Big Bang. Not only did it solidify the trend of large watches, the Big Bang also resonated with young people,
By no means the first luxury sports watch – that title was held by AP Royal Oak in 1972 – Crocco’s Hublot pretty much follows that formula. Crafted in brushed and polished gold, it features an obligatory complex case construction, porthole-inspired bezel, exposed screws, and an integrated bracelet. The notable difference here is the material used on the bracelet. Instead of the more traditional one-piece metal bracelet formula, Crocco outfitted the watch with a black rubber strap and a well-concealed double-blade deployment clasp. The minimalist black dial, with only three central hands and a date window at 3 o’clock, is undoubtedly the embodiment of Crocco’s Italian design.
As an avid sailor, Crocco’s choice of a water-resistant, stretchy strap makes sense. The print ad of the day depicted a sailboat on the high seas, with a rendering of the watch and a brief description of its benefits. The first Hublot to feature a quartz movement was described as “light”, “bold” and “water resistant to 5 Atm”.
Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Crocco’s groundbreaking watch, Hublot reinterprets the Classic Fusion in a more contemporary way. That means a larger 45mm case size and, perhaps more importantly, a proper mechanical movement. The overall look of the Anniversary Classic Fusion, with its minimalist black lacquered dial, integrated black rubber strap and complex case construction, is close to the original, but with a few changes, as we’ll find out.
The watch is available in three versions: satin-finished 18k yellow gold, satin-finished titanium and satin-finished black ceramic. All three watches have a diameter of 45 mm, a case height of 10.95 mm and a water-resistant depth of 100 meters.
Instead of the 12 screws on the original bezel, all members of the Classic Fusion collection now have six H-shaped titanium screws, with two rubber details on either side of the case wedged into the middle of the case and between the bezel. Contrasting finishes on the case underscore its dynamic architecture that never ends.
However, it is possible to appreciate the difference between the anniversary model and other classic fusion models on the dial. The jet black lacquered dial is smooth and, like the original, has no numerals. The hands are faceted, and the central seconds counterweight has an H logo similar to the H applied at noon and the Hublot decal below. The date aperture is rounder and softer than the original rectangular bezel, and the black background complements the black dial.
Obviously, the integration of the mechanical movement is an upgrade from the original quartz-powered engine of the 1980 model. The Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary is powered by the Sellita SW300-1-based Hublot HUB1112 self-winding movement with a 42-hour power reserve.
All third-anniversary models feature an ultra-smooth black rubber strap with a black-plated titanium deployant clasp, and gold, titanium or black ceramic trim that matches the case material.
These anniversary models are a successful reinterpretation of an icon that captures the sleek minimalism of the original, but with upgraded mechanics and increased size to reflect today’s market trends. The three-hand watch is a bit pricey, and it’s definitely aimed at collectors who like the original but want a more contemporary and mechanical movement.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS – HUBLOT CLASSIC FUSION 40th Anniversary
Case: 45mm diameter x 10.95mm thick – 3 case materials: 18k yellow gold, titanium or black ceramic, polished and satin-finished – 100m water resistance – 40th anniversary logo printed on sapphire glass case back – 6 on bezel H-shaped titanium screws
Dial: Polished black lacquer – Gold or rhodium plated appliqués – Faceted baton hands – Date window with black background at 3 o’clock
Movement: Hublot HUB1112, base Sellita SW300-1 – Automatic winding – 28,800vph – 42-hour power reserve – Hours, minutes, seconds and date
Strap: Smooth Black Rubber Strap – Titanium Deployment Clasp
Model: 511.VX.1280.RX.MDM40 – Gold
511.NX.1270.RX.MDM40 – Titanium
511.CX.1270.RX.MDM40 – Black ceramic