Hublot is best known for their Big Bang series and there’s no doubt that this watch dominates the wrists of fans and the pens of the media, sometimes overshadowing the brand’s other accomplishments. Hublot definitely practices their motto “Art of Fusion” as exampled by the cool Magic Gold, a scratch-resistant alloy that still lives up to its 18K precious metal status, and “Hublonium”, an alloy of magnesium and aluminum hardened with Titanex.
Beyond combining materials to improve durability, Hublot also surprises with projects cooked up in their laborator headed by Matthias Buttet. Witness the MP-02 Key of Time Watch and the Antikythera Watch in the Masterpiece collection. Both show off Hublot’s talents in producing technical advancements that get enthusiasts’ tongues wagging.
In line with the trend for lean watches, such as the Piaget Altiplano and the Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin, Hublot debuted their answer with a skeleton watch. Of course, if Biver, the CEO of the brand, was going to present a skeleton you knew it had to “be first or be unique” or else he doesn’t want to bother with the idea.
This skeleton is powered by a 2.9mm hand-wind movement (HUB 1300), a profile worthy of a runway model. Usually the engine of a movement stays hidden, only revealed through a sapphire back (if it has one) when off the wrist. The Hublot’s Classic Fusion Extra-Thin Skeleton offers nice topside performance with the escapement, balance wheel and seconds at 7 o’clock doing their dance. Because a lot of the fun of mechanical watches is seeing how they work, other manufactures have also brought out models that feature movements seen through the dial, such as the the Piaget Emperador Coussin Tourbillon Automatic and Audemars Piguet Millenary 4101.
While the traditional art of skeletonization uses an already produced movement and then cuts out the form, Hublot manufactures this new movement whole. Though there have been skeleton movements in the collection since 2006, they were only in the top tier like the Bigger Bang, which happens to be Biver’s favorite watch. Biver confirms this new skeleton movement will be used in other designs as well. “We will certainly have a big part of our collection being skeletonized and believe that this could represent 60% of our collection,” he says.
If you think about it, that’s a very bold and intriguing statement. No other brands weight their lineup with so many skeleton watches. Will Hublot become the King of skeletons? It sounds like this is the direction they are going.
Produced in a limited series of 1000 pieces in Titanium and 500 pieces in 18K King Gold, the Classic Fusion Extra-Thin Skeleton comes in a substantial 45mm case so its made for big boys and girls and has a hearty 90 hours of power reserve. That’ll get you through a weekend of hard partying that still accounts for some lead time into Monday morning if you’re still recovering.
The polished and rhodium-plated or red gold-plated hands show up well against the black-colored movement, oftentimes a snag on other skeletons. Of course, the vertical satin finished bezel with the 6 H-shaped countersunk, polished & locked titanium screws identifies it as a Hublot.
The Classic Fusion Extra-Thin Skeleton is limited to 1000 pieces in titanium and 500 pieces in 18K King gold.