Would you believe it? It’s been 40 years since Hublot first launched its very first watch, a watch which would spark a design trend that is the fundamental style of the brand to this day. While Hublot was indeed not the first brand to use the porthole of a ship as its design base, it was the first to combine all the components of the porthole design in one watch. Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak uses exposed screws as their primary nod to the porthole; meanwhile, Patek Philippe uses the hinges either side on the Nautilus to make it stand out. Hublot’s watch used both exposed screws, a round shape and hinges either side of the porthole in its design.
The new piece follows along the same design theme as the original, albeit with a few minor tweaks. For example, this new watch has fewer screws on the bezel than the original watch. Also, Hublot has wisely decided to make the back of the date aperture black to match the black dial. Furthermore, Hublot changed the movement. Back in the day when this watch was first launched, cheap quartz watches were still decimating the traditional manufacturers with their inaccurate and delicate mechanical movements. Hublot’s gold sporty watch came with an accurate quartz movement, but now that we have smartphones and other devices with extremely accurate clocks in, wristwatches can go back to using mechanical movements.
Inside the new Classic Fusion 40th Anniversary watch is the calibre HUB1112, which is based on a Sellita SW300-1. It has a 4hz beat rate and a power reserve of 42 hours. It also has a higher level of finishing than a standard Sellita, as Hublot finishes the movement itself to ensure it’s up to par.
The watch’s case will come in three different versions, all measuring 45mm x 10.95mm. You can have the watch in the classic yellow gold, which is what the original came with, or you can have titanium or black ceramic. If you choose the yellow gold version, then the black lacquered dial has an applied logo in yellow gold and on the titanium and ceramic versions that yellow gold is replaced by rhodium. The watches come on a plain black rubber strap as the original did and feature a 100m water resistance rating as well.
Here’s how the prices stack up:
Ref. 511.NX.1270.RX.MDM4 – titanium on rubber – $8300
Ref. 11.CX.1270.RX.MDM40 – black ceramic on rubber – $10,400
Ref. 11.VX.1280.RX.MDM40 – yellow gold on rubber – $25,200
All the watches are limited in production numbers. Hublot will be making 100 in yellow gold and 200 in black ceramic and titanium. All three models can be purchased through an Hublot authorised dealer.