It’s hard to believe it’s been four decades since the inception of arguably the most disruptive and provocative watchmaker in modern history. But we are indeed celebrating their 40th birthday and their first-ever watch – the Classic Original, otherwise known as the OG gold watch with a rubber strap.
To commemorate the milestone, Hublot has unveiled a trilogy of 40 Years Anniversary watches in three different materials that it has championed in horology – gold, ceramic and titanium. And while these watches are virtually identical, the different case materials mean that each has a very different personality.
We’ve been fortunate enough to spend some time with all three examples, but this story will focus on what has to be the most under-the-radar iteration – the Hublot 40 Years Anniversary Black Ceramic.
As we’ve come to expect from modern Hublot timepieces, the case of this limited edition watch is not small. We’re talking 45mm across and about 13mm thick. Despite these XL measurements, the watch doesn’t feel very weighty or ungainly on the wrist, and that’s down to the liquid cool, silky smooth polished ceramic case, which is contrasted by a satin-brushed ceramic bezel and end links. The ethereal material also means that this case will be nigh on impervious to scratches, which is always a positive. Water resistance is rated at 50 metres, so a splash from the sink or getting caught in the odd shower or two isn’t going to cause any issues. The dark case has also been capped with two flat pieces of sapphire crystal, meaning owners get superlative legibility and the chance to check out this watch’s mechanical movement.
Calibre HUB1112 has a long history, but the competent self-winding movement has been thoroughly worked over by Hublot, both in terms of engineering and finishing.
It’s a good-looking movement, with some nice Geneva striping and perlage, visible thanks to that display caseback, and with 25 jewels, date complication, 4Hz operating frequency and no less than 42 hours of power reserve, wearers won’t be disappointed with the mechanical performance.
Blacker than the deepest depths of the Mariana Trench, the slick lacquer dial of this Hublot is what really makes the watch for me. The way it seamlessly blends with the rest of the case creates an enchanting level of continuity and, for lack of a better word, it just makes the whole watch feel cooler than Samuel L. Jackson wearing a Kangol cap.
The simplicity and clarity of design of the dial is also refreshing to behold in a world where watch dials are getting more and more complicated. An applied “H” Hublot logo, along with the manufacturer’s name and a simple polished steel handset, is all that adorns the liquid face, and a subtly recessed date aperture located at the three o’clock position, while remaining functional, never attracts an inadvertent eye.
Hublot have, of course, paired the 40 Years Anniversary Black Ceramic with their signature black rubber strap, which has remained largely the same since it was first created by Hublot founder, Carlo Crocco, all those years ago. The structured rubber strap offers almost peerless comfortability on the wrist – you could wear this watch 24/7, 365 and it wouldn’t bother you. The strap has been attached to a polished black ceramic and titanium deployant clasp, and this ups the luxo vibes tenfold.
On the wrist
It’s nice … like, really nice. I thought the size would bother me, but it doesn’t. I thought the rubber strap would be limiting, but it wasn’t. I thought maybe the dial could get boring after a while, but it won’t. Much like the watchmaker itself, this timepiece challenges convention — and your expectations — and it’s an experience that I recommend any watch enthusiast try.
This is a very nice luxury watch, and it’s a fitting homage to a company that did something different, rewrote the rulebook and never looked back. Here’s to 40 more years of Hublot creating the unexpected.
Hublot 40 Years Anniversary Black Ceramic pricing and availability:
The Hublot 40 Years Anniversary Black Ceramic Ref. 511.CX.1270.RX.MDM40 is AU$14,600 and is limited to 200 pieces worldwide. It’s available from both the Hublot boutique in Sydney, as well as authorised dealers across the country. 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.