Since 2017, French artist Richard Orlinski has collaborated with watch brand Hublot to merge the artist’s angular style with Hublot’s design language. Hublot is known for pushing the boundaries with new materials and manufacturing techniques, so it is the perfect partner to render Orlinski’s concepts in wearable wrist jewelry. Recent watches borne of this partnership have been made of ceramic with rubber straps, but these Watches and Wonders 2022 releases dubbed the “Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski Bracelet” change that.
Model: Classic Fusion Orlinski Bracelet
Dimensions: 40mm x 11.1mm
Water Resistance: 50 meters
Case Material: Titanium
Movement: HUB1100 Self-winding (Sellita SW-300 base)
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Polished titanium or polished titanium set with 486 diamonds
Price & Availability: $15,700 USD (titanium) to $45,200 USD (titanium and diamond pavé)
Compared to the most recent collaboration with Orlinski, the 40mm x 11.1mm case dimensions and shape of the new models are the same, but ceramic is replaced with polished titanium. As the model name implies, the other big update is that an integrated bracelet takes the place of a rubber strap. Inspired by Orlinski’s sculptures, it is sure to beautifully reflect light off of its mirror-polished facets. The bracelet is constructed from 83 polished and beveled pieces with H-shaped links intended to represent the Hublot logo.
As with previous Orkinksi models, the dials are made from ceramic in the new versions. Buyers can choose from black or white, both formed in the same three-dimensional angular motif. Hublot applies faceted and polished hour markers to the ceramic, as well as faceted hands. The whole combination should be a delight to view in dynamic lighting conditions. Hublot also adds some of its signature style elements with a large “H” counterweight on the seconds hand. The Hublot logo and name mark are also printed on the underside of the crystal.
Powering the Classic Fusion Orlinski Bracelet is the Sellita SW-300-based Hublot HUB1100 calibre. While more than $15,000 might seem like a lot to spend on a watch that lacks an expensive in-house movement, the powertrain is not the selling point of this watch. Buyers of the Orlinski editions will be choosing to pay for the artist’s design talents and reputation, as well as the expense and difficulty in machining titanium in such intricate shapes.
If, on the other hand, that doesn’t sound too expensive, Hublot does offer another version. “Alternative Pavé” models are available that add 112 brilliant white diamonds totaling 3.79 carats to the bracelet and case of the Fusion. Alternating geometric shapes of the case and bracelet are filled with precious gemstones, making these watches true jewelry pieces.
In addition to being wearable art, lightweight titanium should make these watches quite comfortable. I expect that the styling and the “goldilocks” dimensions will make them attractive to both men and women. They should also be fairly versatile, and I can see them being worn in a variety of settings. Even though these are not subtle-looking watches, I expect they will likely appeal to a wider audience than some of Hublot’s other models.
Both dial colors of the Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski Bracelet are priced at $15,700 USD. Titanium and diamond pavé models, also available in both dial colors, cost $45,200 USD. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.