Hublot Offers Unapologetic Timepiece With Crystalized Gold as the Star

Hublot is occasionally criticized by purists for putting form before functionality, and this could very well be another instance of that. At the same time, with the Hublot Classic Fusion Gold Crystal timepiece, the watchmaker is turning horology into art, with everything that this entails.
Each Classic Fusion Gold Crystal timepiece is unique 6 photos
Photo: Hublot
Hublot Classic Fusion Gold Crystal, a watch like a work of artHublot Classic Fusion Gold Crystal, a watch like a work of artHublot Classic Fusion Gold Crystal, a watch like a work of artHublot Classic Fusion Gold Crystal, a watch like a work of artHublot Classic Fusion Gold Crystal, a watch like a work of art
The Classic Fusion Gold Crystal was introduced at the LVMH Watch Week Dubai earlier this month and it’s a piece as unapologetic as it’s outstanding. It’s a watch that uses minimal amount of horology elements to allow the design to stand out and yes, its entire dial is loaded with 24-carat gold.

We know what you’re thinking. “A watch with so much gold can’t possibly be anything but gaudy!” “Who would want to shine and sparkle worse than Edward the Twilight vampire with a single flick of the wrist?”

Hold your horses, we say.

Hublot knows it’s taking a gamble by incorporating so much shiny gold into a watch, so it’s taken care that nothing else about it stands out. Each timepiece is truly unique, a one-of-a-kind work of art that incorporates gold crystals against an all-black case and alligator strap.

This watch is a risk but it’s one that pays off. It will be available in 2 sizes, 38mm and 45mm, and yes, it will make you stand out from the crowd. But that’s the gist of it.

Hublot Classic Fusion Gold Crystal, a watch like a work of art
Photo: Hublot
Starting from the premise that gold has fascinated mankind since time immemorial, Hublot acquired flakes of the purest kind of gold and got its Research and Development Department working on a process that would turn the flakes into crystals. Gold crystals rarely occur in nature, because certain, very strict conditions have to be met, the watchmaker explains.

Its people were able to create those conditions in the lab, so they pretty much developed a new process just to make a watch. The gold flakes brought to melting point, which is when emanations occur: Hublot compares them to “steam carrying atoms of gold.” When the emanations rise, they crystallize if they come in contact with a cold surface, much like window frosting forms.

Also like in the case of window frosting, no two shapes are alike. Hublot can only use about 20 percent of the gold crystals thus created, and the remaining goes back to the lab to be re-melted or used otherwise.

Working in vacuum conditions to prevent air bubbles from forming, engineers place the crystals on the dial by hand, forming delicate and complicated structures. They apply a special lacquer to keep the crystals in place and maintain shine – about 20 layers are needed for just one timepiece. Afterwards, polishing ensures the appearance of smoothness, making the lacquer practically invisible.

This complicated, painstaking process means that no two watches are alike, even if they’re made with the same pair of hands. Hublot is not off base to claim its latest timepiece is a work of art.

“Every one of our Classic Fusion Gold Crystal watches is unique, truly one of a kind. A fusion of matter and design that is made possible through our mastery of the complex production process,” Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe says.

Hublot Classic Fusion Gold Crystal, a watch like a work of art
Photo: Hublot
“We have been able to reproduce gold in its rarest form on earth: gold crystal. From the dawn of time to the dial of our watches, thanks to our wonderful Swiss environment, gold will always fascinate us. Here we can see it in its most beautiful and magical expression,” Guadalupe adds.

Other than that, from a horological perspective, the new timepiece doesn’t stand out – and it’s most likely on purpose that this happens. The satin-finished and polished black case is ceramic, while the caseback is ceramic with sapphire crystal.

Either model houses the HUB1112 caliber, a self-winding movement with a 42-hour power reserve. They are water-resistant for up to 50 meters / 5 atmospheres, and come with black alligator strap with black-plated stainless Steel deployant buckle clasp.

Pricing starts at €20,800 ($23,000). This watch is not cheap, but going into this, did you really expect it to be?

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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