This is the Hublot watch for people who don't traditionally like Hublot. It is in the Classic Fusion collection and has a skeletonized tourbillon movement. To be honest, I sort of get a sense of glee when I post a picture of a Hublot watch on my wrist, share it on Instagram (aBlogtoWatch), and people battle over whether it is wonderful or hideous in the comments. Whether they are beauties or beasts is really not the issue, but rather that this determination is so fantastically subjective. I like to see the opinions squirm and fight.
I just learned that this will be the 50th Hublot article we will publish on aBlogtoWatch. I've written more unpublished articles on the brand as well as pieces on other sites. Maybe 100 in total. Even then I don't feel as though I totally know the brand. Yesterday I visited the Hublot boutique here in Los Angeles and found three or four pieces that were totally new to me. In a sense I like not being able to keep up. The brand always has some secrets, and the opinions its shakes out of people are priceless. In a sense that is why Hublot started the Classic Fusion collection a few years ago - to offer something to people who liked the concept of Hublot but didn't see most of their pieces living on their wrist.
The endeavor was a success for Hublot. Finally the brand had a piece that most of its middle-aged or older retailers, distributors, and older-aged partners would and could wear. Not to mention customers... At SIHH 2013 for example I spotted an overwhelming amount of people wearing various Classic Fusion models. A 42mm wide version on a bracelet even came out this year. Most of these people would never wear a Big Bang, King Power, or otherwise thick and sporty Hublot with their indoor formal attire. It was a smart move for Hublot and it retained the brand's thematic DNA.
So this Classic Fusion Skeleton Tourbillon is the king of the Classic Fusion family. Retail price is just shy of $100,000, though the non-tourbillon Hublot Classic Fusion skeleton models (hands-on here) are considerably less. As the king, it comes in a larger 45mm wide case (that is still rather thin at around 9mm or so thick). What you see in this article are two versions of the watch. One is the Classic Fusion Skeleton Tourbillon 45mm in titanium, and the other is in black ceramic. Both contain movements made in-house by Hublot.
The Classic Fusion collection from Hublot first came out around 2010, and we covered it here with additional details. There I talked about what the collection means, and more about the design. In a nutshell, you have a thematic return to original Hublot watches from the 1980s as well as a "classically inspired" version of the Big Bang case. Since then, the Classic Fusion has exploded with dozens of versions - more than I can keep track of. The case is elegant though futuristic and clearly masculine in its design. At 45mm, I love the size of these larger Classic Fusion models, but smaller ones are available.
Both in titanium or black ceramic, the Classic Fusion Skeletonized Tourbillon is a stunner. There isn't the inherent showiness of gold, but these are clearly high-end items once you see the movement. The concept of them of course is very Roger Dubuis - who first innovated with using interesting polished and black surfaces to make spiderweb-like skeletonization on mechanical movements. Though, with the modern looking angles, the movement is possibly more Spiderman in style.
In terms of the movements, I must add that the titanium and ceramic Classic Fusion Skeleton Tourbillon watches have a different movement inside of each one. They look pretty much identical, but the titanium version contains the Hublot HUB6010 and the ceramic version contains the HUB1300. Both feature the time and tourbillon. Both are manually wound, and both look very much the same. So what makes them different? Size. The HUB6010 is 4mm thick while the HUB1300 is just 2.6mm thick. With that thinness, an overall thinner case profile is possible in the ceramic model. The HUB1300 also has a 90 hour power reserve while the HUB6010 has a 120 hour power reserve as there is a bit more space. Last, the HUB1300 is more efficient, being made out of 130 parts while the HUB6010 is made of 155 parts.
In typical Hublot style, the watches come on rubber and alligator straps. Meaning they have a rubber liner with alligator on the top. Given the slick black tones but accessible legibility I would personally go with the black ceramic model - but I would not turn either of them down. As a cool looking, less than ostentatious skeletonized tourbillon timepiece, these Hublot Classic Fusion models are difficult to deny. Of course the price is up there and Hublot is still settling in with its status as a high-end movement maker, but I don't think they will have too much trouble selling these. I should not forget to add that the titanium Classic Fusion Skeleton Tourbillon ($92,000) is limited to 50 pieces, while the black ceramic model will be limited to 99 pieces ($97,700). A king gold tourbillon model of the watch will also be available as a limited edition of 50 pieces ($109,000). hublot.com