HANDS-ON: The Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary yellow gold

HANDS-ON: The Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary yellow gold

Zach Blass

Brands such as Rolex, Richard Mille and Patek Philippe have all incorporated rubber into their high-end watches, but there can only be one pioneer who got the party started. Forty years ago, Hublot founder and designer Carlo Crocco took the watch world by storm, pairing a porthole-inspired yellow gold watch with a rubber strap integrated into its case. While they were not necessarily the first watch company to take inspiration from nautical design, Hublot was the first to make rubber straps a staple in luxury wear back in 1980. Upon the release of the original Classic Fusion, it immediately caught the eye of royal family members and watch collectors around the world. Hublot’s risk came with high reward – they understood what buyers wanted before they even realised it themselves. Today, Hublot is celebrating the “Classic Original” watch that birthed the precious rubber craze with a new and limited collection of three watches. The most faithful nod to the past is the Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary yellow gold.

Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary yellow gold

The case

Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary yellow gold

The case has been enlarged by 9mm to a modern 45mm, which is more in line with Hublot’s current catalogue of dimensions. The Classic Original of 1980 was 36mm and a pure yellow gold case. The Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary in yellow gold, however, makes the most of enlarging the watch, and the canvas it provides, for subtle upgrades. The porthole wings of the case are now made of a black treated material that provides a nice hint of contrast to the yellow gold that signals the watch is precious yet sporting. The larger bezel is executed in satin and high-polished 18k Yellow Gold, with the small screws of the Classic Original replaced by Hublot’s signature 6 H-shaped titanium screws that have much more of a presence on the case. Another neat upgrade: its 100 metres of water resistance – if you’re going to make a nautical watch, it’s best it can take on the depths of the water.

The dial

Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary yellow gold

The dial features polished black lacquer with gold appliques on the yellow-gold model. In favour of the black-on-white date window on the Classic Original, the date window now blends into the black lacquer dial, with a matching black disc and white numerals that do very little to interrupt the overall aesthetic.

Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary yellow gold

Overall, this is a much more stripped-down dial aesthetic than we are used to in Hublot design today. It’s pure simplicity at its best, with classic design perfectly displaying the less-is-more philosophy. There is a purity to the dial that will be sure to please those who are fans of classic watchmaking.

The strap

Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary yellow gold

Hublot created a new way to make luxury fresh, modern and comfortable on the wrist – and, today, their rubber straps have never been better. The black smooth rubber strap is robust and comfortable, and its deployant clasp is nicely fabricated in 18k yellow gold and black-plated titanium. The strap also has a good amount of bellows that should provide ample sizing adjustment.

The movement

Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary yellow gold

Inside powering the watch is the Hublot caliber HUB1112, which is based on the SW300-1 but is finished and assembled by Hublot themselves.

Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary yellow gold

The movement provides 42 hours of power reserve, with a self-winding rotor to keep the party going while worn. The 1980 Classic Original used a then forward-thinking quartz movement, making the HUB1112 a welcome departure that ushers the watch in line with the more mechanically driven tastes found today.

The verdict

With Hublot typically being a brand that looks to the future, it is an interesting change of pace for them to look into their past. What could make a better candidate for revival than the watch that started it all – the Classic Original. Hublot has tastefully brought the Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary in yellow gold up to 2020 standards. Through small tweaks and subtle departures from its heritage, Hublot improves a watch that has already established itself in the pantheon of industry-changing watches.

Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary yellow gold

Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary in yellow gold pricing and availability:

The Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary in yellow gold is AUD$35,100 and is a limited edition of 100 pieces. For more details, visit Hublot right here.

Made in partnership with Hublot. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.

Specifications

Brand

Hublot

Model

Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary yellow gold

Reference No

511.VX.1280.RX.MDM40

Case Size

45mm

Case Material

Yellow gold

Dial

Black lacquer

Strap

Rubber

Movement

HUB1112 Self-winding Movement

Price

AUD$35,100

Availability

Limited to 100 pieces