With stores in several U.S. locations, including two in New York City, set to reopen next week, Watches of Switzerland is wasting no time launching another store/brand watch collaboration, this time with Hublot, in the hope of attracting collectors. The Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph is the second collaboration between the two brands, and it’s a slightly edgier version of the Classic Fusion Chronograph Special Edition, the first Hublot x Watches of Switzerland pairing, which debuted in 2018.
The polished titanium case of the original Hublot x Watches of Switzerland Classic Fusion Chronograph is replaced in the second edition by a sleek black ceramic case with a textured polish. The bezel is also black ceramic, which gives it a more uniform appearance than the previous carbon fiber bezel. The baton-style hands and beveled markers are the same, but the dial of the new Aerofusion Chronograph is open-worked to reveal the details of the movement, which becomes the focus of the watch. The inner workings can be seen beneath the subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock, including the date wheel, which circles the outer dial before displaying the current date at 6 o’clock. The Watches of Switzerland logo features rather prominently on the caseback in bold red lettering, where it is etched into the underside of the crystal, while the Hublot logo appears in an arc below, in black.
The first piece was limited mostly to the U.K., where Watches of Switzerland is based, and which constitutes a strong market for Hublot. The 23 pieces allocated to Britain sold out quickly, whereas of the two pieces allocated to the U.S., one is still available at the Hublot boutique in Las Vegas. The 2020 edition will be made in a run of 100 pieces, 25 of which will be allocated to the U.S., and available at four stores: Watches of Switzerland in Soho and Hudson Yards in New York City and Wynn stores in Las Vegas and Boston. It is also being sold on Hublot’s e-commerce-enabled site, which went live in June.
Like the first collaboration, the case of the Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph is 45mm, and it comes on either a black alligator strap or a rubber strap, both with red stitching to match the red center chronograph seconds hand. The 2020 edition also has red numerals and indexes on the subdials, which makes it more readable as an open-worked dial. The movement is the automatic caliber HUB1155, with a 42-hour power reserve. The Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph is priced at $17,700 (the 2018 edition was priced at $12,800) and comes in a Hublot box with a Watches of Switzerland logo.
The watch was unveiled at an exclusive digital launch yesterday, during which guests toasted the new edition with a Veuve Clicquot champagne tasting. Bottles had been previously delivered by Hublot. A private concert by singer-songwriter Julian Perretta, known for the hit single “Wonder Why,” followed.
Neither company is new to the partnership game. Hublot has collaborated with several other companies on limited editions, including Ferrari, football stars Pelé and Kylian Mbappe, sprinter Usain Bolt and tattoo artist Sang Bleu. Watches of Switzerland recently collaborated on special editions with Grand Seiko and IWC.