Hublot has previewed its new stylish collection of watches that has been created in collaboration with two Italian high-end gentleman’s fashion powerhouses – Italia Independent and Rubinacci. The novel collection called Hublot Classic Fusion Italia Independent brings together the worlds of watchmaking and haute couture in an interesting and unusual way. It introduces models which show off exclusive vintage-styled fabrics (tartan, glen plaid and houndstooth) on their dials and straps. There are six variations in total, two in each of the supported materials: titanium, red gold and carbon. As for the watchmaking aspect of the new fashionable timekeepers, they are basically standard Hublot Classic Fusion Chronographs supplied with automatic movements. As it has been announced, the new collaborative pieces will be displayed at the Baselworld 2017 fair this spring.
Lapo Elkann – The Most Elegant Man in the World
The Swiss watchmaker is resuming its collaboration with the Italian fashion company Italia Independent led by Lapo Elkann. This is actually their third joint project and the premier that stems from the Classic Fusion series. Two prior ones were from the Big Bang Unico collection. For those who are not aware, Lapo Elkann is the famous entrepreneur and grandson of late Gianni Agnelli, the former head of Fiat and the owner of the most successful Italian football club, Juventus. The Agnellis, who are renowned for their extreme wealth and connections to nobility, have been among the best known families in the Apennines for generations. Lapo Elkann is no exception. He was previously employed as a personal secretary of Henry Kissinger and he was also employed in the management of famous brands such as Gucci, Fiat and Ferrari. In contrast to his successful career, Lapo Elkann is also infamous for several scandals regarding his personal life, which inadvertently brought him into limelight of the yellow press. After these events, Elkann revived his career by opening his own businesses, among them Italia Independent clothing brand. He is also praised for his sense of style which earned him the unofficial title of “the most elegant man in the world”.
Family Tradition of Rubinacci Taylors
In the third collaborative project of Hublot and the Elkann’s brand, the inspiration was found in the products of another famed Italian fashion powerhouse – Rubinacci. It is the family led manufacturer of high-end gentleman’s suits which has been active since the 1930s when it was founded by the grandfather of the current head of the firm, Luca Rubinacci. Among the best known clients of the brand there are the Duke of Kent and a singer Bryan Ferry. Rubinacci provided exclusive fabrics that were used in the creation of the new collection. Lapo Elkann selected six different vintage fabrics from the Rubinacci’s storage which are used in the creation of watches. This choice makes them components of a gentleman’s attire even more than it is commonly the case.
All of the selected fabrics feature geometric patterns. Three of them are glen plaids, otherwise called “Prince de Galles” (which is Italian for Prince of Wales), two are houndstooth (or Pied de Poule) patterns, while the remaining one is tartan. These noble fabrics occupy the face of the newcomers (except the chrono sub-counters) and the straps (where they are combined with rubber).
Six Watches with the Same Essence
In the strict watchmaking sense, each of these six new pieces is actually the same watch, Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph. It runs on a self-winding mechanical Caliber HUB1143 with 59 rubies. The caliber with 280 components runs on the frequency of 4 Hz and it includes the modest power reserve that lasts for 42 hours. It provides central hours, minutes and seconds (via polished and ruthenium-plated hands), as well as two chrono-sub counters and finally, a date display on the bottom of the face.
As for the cases, there are three different types of materials that were used. These are titanium, black ceramic and 18 K King Gold. Each of them is with alternating satin and polished finishes. Moreover, the same material is used for the fixed bezel, the crown and the outer part of the case-back which also includes appropriate engravings (which identify the position of the specific piece in the limited edition). Bezel lugs are made of composite resin, while each of the bezels is set in place with six screws. The watches include sapphire crystals with glare-proofed treatments on both of the sides. The front one likewise features the logo of Italia Independent on the bottom. Regardless of the variant, the housing is 45 mm wide and 13.05 mm thick. Supported water resistance is likewise the same and it is set at 50 meters. It should be noted that these watches are made in restricted editions which include 50 or 100 copies.
Six Stylish Variants
Let us start with the titanium-housed variants. The first one among them (Ref. 521.NX.2702.NR.ITI17) is with black and white houndstooth fabric, as well as black accents (sub-counters, bezel lug and the rubber parts of the strap). It is launched in the restricted series of 100 pieces. The other titanium version (Ref. 521.NX.2702.NR.ITI17) is restricted to 50 copies. This one is with black, white and blue glen plaid fabric and blue counters. Both lock with a steel folding clasp.
Next, there are two ceramic-clad versions. The more exclusive 50-piece variant (Ref. 521.CM.2703.NR.ITI17) is with a charming tartan in blue, red and white. It has blue counters and accents. The next model with a black ceramic livery (Ref. 521.CM.2706.NR.ITI17) is twice as numerous. It once again features glen plaid fabric (mostly black and white with subtle hints of red) and dark chrono counters. These variants fasten with black PVD steel clasps.
Finally, there are two more models in King Gold housings made of the brand’s patented red gold alloy. Both of them are launched in 50 copies and both feature clasps made in the combination of gold and blackened steel. First one of them, (Ref. 521.OX.2705.NR.ITI17) is with tartan fabric in black, green and red, as well as with black counters. Once again, these chrono sub-dials are blue in the other variant in the same material. This one (Ref. 521.OX.2705.NR.ITI17), shows off its black and white Prince de Gallas fabric all over the dial and the attachment.
The exact date of the launch of the new fashionable timekeepers, as well as their prices will be unveiled at the next edition of the Baselworld fair.