Last year, at Baselworld 2016, Hublot demonstrated once again its concept of “fusion“, its unique approach to blending different materials, many of which are not usually associated with watches, that result in some interesting combinations. The brainchild of a partnership between the watchmaker and Berluti, the famous Parisian shoemaker, they used patinated leather for both the straps as well as the dial – creating what I personally found to be one of the most appealing creations from the brand. Today, the same concept is applied on a chronograph, the Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti.
I’m entirely aware that this Hublot x Berluti piece was a rather polarising watch. A bold creation, with a certain uniqueness and a very unusual refinement it was not to everyone’s liking, as is often the case with Hublot, with some calling it irrelevant. In some ways this is positive. At least, it proves that Hublot dares and doesn’t create conservative objects to please the masses. Personally, I liked it and found it justified and well executed. Following the 3-hand version of Baselworld 2016, Hublot adds to the collection this year with another limited edition (like most of the watches made by the brand…) using the same leather dial, the same color scheme but adding a chronograph function to the package, creating the Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti.
Basically, the recipe is the same: two watches, one in black ceramic, one in 18K King Gold, one with black leather, one with brown leather. The main attraction of these watches are definitely their dials. Partnering with what might be one of the top 5 shoemakers in the world, using some of the most precious leathers and the finest patinas, it would have been a waste to only use Berluti to manufacture straps. This is why this unusual material is also used for the dials. Indexes and logos are embossed on the material, which shows lively colors. The use of leather for a dial is quite challenging, due to the impact of UVs, light and water, raising questions about the aging process. For instance, all of the moisture had to be removed from the material before it could be enclosed in the case. Furthermore, a specific treatment was applied in order to make sure the leather doesn’t age too fast.
Two colors will be available, both with the 45mm Classic Fusion Chronograph case. The first edition, the Scritto All Black, features a black ceramic case, with polished and brushed surfaces, matched with a black “engraved” strap and a black leather dial. The second edition, the Scritto King Gold, comes in a warm gold case, with the same polished and brushed surfaces, and paired with a warm tobacco brown strap and leather dial (the signature color of Berluti). Both share the same display, with a bi-counter chronograph – small second at 3 and 30-minute counter at 9, without date. They are powered by the calibre HUB1143, an automatic chronograph movement with 4Hz frequency and 42h power reserve – a modular movement based on an ETA calibre.
Both editions of the Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti will be limited to 250 pieces. They feature hand-crafted straps mixing rubber and Berluti leather and are presented in a Berluti bespoke box containing a complete Berluti leather care set. Prices: around EUR 18,000 (ceramic version, Scritto All Black) and around EUR 36,000 (gold version, Scritto King Gold). More details on www.hublot.com.
Technical Specifications – Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti
- Case: 45mm diameter x 13.40mm thickness – black ceramic or 18K King Gold – Sapphire crystal on both sides – 50m water resistant
- Movement: HUB1143 (ETA base) – automatic – 4Hz frequency – 42h power reserve – 280 parts (59 jewels) – hours, minutes, small second, chronograph
- Strap: rubber with Berluti leather on folding clasp
- Limited edition of 250 pieces, for both editions