Falling in love with the Hublot Classic Fusion Original in Yellow Gold

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Why am I lusting over a solid gold Hublot?

Five years ago, if someone had told me that I would be lusting over a solid yellow gold Hublot, I would have told them they were crazy.

But here we are, I find myself sitting on the computer, staring at the Classic Fusion original in yellow gold. Why do I love it so much? Can I afford it? No. Will people make fun of me for writing an article (love letter) about it? Probably. Luckily, The Subdial doesn’t have a comments section! (Don’t @ me)

Not being one to give in to social pressures, I’m going to fully explore my love for the Classic Fusion Original in written form before your eyes. But first, some context.

I’m a die-hard watch geek and a traditionalist at heart, I love nothing more than a dial without a date and a 36 mm case. In principle, I should hate Hublot, after all, all of my fellow watch nerds do. But recently, I’ve expanded my taste beyond the oyster case.

Let the gushing begin.

The Hublot Classic Fusion Original in Yellow Gold
The Hublot Classic Fusion Original in Yellow Gold

Why does the watch community hate Hublot?

Because we’re snobs… And because watches aren’t supposed to be fun….

Yes, Hublot hasn’t traditionally used the most “high end” movements, and yes, they release countless limited editions and yes, their designs aren’t always particularly tasteful. But many of these reasons to hate the brand are subjective and are very much up for interpretation.

What Hublot is, however, is a brand that does its own thing. And although these days nothing is truly original, their design differentiates itself enough that they have solidified their visual identity. There’s value in that.

And in defence of personal taste, If you don’t like something, that’s fine, if someone else does, that’s also fine. If something is worth it to you, then whether someone else thinks so widely irrelevant.

At the end of the day, of all the people that buy watches in this ridiculous world, the loudest critics of Hublot probably make up 1% of the community. The rest of us just go about our business, liking and buying what we want, ignoring the few that try to influence our decisions to make themselves feel better.

Who gives a shit what some Irish guy on YouTube thinks. I want my solid gold Hublot, and you can’t convince me otherwise.

The Classic fusion original

Ahh, the object of my desire. A solid disc of gold with a deep black dial.

It’s both a historical throwback and an object of contemporary design.

Why Hublot?

In 1980, Carlo Crocco, an Italian playboy, released “The Hublot” under the brand name MDM.

Calling it MDM, after Marie-Daniel Montre, Crocco's wife, is an interesting choice considering his reputation. Maybe he was trying to win her favour after a big week of being an…. Eccentric playboy.

Carlo Crocco, the founder of Hublot
The Man Himself, Mr Carlo Crocco

The original MDM Hublot was a departure from the traditional watches of the time. It was completely modern and, by today's standards, extremely minimal.

MDM The Hublot

The Porthole, the bezel screws, the rubber strap. These were all soon to be iconic details that gave the watch its distinctive look. Elements they have brought back in their purest form in 2023 with the Classic Fusion Original. It’s an almost one for one recreation of the watches of the early 80s.

A case of solid yellow gold

A gold case on a rubber strap is something of a historical touchpoint for Hublot. Back in 1980, watchmaking was a conservative endeavour. Unlike the hairstyles of the time…. 

There wasn’t much experimentation with materials or design. The watches were small, and gold was to be on leather straps, end of discussion.
Then, in a delightful punch to the head as only Hublot can deliver, Mr Crocco comes along and puts gold on rubber.
A noble metal being strapped to the wrist with a rubber band? The snobbery must have been palpable.

Now everyone does it, Patek Philippe has its aquanaut, Rolex its Oyster Flex, and AP its Royal Oak Offshore. They all have the MDM Hublot and Carlo Crocco to thank.

Onto the specifics.
The classic fusion original comes in a few different sizes, 33 mm, 38 mm and 42 mm. In Solid 18k yellow gold, Titanium and Black ceramic.
To my eyes, the proportions look best at 42 mm – The relationship between the case and strap looks a little off on the smaller models.

If you’ve never held a solid gold classic fusion in your hands, please go and find one, the feeling of solidity is incredible. It’s what I imagine holding a solid gold ingot would feel like. There’s vertical brushing on the bezel, high polish on the case flanks and classic H screws holding it all together.
The material solidity is paired nicely with the fine detail of the case finishing.

Let’s just ignore the “high strength polymer’’ gasket in between the bezel and the mid-case. It’s just a fancy word for plastic.

Anyway, back to the gushing…

A deep black dial to get lost in.

The most significant change for this new Original version of the Classic Fusion is the dial.  To bring it in line with the original model from 1980, Hublot has removed 90% of the dial furniture, enlarged the logo and finished the base in polished lacquer. The result is a dial that is clean, elegant and looks more like a porthole than ever.
Hublot, after all, translates to Hublot in French. See what I did there?

The Hublot Classic Fusion Original Yellow Gold 42mm
The Black Lacquer dial of the Classic Fusion Original Yellow Gold

I would have removed the date if I were them. It’s well positioned, but It looks a little undersaturated against the deep black of the dial.
Public service announcement! If you’re going to put the date on your watch, for the love of god, make sure the date disc background matches the dial!
The date execution isn’t a dealbreaker by any means, but it is a little underwhelming.

Ugh, I sound like a proper watch journalist condemning the date window. I make myself sick…

A movement that doesn’t really matter

The main argument against Hublot is that the movements they use aren’t worth the asking price.

Yes, the HUB1110 is just a rebranded and decorated Sellita SW300-1. It’s absolutely used in watches that are a fraction of the price of the classic fusion, but do you know what? I couldn’t care less.

The reality is that most high horology movements that would be considered “worth the money” in a watch of this price aren’t that easy to live with. If you’re living like a playboy, you want something easy.

In my opinion, this watch is all about the lifestyle that it represents, and Hublot knows this.  The constant pursuit of technical innovation in movements and the weight given to how much of the movement is made “in house” is all but irrelevant. Having an in-house movement just wouldn’t make the experience of this watch any better.

The HUB1110 and its 42-hour power reserve is all you need. It’s slim and it works.

To be honest, the case could be filled with mashed potatoes and I would still love it.

I mean, just look at it! It’s gorgeous!

The Hublot Classic Fusion Original in Yellow Gold
The Hublot Classic Fusion Original

Screw the haters, buy a Hublot

Hublot is a brand with real history, technical know-how and the ability to not take itself too seriously. For these reasons, I think it deserves far more respect than it gets.

The classic Fusion Original is a distillation of Hublot’s history and a throwback to simpler times when no-one cared about in-house movements, COSC certification or Geneva stripes. A time when you just loved what you loved and the loudest voices were confined to their parents' basements.

The answer is yes, and if you want to spend your hard-earned cash on something fun, then the Classic Fusion Original is for you.

Haters be damned.

Cya in the next one x

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