In an effort not to be outshone by its contemporaries, Hublot has released a new watch made from one of the most unlikely materials for a watch case: concrete. This isn’t the first time Hublot has created a concrete watch, but I prefer the appearance of this one. Whimsical watches like this are sometimes few and far between, and I’d say it takes more work to make something out of a weird material like concrete than to make a funky dial, but I could be wrong.
Like in large concrete structures, Hublot has used a reinforcing technique to keep the concrete strong over time. In architecture, that reinforcing is usually a framework of steel lattice around which concrete is poured. In the Classic Fusion Concrete Jungle New York watch, however, that strength comes from the epoxy resin mixed in with the concrete, replacing water, and fibreglass. Hublot’s R&D team have also gone to the trouble of using an additive that prevents the concrete from changing colour over time which is normally due to UV light.
Following with the solid (get it) lines of the concrete case is a concrete dial which forgoes the usual applied indices and polishing for a more, erm, robust approach. The subdials are recessed deep within the concrete, as are the hour markers.
The hands have been coloured to match the concrete colouring of the dial, and there’s a date window at 6 o’clock, but I wouldn’t expect readability to be that great on it. I like the appearance of the dial. I like how it seems rugged and deliberately rough around the edges, even the printing of the logo and text is uneven.
Inside the 45mm diameter case, which has a water resistance rating of 50m, is the calibre HUB1143. As you’d imagine, this movement is not in-house made, it’s an ETA 2892-A2 base with a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module on top. That means you get a 4Hz beat rate, a 42-hour power reserve and 59 jewels.
It might seem at this point like I’m being sarcastic, and I am, I was hoping Hublot would be moving away from expensive watches with jarring designs and a movement that could be in a watch that costs 10% of this one. Oh yeah, that’s right, this one costs an eye-watering $18,800, and it’s also limited to 50 examples. I like the design, and I like the approach which does follow Hublot’s ‘Art of Fusion’ shtick. I’d hoped we’d be moving away from bought-in movements by now. Still, one can dream.