The partnership of Hublot and Italia Independent is not new. The two companies first collaborated in 2014, and these new Hublot Classic Fusion Italia Independent watches are the third collection to be born from this union. For the uninitiated, Italia Independent is a design company based in Italy and founded by the extremely stylish but somewhat eccentric Lapo Elkann of Italy’s powerful Agnelli family. Most recently, Hublot and Italia Independent worked together to give us the Big Bang Unico Italia Independent watches in Texalium. Inspired by fabrics and textile, these Big Bang watches look distinctly different from the rest of the Big Bang stable. And now, Hublot and Italia Independent are applying the same aesthetic cues to the more elegant Classic Fusion watches, but this time with actual fabric.
Let’s begin with the basic recipe of these watches. The Classic Fusion Italia Independent watches are based on Hublot’s Classic Fusion Chronograph. Case size is 45mm and they will be offered in three different materials: titanium, ceramic, and King Gold. Inside, all of Hublot Classic Fusion Italia Independent watches will be powered by the calibre HUB1143, an automatic chronograph movement that beats at 4Hz and has a power reserve of 42 hours. Water resistance for all watches in this collection is a fairly decent 50 meters.
So what makes these new Hublot Classic Fusion Italia Independent watches special? Just take a look at the dials and straps: they are actual fabrics chosen from renowned Italian tailors Rubinacci. Founded in the early Thirties, the style meisters at Rubinacci have dressed luminaries such as the Duke of Kent and the Agnelli family, and have a collection of more than 60,000 square meters of exquisite houndstooth, tweeds, and various other expensive cloths.
Of course, using fabrics in watches is not a new concept. Hublot themselves used denim in their Big Bang watches as early as 2013. And last year, we saw Vacheron Constantin come up with the very elegant Métiers d’Art Elégance Sartoriale collection. So perhaps this new collection is further evidence that horology and couture can indeed go hand-in-hand.
The new Hublot Classic Fusion Italia Independent collection will consist of six watches in three different case materials. Two in titanium, two in ceramic, and two in Hublot’s proprietary King Gold alloy. In titanium, the reference 521.NX.2702.NR.ITI17 will feature a houndstooth fabric design on the dial and strap while the other titanium model, the reference 521.NX.2701.NR.ITI17 will feature a Prince of Wales check pattern also on the dial and strap.
In black ceramic, we have the reference 521.CM.2703.NR.ITI17 and the reference 521.CM.2706.NR.ITI17 Hublot Classic Fusion Italia Independent watches. The former features a tartan check pattern dial and strap, and the latter features a Prince of Wales pattern on the dial and strap.
Rounding the Hublot Classic Fusion Italia Independent collection up is the reference 521.OX.2705.NR.ITI17 and the reference 521.OX.2704.NR.ITI17 in King Gold. The former features a tartan check pattern dial and strap, while the latter has a Prince of Wales pattern on the dial and strap.
It is probably safe to assume that these watches will appeal most strongly to fans of Rubinacci and also of fine tailoring. But I also think these will be attractive to any fashionista that is looking for a watch that can express their love for fashion. The Hublot Classic Fusion Italia Independent is priced at $15,100 in titanium, $16,100 in ceramic, and $35,100 in King Gold. hublot.com