2017 marks the 70th anniversary of a certain automaker that will create passion among automobile fans just like no other. Synonymous with the colour red, this automaker also happens to possess the most successful team in Formula One. Have you guessed it? The automaker is not any other than Ferrari. Since the official watchmaking partner of Ferrari, Hublot introduced the Hublot Techframe Ferrari 70 Years Tourbillon Chronograph watch to mark the event earlier this year, but this really is a brand new one-off version made from PEEK Carbon and King Gold.The venture of Hublot and Ferrari is now into its fifth year, and it has produced a lot of Hublot’s most audacious and impressive pieces like the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis (hands-on) watch and the Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari watch (hands-on with the sapphire case variant), in addition to more familiar Hublot fare like Big Bang Ferrari (such as the version we reviewed) editions.The Hublot Techframe Ferrari 70 Years Tourbillon Chronograph watch was unveiled earlier this season (hands-on), along with the particular version in the materials you see here has been made as a one-off bit for auction. It is a technically impressive view, of course, using a chronograph function and tourbillon escapement. Produced in cooperation with Ferrari, the consequent watch, with its very architectural and bridge-like case design, looks unlike any other Hublot watch before it.So what’s unique about this watch? Well, the Hublot Techframe Ferrari 70 Years Tourbillon Chronograph watch was initially created in three versions — King Gold, titanium, and PEEK carbon — that were confined to 70 pieces each. The skeleton framework that protects the case is made from ultra light and strong PEEK carbon, although the situation itself is made from King Gold. King Gold is the name of a gold and ceramic metal developed by Hublot that includes a richer reddish colour in comparison with typical 5N reddish gold and can be much more challenging and more scratch-resistant.
Eminent fashion and leather goods houses have spent millions of dollars building factories (like Louis Vuitton’s shiny new building in Geneva) to make respectable mechanical watches. Hublot, in contrast, has wrapped its latest wristwatch in lots of patinated leather from Berluti, the Parisian shoemaker famous for its strikingly patinated leather.
Hublot’s collaboration with Berluti – both are sister companies in French conglomerate LVMH – has produced a pair of elaborately packaged limited editions that made their debut at Baselworld 2016. The better looking, albeit pricier, of the two is the Classic Fusion Berluti Script that uses Berluti’s signature Venezia leather.
The watch itself is an ordinary hublot watches rate Replica Classic Fusion, with a 41mm case in 18k King Gold that has an basic ETA 2892 automatic inside. Instead of a conventional face, the dial is made of leather with the hour markers and lettering embossed. The leather covering of the rubber strap matches the colour of the dial, with the engraved calligraphy characteristic of Berluti’s Scritto leather.
The strap leather, however, does not quite match the leather on everything else. Besides having a slightly different texture, the colour of the strap is not quite as rich, and the patina is not as nuanced. Possibly the thinness of the strap leather dictated a different leather.
Everything else, however, is beautifully coloured and impressive to behold. The watch is packaged in a large box covered on all sides in Venezia Scritto leather in tobacco bis, a rich brown-gold-orange shade plastered with laser-engraved calligraphy – a look that is flashy and appealing. Slide out the tray inside the elaborate box and all the accessories are displayed in their full glory.
The package includes a shoe polish and shoe cream (both Saphir Médaille d’Or – probably the most expensive shoe care product in the world), as well as a horsehair buffing brush, cleaning brush, a leather-covered polishing glove. The only bit that is useful for the watch is a tubular pouch for a single watch, covered in the same Scritto leather.
Taken together the package doesn’t really make sense – in fact its intellectual foundations are exceptionally shaky – but the whole thing looks wonderful inside the box. All of the neatly arranged accessories do evoke memories of a child’s toy set, but aren’t luxury watches toys for boys?
Pricing and availability
The Classic Fusion Berluti Scritto is a limited edition of 250 pieces, with a stiff price tag of US$29,400 or S$46,800.
It’s also available in ceramic and titanium as the Classic Fusion Berluti All Black that costs US$14,600 or S$23,400. Both are already available at Hublot retailers and boutiques.