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HANDS-ON: The Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT

The Ferrari–Hublot collaboration has produced a stream of watches since 2011, each time with a different look and feel: from Big Bang variations to the outstanding MP-05 LaFerrari and, two years ago, the Techframe.

But where the Techframe is all straight lines and strong angles, this new Classic Fusion piece is smooth and curvy – Gran Turismo with beautiful coach-building, rather than high-octane motorsport.

In designing this watch, Ferrari’s Centro Stile has taken the automotive metaphor further, suspending the round case within the bezel. The resulting void between the two circles adds both visual and physical lightness, as well as creating extra surfaces where the light can play. Four exposed ‘H’ screws (rather than Hublot’s usual six) attach the case to the bezel and on the 3 o’clock side, a wave-shaped flange curves over the crown and pushers. It looks airy and elegant – very different from the chunky angularity we expect in Hublot cases. Although the overall diameter is 45mm, it feels smaller – and therefore really comfortable on the wrist – yet still oozes strength and presence.

In both the King Gold and Titanium versions, the silken finish of the metal and rounded forms of the case-side and bezel give the watch a warm sensuality. It begs to be touched. (There’s also a version in 3D Carbon, but with the pattern of the carbon structure distracting the eye, the beautiful lines of the case get a little lost.)

While the Titanium looks cool and industrial, the King Gold glows warmly, emphasising those curves and contrasting nicely with the blacks and greys of the exposed movement components. That contrast adds real richness and texture and its use on the sub-dials draws your eye through the transparent sapphire dial, into the heart of the movement.

The engine is Hublot’s in-house UNICO chronograph (Calibre HUB1280), which was introduced last year – a self-winding flyback chrono with a column-wheel. As a bonus, the architecture of this movement means that the column-wheel is visible from the dial side. Flip the watch over and you’ll see a cool, steering wheel-inspired winding rotor with three-dimensional spokes that echo the curves of the case – and some very nice finishing on the movement parts. Nothing too elaborate – which wouldn’t be Ferrari or Hublot anyway. Just simple and good.

As a classy finishing touch to this whole ensemble, the strap is made of black rubber, and the Schedoni leather used on the seats of Ferrari’s race cars.

WTM Africa 2020