August 22, 2016
by Bilal Khan
With the Hublot Classic Fusion Power Reserve Titanium watch, Hublot has created a thin, lightweight watch with the edge of its siblings and a new in-house manual-wind movement that lets you put the watch away to find it still running a week and a day later. It’s sleek and thin, but this Classic Fusion maintains that aggressive Hublot look. I’ve written about the Classic Fusion line in our “Cost of Entry” series before, but at over $16,000 it might give a lot of people some sticker shock and definitely isn’t an entry-level piece. However, after spending some time with the watch, I have to say it grew on me and became a top wearer in my rotation.
The Classic Fusion, introduced in 2004, has been the more discreet, subtle sibling in the Hublot line. In terms of watch nomenclature, the Big Bang is about as “autological” as you can get – a loud and bold wrist watch designed to get attention. Many brands come to be known as synonymous with one particular watch model by a large segment of the watch fan population, but that is not to say that other offerings aren’t impressive works of design, material, and technical achievement. After wearing the Hublot Classic Fusion 8-Day Power Reserve Titanium watch for some time, I learned to enjoy the quieter Hublot sibling in a way that allows me to appreciate it irrespective of the Big Bang’s shadow.
Hublot is a brand with a devoted and loyal fanbase for several reasons in addition to releasing some truly fantastic watches. For example, they provide a great level of service that is refreshing for a lot of buyers. If you’re not the “typical” Hublot fan, the Classic Fusion might be worth looking into. And you may not like the Big Bang, Classic Fusion, or any iterations of either, but it’s impossible to deny the brand’s appeal and success as well as their consistency in improving their products.
Getting on to the watch itself, the 45mm-wide case would usually be on the upper end of a desired size for me, but given its slimness, I actually wouldn’t change it one bit. The polished titanium case is refined by any standard, let alone for a brand that tends to go for louder design choices like Hublot. The H-screws add a masculine edge to it, and though this is a matter of taste, I personally love that they are not all evenly aligned.
The dial itself is black sunray satin-finished, with rhodium-plated appliques and hands. It’s handsome enough, but I have to admit that legibility was less than ideal when it was bright out. The power reserve indicator at 10 o’clock, a seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, and a date window at 3 o’clock throw symmetry out the window. But if you ask me, dial symmetry for the sake of dial symmetry is pointless. I like a seconds subdial, and the power reserve indicator is a huge part of why you get this piece. I’m 50/50 on date windows, but on a watch with an 8-day power reserve that I never had to reset, I have to say I liked having it.
The strap is one of my favorite parts of this Hublot Classic Fusion Power Reserve Titanium watch. It’s a black rubber and alligator strap, referred to as the “gummy strap.” With the alligator leather sewn into the the rubber lining, it’s really comfortable and nice-looking. I’ll take this opportunity to mention again that the name “Classic Fusion” refers to the fusion of materials, so this strap goes hand in hand with the theme here. It is easy to adjust the size, and that “H” Hublot logo at the buckle is a nice touch that I enjoyed. Overall, I applaud Hublot for the attention to the detail in the strap as well as the overall execution. I do want to point out one issue here that was a problem for me. I tend to wear my watches somewhat close to the wrist, and the crown is quite sharp around the edges – and in a couple of instances it jabbed my wrist which, while not exactly painful, wasn’t a great feeling. Minor complaint, overall, but one worth mentioning.
While I’m on the “fusion” aspect of the watch, I also found myself wearing this piece in a variety of settings. It really works when I meet up with friends on the weekend, with the sportier aspects of the watch being highlighted by my choice in wardrobe. The same could be said with a more buttoned-down look, as the watch blended in quite well in that setting. I love when I can feel like I can appropriately wear a piece in casual and formal settings. Add on top of that the fact that it’s just so comfortable (with the exception of that jabby crown) as well as not a piece I see on every other wrist here in Los Angeles, and it’s a recipe for a watch I wear everyday, for weeks on end.
The Hublot Classic Fusion Power Reserve Titanium runs on the HUB1601 manually wound movement. The impressively thin 4.4mm thick movement affords the watch its slim case, and the sapphire case back displays a suitably cool-looking movement to gaze at. Really, the movement does what it says. The convenience of an 8-day power reserve is great, and a power reserve indicator easily lets you know when it’s time to wind up the watch a little bit. A simple, slim, and lightweight but masculine Hublot watch that’s a little less “in your face” than the Big Bang, the Hublot Classic Fusion Power Reserve Titanium still has strong brand DNA. It’s what the watch promises, and it’s certainly what it delivers. If you’re not looking for this, then there are a lot of other choices out there.
The Hublot Classic Fusion Power Reserve Titanium is a watch where the old Hublot watches meet the new identity of the brand. Yes, it’s a Hublot for people who may not love Hublots and are looking for something new in a sea of watches that blend into the crowd. It offers a distinctive movement, as well as elegant and classy looks housed in a contemporary, 45mm-wide case that’s softened by being quite thin. You can really understand the “value” of what Hublot is offering here, especially if you’re the type of person who wants to show off without being obnoxious about it. Really, it is one of my favorite Hublot pieces and a watch I love overall. The Hublot Classic Fusion Power Reserve Titanium is not cheap at $16,400, but if you’re interested in the kind of piece I just described, you should give this watch a serious look. hublot.com
>Model: Classic Fusion Power Reserve Titanium
>Size: 45mm wide
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Definitely.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: People not crazy about the Hublot Big Bang but looking for a versatile and thin yet masculine watch with a great movement.
>Best characteristic of watch: Slim profile and power reserve.
>Worst characteristic of watch: The stabbing crown can cause some pain if you’re not careful.