Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski occupies the space between street art and horology. The brand takes abstract concepts created by important modern artists and translates them into something that can be strapped on the wrist. Just have a look at the Cruz-Diez watch, or the Sang Bleu II to see how Hublot transmogrifies art into watches. The latest watch following this pattern comes from the mind of Richard Orlinski, a French sculptor who also dabbles in producing pop music.
The 40mm Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski is reimagined in an Orlinski-esque fashion, with a dial that reflects the faceted style found throughout his work. The specific tones of black and blue nod to colors he’s been known to work with. The entire watch, aside from the movement, the crown, and the strap, is ceramic – it almost looks like it could have been sculpted as opposed to manufactured.
The Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski came to define Hublot’s unorthodox approach to what we now call “high-low” back in the ’80s, when Carlo Crocco paired precious metal with a rubber strap. But the new Orlinski watch takes advantage of the Classic Fusion’s clean design and adds just enough of his artistic touch in the form of a playful texture that it doesn’t feel too on the nose or overbearing. This is Hublot, after all, and it’s not known for making subtle watches, but the Orlinski has a stealthiness that adds to the appeal. The watch isn’t a limited edition, either, which is typical for collaborations between Hublot and popular artists.
Inside is the HUB1100, a caliber that Hublot has used in watches produced in conjunction with Italian fashion house Berluti. It’s based on the SW300-1 and finished by Hublot with an open rotor to take in views of the Swiss lever escapement. The indices and hands are highly polished and pop against the matte texture of the faceted ceramic. There’s no luminous material present on the dial. Also absent is a date window, which appears on many other models of the Classic Fusion.