Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT: The Fourth Time’s A Charm
by Martin Green
How is it possible that one of the most well-known and admired car manufacturers had such a hard time finding a good partnership for successfully creating high-end watches?
Ferrari began with a partnership with Cartier. Those watches were never co-branded, though, and given the era, I doubt if Cartier even made them as the brand lacked manufacture capability back then.
Next up was Girard-Perregaux, whose stylish watches were a good match for some of Ferrari’s classic cars; but the carmaker found it far more difficult to connect with that brand’s then-current production models.
Panerai took over but didn’t fare much better. While that brand has Italian blood running through its veins, it was clearly of a different blood type as slightly modified case design and a Ferrari-logo tossed in here and there didn’t do much for watch connoisseurs or Ferrari owners.
Then Hublot arrived on the scene, and a passionate love affair started. Ferrari found its haute horlogerie match!
Ferrari and Hublot: not obvious, but similar “DNA”
Unlike Porsche, for example, Ferrari is not a brand of evolution, but revolution. It likes to push forward, fueled by Italian passion, to innovate and revolutionize to make its cars faster and more agile.
Even when it introduces new generations of existing models, these are often more different from each other than alike.
This is pretty much true for Hublot as well. The brand has become a pioneer in so many different adjacent fields and innovated with so many different materials that it is hard for other brands to keep up.
Did you notice how all of a sudden the forward push to make sapphire crystal-encased watches has seemed to stop? I feel this is because Hublot cracked the technology to make them serially; with sapphire crystal watch cases, the difficulty is not so much in making one or two, but in making them in series.
Hublot didn’t stop there, either, next making them in a variety of colors – blue, yellow, red – and even bringing down the price point of these sapphire crystal-encased wonders.
This is typically Hublot, where the drive for innovation is at the base of its existence. And that is, in my opinion, why the collaboration with Ferrari has worked so well.
New Hublot Ferrari models
Such a thirst for innovation also means regularly introducing new models, and here’s the latest from the Hublot-Ferrari partnership: the Classic Fusion Ferrari GT.
The shape of these Classic Fusion chronographs is more organic, and dare I say even soberer than the Ferrari-branded models have been until now.
Hublot launched three different versions of the watch, and all are equipped with the brand’s Unico manufacture Caliber HUB1280 and fitted with a Schedoni leather strap with rubber lining.
The latter is also the main contribution of Centro Stile Ferrari, the Prancing Horse’s design studio, which was responsible for the design.
And while the watch does offer a Ferrari Prancing Horse logo on the dial, it stays monochromatically in the background, almost merging with the silver-colored bridge behind it on the titanium and 3D carbon versions, though popping out more on the King Gold version (see photo above).
As with the Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph (see it in Kiss Drummer And Watch Collector Eric Singer’s Baselworld 2017 Top 10), which was the first watch Ferrari ever designed itself, the Classic Fusion Ferrari GT’s movement and dial are placed in a container that is held by a frame.
It is one of many details that elevate this watch from being merely a watch/car marketing collaboration to a cool and interesting horological creation. The dial has a lot of depth to it, with the right subdial designed to lovingly replicate a tachometer in a Ferrari – a subtle nod to the cars, but not a gimmicky one.
Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT: it’s all about materials
Hublot offers three versions of the Classic Fusion Ferrari GT, mainly different only in the case material and corresponding details.
The titanium version might be the least exciting of the three as it offers an almost understated look. A few red details brighten up the design, but not much more is needed. It is especially this version that shows how balanced the design of this watch is.
The one made of 3D Carbon (a polymer matrix composite comprising three-dimensional fibers) draws more attention, despite it being black. This is one of those materials with which Hublot loves to play: by layering the carbon fibers in a distinct way, not only have Hublot’s technicians created a very light, durable and strong case, but also got as a bonus a kind of monochrome stripes-and-checks look to the material, which works wonders when turned into a watch.
Here we also see once more the brand’s dedication to detail: the deployant clasp is fitted with a black ceramic closure bearing the Hublot name – in red on the 3D Carbon version.
Even a traditional material such as gold manages to capture Hublot’s attention: naturally not to use it conventionally, but rather in the much richer tone of Hublot’s own King Gold, which is redder than the “rose” tone usually found in high watchmaking.
This gold gets a very technical look from microblasting that goes perfectly with the fast-paced, high-tech world of Ferrari.
These details are a testimony to the most enticing current car/watch partnership around, with real synergy reached at an elementary level.
For more please visit www.hublot.com/en/collection/classic-fusion/classic-fusion-ferrari-gt-titanium.
Quick Facts Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT
Case: 45 x 13.15 mm, titanium, 3D carbon or King Gold
Movement: automatic Caliber Unico HUB1280, 72-hour power reserve, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, column-wheel chronograph
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date, flyback chronograph,
Price: €21,700/$22,000 (titanium), €26,900/$27,300 (3D Carbon), €38,300/$38,800 (King Gold)