The Hublot Orlinski Tourbillon is edgy and soft, all at the same timeBorna Bošnjak
If you’re not after a collaboration between an avant-garde watch brand and an artist that does giant, tessellated gorilla sculptures, this one is probably not for you. If any of that intrigued you in the slightest, however, Hublot’s latest Richard Orlinski collaboration may be right up your alley. The two are pretty much a perfect match for each other, their bread and butter being shouty, over-the-top creations that aren’t shy about being what they are. While their previous collab – the Classic Fusion Chrono – was more subdued than what we’ve become accustomed to from either brand, Orlinski makes up for it with the Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Orlinski in baby blue ceramic.
Having said that, it’s not all ultra-sharp facets with this one. Thanks to the nature of polished ceramic, the surfaces don’t form clear ridges like with the matte titanium Orlinski Chronograph. Instead, they have a distinct softness about them, with the light flowing across the edges, rather than bouncing from one to another. This is exacerbated by the powdery blue ceramic colour, and though the new Orlinski Tourbillon is also available in vivid yellow ceramic, the sky blue makes the effect most obvious. Finally, this isn’t a totally new watch, rather a new case material for the Orlinski Tourbillon, previously available in transparent sapphire or black ceramic, and will be positioned as the only tourbillon in the Classic Fusion range.
Just like its manufacturer and partnering designer, the Classic Fusion Tourbillon doesn’t shy away from being large in the slightest. With a 45mm diameter, it’d be kinda impossible for it to do that, anyway. You’ll find the bezel is secured with six signature H-headed screws, flush with the flat sapphire crystal. The overall height is actually quite thin, at 10.6mm, though I assume that’ll mostly help with how comfortable it is on the wrist as opposed to sliding under any cuffs.
Though this is a sporty watch on an integrated rubber strap, it’s only water-resistant to 30 metres, which is a tad disappointing considering they’ve made other Orlinski models in ceramic that have been rated to at least 50 metres. Being objective though, I don’t see this six-figure nugget being taken for a dip by its prospective owners anytime soon.
Though they’re releasing as a duo, the dial of the yellow Orlinski Tourbillon is completely different to the blue, with a highly contrasting yellow-on-black colour scheme. Much like its softer case colour, the sky blue goes for a monochromatic grey for the bridges, indices and handset, making legibility a real challenge under certain lighting conditions. The intricate bridges also hide a handy power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock, which is always a useful feature in a manually wound watch – especially one with such a long power reserve. The dauphine hands and indices are highly polished, offering a bit of a distinction from the brushed movement components, though don’t be too hung up on accurately reading time at a glance. To complete the palette, the minute track matches the case colour, and the floating Hublot logo printed on the sapphire crystal is also outlined in blue.
Matching the case colour, the smooth rubber strap ends in a titanium folding buckle that keeps with the lightweight theme of the ceramic and titanium case accents. One of the reasons the Orlinski Chrono had such presence is that the Orlinski touch continued into its titanium bracelet – I wonder whether Hublot could’ve zhuzhed up the smooth rubber a tad. Overall, the look is one of uniformity, though one thing that always catches my eye is the little gap that forms on either side of the case, between the lugs and the strap once the watch is curved around a wrist.
The MHUB6021 that you saw from the dialside is just about as skeletonised from the reverse. Now, there’s no funny Sellita (or even Zenith) base calibre business here. This is Hublot’s in-house, five-day power reserve tourbillon calibre that’s actually quite impressively airy. There’s no superfluous material on any of the bridges, though the high-tech spider look is also not overly decorated. It’s very much in line with the brand’s current style, though admittedly a little plain.
A lot of Hublot releases target a very specific customer, and this is no different, as I think it’s safe to assume that there aren’t too many folks out there looking for a baby blue, ceramic, skeletonised tourbillon. If that is what you’re after however, well, you’re in luck. Such specific terms do come at a cost, and though it’s by no means the most affordable member of the ceramic tourbillon squad, it’s also not the most exorbitantly priced, either.
Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Orlinski pricing and availability
The Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Orlinski is available now in yellow or sky blue ceramic, limited to 30 pieces per colour. Price: A$143,000
|Classic Fusion Tourbillon Orlinski
|45mm (D) x 10.6mm (T)
|Yellow or sky blue ceramic
|Matte black or silver and blue, openworked
|Case-matched rubber strap, steel and ceramic or titanium deployant clasp
|MHUB6021, in-house, manual winding
|115 (5 days)
|Hours, minutes, tourbillon, power reserve
|Limited to 30 pieces per colour