Hublot changed the course luxury watch aesthetics in 1980 when it put a rubber strap on a gold watch with its pioneering Classic Original. Till then rubber was considered to be a mass-market material, not worthy of being attached to a luxury precious gold watch. Hublot developed the rubber strap in its own workshop and called, what was then seen as an unusual combination, ‘the art of fusion’.
The watch not only captured the imagination of discerning buyers but also broke new ground in the use of materials in luxury watchmaking. Watches till then were made largely in steel or gold. But Hublot’s innovative approach opened up a new world for everyone to explore. And since then all kinds of materials, ranging from bronze to aluminium and copper, have been used to make watch cases. Similarly, rubber strap has gone on to become a de rigueur accessory for many men’s watches, a trend that in recent times has extended to canvas and nylon as well.
Hublot Classic Original from 1980
The legendary Jean-Claude Biver took over Hublot as CEO in 2004 and extended the philosophy of Art of Fusion to newer territories with collections like Big Bang, King Power, UNICO, etc. While rubber remained the defining essential and emblematic material of the brand when it came to straps, Hublot also developed and experimented with new alloys and combinations for its cases involving materials like gold, steel, ceramic and even sapphire. Its laboratory-developed alloys with proprietary names like Magic Gold and King Gold. In the process, Biver transformed the little known boutique Swiss firm into one of the most respected luxury watch brands in the world.
Hublot is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion the company last month launched a 2020 version of its pioneering first watch in the form of a three-watch collection— Classic Fusion in yellow gold, black ceramic and titanium. In their look and feel, the new watches capture the elegance and timeless refinement of the 1980 Classic Original, as well as four decades of ceaseless exploration and innovation.
The black lacquered and polished dial is ultra-understated, featuring only faceted hands, an applique Hublot and H logo. The 45 mm case, made from yellow gold, titanium or black ceramic, includes the famous screws on the bezel and a sapphire crystal case back. The sit on the timeless and easily adjustable rubber strap with a triple deployant clasp for added comfort. Caliber Hublot HUB1112 self-winding movement provides a power reserve of 42 hours.