Well! It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of ever-escalating novelties that defines the industry – because let’s forget, for all the talk of savoir-faire and timelessness, this is an industry. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing what creativity and innovation can be packed in a 45mm case, but it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that a watch doesn’t need to have a brand new in-house movement, multiple tourbillons laid out in the shape of a swan or a dial crafted from the tears of a fallen angel to be a beautiful, lustworthy object.
The only thing that’s new about this collection, offered in titanium and King Gold, is the new grey dial just like Hublot’s Classic Fusion Racing Grey. On the scale of things it’s a subtle and smart tweak – warmer than black and less bold than blue, but the result, as you can see, is one heck of a photogenic watch.
It’s certainly my personal favourite Hublot of the year. And yet there’s minimum novelty. It’s a strong design, 100 per cent Hublot, that’s been executed flawlessly. I’d go so far as to say that this King Gold Racing Grey would be very, very high on my purely hypothetical list of ‘2016 watches I’d like to buy’.
Indeed, all the elements work. The harmony between the brushed and polished gold case elements. The contrast between the cool grey and the warm gold. The perfect radial brushing of the satin dial finish, the mirror-crispness of the applied hour markers and hands, the rich tones of the printed dial text. It all works, and it all works together.
This is also a remarkably versatile watch. If you’ve ever disregarded Hublot because of their bold sports persona, I strongly advise you to take another look at the Classic Fusion range in general, and this one in particular. Sure, this is a solid gold 45mm watch, so there’s no mistaking the statement it makes, but don’t forget there are smaller sizes and titanium versions too.
This is a surprisingly un-blingy watch as many have saying that. Hublot is very good at working with materials, and letting those materials stand out and speak for themselves. And while watches with Texalium or Berluti leather speak in strident tones that demand attention, the grey and gold at play here don’t demand your attention as much as deserve it.