Hublot, deeply ingrained in contemporary pop culture, took a noteworthy step eight years ago by collaborating with the popular and flamboyant French artist Richard Orlinski. According to Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot’s CEO, the timepieces Orlinski created are “instantly snapped up by art and watch collectors alike.” Orlinski’s signature faceted, bright-coloured creations include shiny beasts, King Kong included, and cartoon personalities like Mickey Mouse. These artworks, produced in series, utilize a diverse range of materials and have found homes across the globe, making them a familiar sight in recent years… Including when worn on the wrist with dedicated Hublot watches.
While Orlinski’s work might not be a favourite among art critics, it enjoys immense popularity among affluent clients, reportedly earning him the title of the best-selling French contemporary artist globally. Since 2017, Hublot has allowed Orlinski to unleash his creativity within the Classic Fusion series. In 2019, the brand unveiled the Classic Fusion Tourbillon Orlinski series, introducing three watches with sapphire, King Gold, or ceramic cases, each limited to 30 pieces. The latest collaborative tourbillon iterations maintain the same design ethos but now showcase vibrant, brightly coloured polished ceramic cases, available in yellow or light blue; arguably, the new timepieces, even though bold and bright, are among the most aesthetically pleasing in the collection. Take a look and see if you agree.
The integration of coloured ceramic enhances the visual connection to Orlinski’s distinctive artwork, known for its bold, solid one-colour designs. It brings forth a captivating element in the Classic Fusion Tourbillon Orlinski series, as both the Yellow Magic and Sky Blue versions of this timepiece showcase its most distinctive feature – the unique geometry of the case, adorned with numerous facets, edges, and angles inspired by the famous artist’s work. The watches have a visually compelling presence on the wrist, boasting a diameter of 45mm and a reasonable thickness of 10.6mm.
The Yellow Magic variant features a matching yellow ceramic Orlinski-designed bezel adorned with six H-shaped black-plated titanium screws, a black-plated crown, and black PVD skeleton bridges housing the manually wound HUB6021 movement, skeletonized to offer an exhaustive view of its intricacies from both the front and back, on display thanks to the open-worked dial and exhibition caseback. While most of the dial has been removed for our viewing pleasure, it has applied yellow hour indices crafted to the artist’s specifications, and a black chapter ring with yellow minute markings that make reading the time using the sharp, yellow-coloured hour and minute hands relatively easy. At 8 o’clock is a 5-day power reserve indicator with a yellow scale and hand, and at 6 the beating heart of this timepiece, the tourbillon, provides a captivating display, harmoniously balanced by a visible barrel at 12 o’clock.
The Classic Fusion Tourbillon Orlinski Yellow Magic is paired with a smooth yellow rubber strap, a reminiscent feature of other Hublot Classic Fusion models. This deliberate choice subtly balances the overall Orlinski-inspired aesthetic – opting for a strap that continues the angular design established by the case might have risked compromising the timepiece’s appeal. The rubber strap is secured with a black ceramic and black-plated stainless steel deployant buckle clasp, ensuring comfort and a seamless visual integration.
The Sky Blue edition of the Classic Fusion Tourbillon Orlinski exudes an elegantly lighter aesthetic characterized by the absence of pronounced black elements. The movement’s bridges are silver rhodium-plated, and the screws, crown, indices, as well as the hour and minute hands, gleam in shining metal. While maintaining the same open-worked design and being powered by the identical movement as its yellow counterpart, this edition appears notably more transparent. Its sky-blue smooth rubber strap further contributes to a different, less aggressive appearance when compared to the Yellow Magic version.
The Yellow Magic and Sky Blue editions of the Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Orlinski will be produced in a limited series of 30 pieces each. The price will be EUR 99,000. For more details, please visit hublot.com.