Ceramic is in, guys, and Hublot is taking it a step further than anyone else. If you’ve not picked up on the trend towards ceramic cases, bezels, and other components let me be the first to tell you: it’s here, and it’s pretty exciting. However, until relatively recently, ceramic watches were largely confined to black, white, and grey color palettes. Last summer, Hublot released the first of its kind in a highly polished and saturated all-red ceramic Big Bang as featured by Ariel here. Now, in the new Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski (ref 525.CF.0130.RX.ORL19) we see the material applied to a new model in partnership with French fine artist Richard Orlinski.
We first saw Orlinski’s work with Hublot on the Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski All Black Watch which you can read about in David’s article here. Orlinsky’s work focuses on sharp three-dimensional structures, and this is easily adapted to Hublot designs, and no less the Classic Fusion Chronograph seen here. The case itself is faceted like a gem, with multiple polished planes and sculpted lines of red ceramic. That, mixed with the case’s 45mm size will make quite the statement on the wrist. This particular watch is meant to reference Richard’s Born Wild Crocodile sculpture which features a polished red representation of a crocodile sculpted in polyresin.
One of the exciting things about the new Classic Fusion Chronograph’s red ceramic case is that through the four years of development to achieve the color desired, Hublot has also attained a patented ceramic that is harder than previous versions. The new red ceramic achieves a Vickers Hardness level of 1500 HV1 vs the previous 1200 HV2. In the above-linked article from David he relates a story wherein he catches his All Black Classic Fusion Chronograph on a lamp post, resulting in more damage to the lamppost than the watch, but a small surface mark that was removed by an eraser. I can’t help but want to similarly test the harder red ceramic of the Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski watch.
An interesting question that I have after regarding the process Hublot went through to develop and implement these red ceramic cases is, simply: what’s next? Now that we’ve broken the technological barrier from subdued black and grey ceramic cases, can these same techniques be employed to deliver yellow and bright green-cased Hublots? If they can do it, there is a good chance that Hublot will. Time will tell, but Hublot states that this process took four years from concept to industrial implementation – I wonder about the exact challenges a new color would bring.
The Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski Watch measures in at a 45mm case size and is approximately 13.45mm thick. This case offers the watch 5 ATM water-resistance and houses the Hublot in-house HUB1155 chronograph movement. The 60-jewel HUB1155 ticks away at 4Hz and boasts a 42-hour power reserve. The case back of this Hublot Classic Fusion chronograph will be made from the same red ceramic as the rest of the watch, but houses a sapphire window to view the movement. The watch will ship on a red rubber strap accompanied by a black-coated stainless steel deployant buckle. The Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski Watch will be limited to an edition of 200 pieces and priced at $24,100. For additional information, visit hublot.com