When it was announced last year, I thought Hublot’s Orlinski case was one of the freshest, coolest new shapes I’d seen in quite some time. And then they went and released it in blue ceramic and I quietly lost my mind.
But before we dive into the blue, let’s have a quick refresher on just what — or who — an Orlinski is. Richard Orlinski is a French contemporary artist, known for his bright, poppy, faceted sculptures. In this partnership, Orlinski has brought his geometric approach to Hublot.
Fundamentally, the Orlinski Hublot is a classic fusion — a two register chronograph with a heavily skeletonised dial that’s well-worn territory for the brand. It’s big — 45mm across and 13.40mm high, and powered by the non-Unico HUB1155. From a distance, the case still has that classic Hublot look — brawny shoulders and big bezel. But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that while the fundamental clay that forms the watch is the same, it’s been remoulded into something entirely new.
The clay metaphor is a (not so clever) play on the fact that Orlinski is a sculptor, but it also works on a more literal level. The incredibly vibrant blue ceramic looks like it could be some sort of soft and malleable Play-Doh that’s been artfully shaped with modelling tools; the typically soft lines given a compelling, geometric regularity. But, of course, this incredibly vibrant blue ceramic is about as far from Play-Doh as you can get. It’s ultra hard, second only to diamond on the Mohs scale, and lightweight. It’s also an amazing electric blue, a hue I’ve not seen achieved in ceramic before, and something Hublot should be proud of. I find it interesting that this watch has a matt finish, compared to the high shine of the Red Magic, and a part of me thinks that a mix of matt and polished finishes on those facets, would create an even more popping look.
I love the audacity of this watch, but the typical Hublot caveat applies — this is not a watch for all occasions or all people. But if you’re OK with living on the brighter side of life, the combination of colour and shape that is the Orlinski Blue Ceramic has a lot to offer.
Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski Blue Ceramic Australian pricing
Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski Blue Ceramic, limited to 200 pieces, $24,300