The many facets of the Hublot Chronograph Orlinski TitaniumD.C. Hannay
If you’re at all plugged into the world of modern art, you’ve surely heard of French sculptor-multimedia hyphenate Richard Orlinski. His playful, multifaceted design language has been seen the world over, and often on a grand scale. But one of his most productive endeavors has been his collaboration with Swiss luxury watch powerhouse Hublot, which has continued to expand since their first timepiece launched in 2017. Orlinski’s multi-faceted aesthetic is perfectly suited to transforming Hublot’s own design language into angular works of art for the wrist, and his latest effort for the brand takes the form of the Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski in grade 5 titanium. Let’s have a look at this sculptural beast from every angle.
The case is where Orlinski planted his artistic flag from the very beginning, and no matter what material his creations utilise, the look is unmistakable. The faceted surfaces are everywhere you look, starting at the bezel and flowing down all over the rest of the case. It has a look that evokes the crisp lines of origami, done up in metal instead of paper. The result is a lightweight titanium jewel, with its bead-blasted surfaces popping even more dramatically with the judicious use of selectively polished edges.
The multi-angled chrono pushers and the lines of its boldly textured crown blend well with the overall look of the watch. Water resistance is listed at 50 metres, certainly not built for diving, but suited for most situations where you’d wear a flex piece like this. Its diameter of 41mm and a trim 12mm case height make it a comfortable wear for a wide range of wrists, although you don’t need to worry that it lacks the Big Diameter Energy (that’s what BDE stands for, right?) of some of Hublot’s larger pieces. The unique look of the case can be summed up in one word – presence.
The dial keeps things clean and simple, with a functional purity that takes nothing away from the spectacular case. Its lacquered black finish allows the silver dauphine handset and applied indices to pop, and the dual register layout and 6 o’clock date window lend a nice balance. Dial text is kept to a minimum, and the Hublot logo makes for an attractive counterbalance on the chrono hand. Everything is ultra-legible, with no excess to distract from the functionality and symmetry at play.
Hublot is famous for being among the first to put a rubber strap on a luxury watch, and you can have one here – a smooth, minimalist black execution with a folding deployant clasp.
But the available bracelet is truly spectacular, and it really elevates the watch to another level. Rendered in matching titanium, it carries over the angular beauty of the case, with a sculpted H-link construction that features centre links that emphasise the diamond-like shapes found throughout. It’s stunning, and would be my personal choice, as it brings everything together visually, creating a look that feels altogether more complete.
Through the sapphire display caseback, you’ll get a good view of the HUB1153 automatic chronograph movement. Finishing is simple, and it keeps with the clean Orlinski design language. The movement is based on the ETA 2892-A2, with the addition of a Dubois-Dépraz module, running at 4Hz with a power reserve of 42 hours. A skeletonised rotor featuring the Hublot logo is a nice finishing touch.
Hublot’s Orlinski watches have always taken the brand’s design language up several notches, and this one really takes the aesthetic and runs with it. There’s nothing else quite like it, and if you’re a fan of the artist’s vision, you can’t beat this spectacular wrist presence of the Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski Titanium. It’s literally a work of sculpture for the wrist, and you’d be hard pressed to find another timepiece that maintains this level of refinement while attracting so much attention, and that’s what Hublot does so well.
The Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski Titanium price and availability
The Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski Titanium is available now, with the full titanium bracelet version being limited to 250 pieces, while the rubber strap edition is limited to 500. Price: A$22,100, US$14,600 (rubber strap), A$27,400, US$18,200 (titanium bracelet)
|Model||Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski Titanium|
|Case Dimensions||41mm (D) x 12mm (T)|
|Case Material||Grade 5 titanium|
|Water Resistance||50 metres|
|Crystal(s)||Sapphire front and back|
|Strap||Black rubber strap with steel deployant clasp
Grade 5 titanium bracelet and deployant clasp
|Movement||HUB1153, ETA 2892 w/ Dubois-Dépraz base, automatic|
|Power Reserve||42 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph|
|Availability||500 pieces (rubber strap)
250 pieces (titanium bracelet)
|Price||A$22,100, US$14,600 (rubber strap)
A$27,400, US$18,200 (titanium bracelet)