March 2, 2014
by Ariel Adams
I am pretty sure that the official name of this new Hublot Classic Fusion model is the “Classic Fusion 42mm Classico Ultra-Thin Shiny Dial.” Did Hublot really need to add that extra “Classico” part of the name and is “Shiny Dial” really a term that fits with a high-end watch? You can come to your own conclusion on that but don’t let it cloud your judgement on what might be one of the most interesting new Classic Fusion models in a long time. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is really a “modern classic” for Hublot.
It is easy to forget that a Hublot brand existed before it was purchased by Jean-Claude Biver back over a decade ago. In 2004, he released the Big Bang which fundamentally changed the nature of the brand forever. It was more or less bankrupt before that, but there were a lot of good things in the brand DNA that Mr. Biver evolved into what would be the epitome of the modern day luxury sport watch. While very much part of the modern collection, this new Classic Fusion 42mm Ultra-Thin reminds me of what Hublot used to be – a dress watch brand with a smart case design that focused on simplicity and style.
As an interesting coincidence occurred a few days before writing this post. While traveling, I came across a gentleman wearing a “pre-Biver” Hublot and happened to comment on it thinking he was a watch guy. He sort of was and it turned out he almost exclusively collected “older” Hublot watches that existed before the relaunch and before the Big Bang. Being a more conservative guy, he said that the newer sporty pieces from Hublot were not his thing, and that he grabs what vintage Hublot models he can. So this Classic Fusion 42mm Ultra-Thin Shiny Dial watch post is in your honor, sir.
The Classic Fusion collection isn’t new, but Hublot keeps playing with it and refining it. This collection is among my favorite and feels like a “real” Hublot dress watch. At 42mm wide it isn’t too small or too large. Hublot makes it available in either an 18k king gold (similar to red gold) or titanium case and it is very much a classic Hublot in design. The case is about as “ultra-thin” as you would want an Hublot to be. Seriously, if it was Piaget Altiplano-thin it would look silly. The movement is just 2.90mm thick and the case is perhaps double that. It feels slim against the wrist and is very comfortable, more so than the 45mm wide version of the Classic Fusion for most wrists.
Speaking of movement, the Classic Fusion Ultra thin 42mm Shiny Dial contains an in-house made HUB 1300 family movement called the Hublot HUB 1301 (aka HUB1301.4). Manually wound, the movement offers just the time with subsidiary seconds dial and has a power reserve of 90 hours operating at 21,600 bph. Hublot finishes it in a darker anthracite plating with an attractive polish. It looks both classic while at the same time modern. You can see the movement through the exhibition caseback window. It is a simple mechanism, but certainly satisfying given the theme of the watch.
Back in 2010 we offered some of the first pictures of the “new” Classic Fusion collection from Hublot here. In addition to our improved photography, you can see how much Hublot has refined the collection. The “shiny dial” is actually an important design element that mixed with the easy to read applied hour markers and hands makes for a handsome dial. I think with a dial such as this Hublot has hit upon a sweet spot, and the more glossy lacquered dial should be what people go for.