While collaborations between car makers and watch makers seem to be a match made in mechanical heaven, they actually often fail. I have discussed why I think that is when I reviewed the Parmigiani Fleurier x Bugatti relationship, which coincidentally ended this year, with Bugatti signing up with the more bombastic Jacob & Co. The other such relationship I had mentioned then was the more recent one between Hublot and Ferrari which had produced various innovative designs since 2011.
So what could the brand from Nyon show me at Baselworld 2019 to help reaffirm or create more doubts in the car/watch cooperation? Well surprisingly Hublot not only showed me an attractive new model and a reinvented older model, but interestingly it was my favorite novelty from Baselworld 2019 from the brand. Let’s take a deeper dive into each.
Big Bang Scuderia Ferrari 90th Year Anniversary
As the legendary car brand celebrates its 90th anniversary, Hublot could not pass on the occasion to release a set of new limited watches. These have the Big Bang case and are unapologetic and brash. There are three models in 45 mm with the UNICO flyback chronograph movement. Differing mainly from the case material.
First, a platinum version ($40,900) and with hints of the Ferrari yellow. Second is a 3D carbon model ($34,600) that includes a strap made of Nomex, the same material used for the Ferrari driver’s heat-resistant and flame-resistant resistant race suits. And finally is a version made of sapphire which includes a matching transparent bracelet infused with a Kevlar pattern. The last model will set you back a cool $69,000. All models are limited to 90 but there will also be 10 limited sets with all three watches available for the “super collector”.
While not my favorite models, these Big Bangs are the staple for the Hublot collector who also is a Ferrari enthusiast. They maintain the same case design that is so associated with the brand but with subtle hints of the Ferrari association like the prancing horse at 6 o’clock and the bezel fashioned of carbon and looking like the brakes on the cars. The back of the watch has the Scuderia logo and the 90th anniversary mark.
Classic Fusion Ferrari GT
The Classic Fusion line of watches from Hublot have always been my favorite from their collection. Part of the reason is that they are meant to be a simplified, and thiner, versions of the brand’s flagship Big Bang. Meant as a dress watch they usually are manual wound and rarely include complications, except for some high-end models with tourbillons.
Well, with the Classic Fusion Ferrari GT Hublot kept some of that design ethos but created, in collaboration with Ferrari design labs, a completely new watch. They call it Classic Fusion but it really is a new watch, except for using the same UNICO chronograph movement of the Big Bang. It has a rounded case that is sized at 45 mm and a dial that is simple but clearly has Ferrari imprints and is bolder than the classic Classic Fusion.
It’s great that Hublot is able to create a new line of attractive watches with a new design and new movement. I wished it was not named Classic Fusion, as this confuses it with an already existing line. However, perhaps this is an indication of future products in the Classic Fusion family. Especially creating watches that contain the Hublot spirit but does not include the Big Bang strong design choices and aesthetics. Price for the Ferrari Classic fusion is $22,000 for the titanium limited to 1000, $27,300 for the carbon fiber (my favorite) and $38,800 for the gold, both limited to 500.
While it is not clear how well these two new family of Hublot Ferrari will do on the market, the bold new design of the Scuderia and the innovative case and movement of the classic fusion should help the relationship and perhaps win the hearts of the passionate Ferrari collector who is also into watches.
I am happy that Hublot keeps innovating around the watches it releases as part of this partnership. I believe that, if there is a secret to the success of the brand and maintaining its passionate following, it is that. And since innovation and pushing the limits of mechanics is squarely in the spirit of Ferrari I think this match will remain in mechanical heaven.
If you are a Ferrari collector or enthusiast I would highly recommend you go visit your local Hublot authorized dealer to get to see the new Classic Fusion first hand. I think once you do, if the Hublot brand was anywhere near your passionate heart, these watches will ignite the flames to help push you to the limits. It is my favorite watch from the brand at the show. I believe it could be yours too. hublot.com