When we first saw the stock images of the new Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Italia Independent before Baselworld we were not sure whether we liked this new collaboration with Lapo Elkann or not. However, after perusing the watches in the metal, we were blown away by the craftsmanship and the idea behind incorporating some of the most iconic suit fabrics on the straps and dials of these new watches. Six new 45 mm Classic Fusion Chronographs have been created for this new collaboration with Italia Independent and Lapo Elkann who is frequently named "the most elegant man in the world" and who has made bespoke designs and customization his signature. He brought Ferrari's ‘Tailor Made’ programme to life, and he is continuing and expanding upon the concept with Garage Italia Customs; cars, boats, planes and helicopters, with a unique level of customization, personalization and innovative creativity for the whole mobility industry. Lapo also applies this same expertise to the creations that he designs for Hublot and Italia Independent.
For this particular project, Lapo Elkann —head of Italia Independent— chose to involve the “Sartoria Rubinacci”, a three generation taylor that have been in business since 1932. Gennaro Rubinacci, the founding grandfather, Mariano, the father who now manages the house from Naples and, of course Luca, master of the store in Milan —one of the most photographed men on the planet thanks to his unique style— have dressed everybody from the Duke of Kent to singer Bryan Ferry, not to mention of course the Agnelli family, of which Lapo Elkann is the worthy successor.
The House of Rubinacci holds the most beautiful collection of fabrics in its archives. It was here, in the more than 60,000 square meters of precious houndstooth, tweeds and other cloths that Hublot and Lapo Elkann found a collection of tartans —squared colored wool weaves from the seventies— that they brought back to life by including them in the Classic Fusion Chronograph. The dial and straps have therefore been made using these precious fabrics to offer this range of 45 mm timekeepers an end result that is the epitome of elegance. “La vera sprezzatura!”
Things you Need to Know
The references include two pieces in titanium, two pieces in polished black ceramic and two in 18K King Gold. The references are as follows and those in bold are the ones we have on this feature:
- Reference 521.NX.2702.NR.ITI17 - Classic Fusion Chronograph Italia Independent 'Pied De Poule' —Houndstooth— 100 pieces in titanium.
- Reference 521.NX.2701.NR.ITI17 - Classic Fusion Chronograph Italia Independent 'Prince de Galles' —Prince of Wales— 50 pieces in titanium.
- Reference 521.CM.2703.NR.ITI17 - Classic Fusion Chronograph Italia Independent 'Tartan' 50 pieces in polished black ceramic.
- Reference 521.CM.2706.NR.ITI17 - Classic Fusion Chronograph Italia Independent 'Prince de Galles' —Prince of Wales— 100 pieces in polished black ceramic.
- Reference 521.OX.2705.NR.ITI17 - Classic Fusion Chronograph Italia Independent 'Tartan' 50 pieces in 18K King Gold.
- Reference 521.OX.2704.NR.ITI17 – Classic Fusion Chronograph Italia Independent 'Prince de Galles' —Prince of Wales— 50 pieces in 18K King Gold.
The straps match the fabric on the dial and are of the same construction of all other Hublot straps with rubber interior and fabric insert. All straps are equipped with the traditional Hublot deployant clasp.
All six watches are powered by the automatic movement calibre HUB1143 composed of 280 parts, 59 jewels and which provides a power reserve of 42 hours while beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph. This movement which is not an in-house movement is still nicely decorated and visible via the display case back.
On the Wrist & Price
On the wrist, the new Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Italia Independent Tartan, Houndstooth and Prince of Wales wear true to their 45 mm size and with the most unique wrist presence. These watches are of the kind that needs to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. Unique, exceptional and evoking sartorial cues with some of the finest fabrics one can find in the world.
Sticker Price TBC. For more info on Hublot click here.