The limited-edition Hublot Classic Fusion Yacht Club de Monaco (ref. 501.PM.1680.RX.YCM09) is offered to you in a generously sized 45-millimeter case in a somewhat strange combination of yellow gold and solid titanium case back with black PVD coating.
This 2009 limited edition celebrates the centennial anniversary of the Tuiga 15-meter class yacht. Designed by William Fife III himself, the ship was built in 1909 and, after a restoration in 1993, still sails the seas.
As I have already mentioned, the Classic Fusion Yacht Club de Monaco is done in 18-karat yellow gold with a peculiar mix of black ceramic (bezel,) titanium (nontransparent case-back) and carbon fiber.
Sporting the usual for the Big Bang series sporty (and almost tasteless) design, it has its black dial mottled with logos at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock, those being the “Tuiga Centenary,” red-and-white flags of the Monaco Yacht Club and the famous “HUBLOT Geneve” emblem.
The black ceramic bezel, which is fixed with six H-shaped screws, too, features the “Yacht Club de Monaco” line engraved between 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions. A little bit overdoing it, Hublot also decided to engrave numbers “1909” and “2009” on the yellow-gold case.
Thankfully, the engravings are surprisingly subtle and do not sting the eye, like it often happens with less expensive pieces of luxury, like, say, Chronoswiss Tachoscope Audi Centennial edition or the special-edition Omega Seamaster Diver Vancouver 2010.
The Classic Fusion Yacht Club de Monaco is powered by a relatively compact HUB1100 automatic movement that is is simply a rebadged and nicely refinished (besides the usual stuff, its oscillating weight is replaced with a new rotor: blacked-out and skeletonized in their typical fashion piece of job that makes the caliber look a lot more interesting than it is given its fairly low pedigree) version of the Sellita SW300-1 self-winding ebauche. I don’t have any information on whether Hublot invested anything into making it even more reliable and/or precise, but, in this price range, they usually do, so I am giving the young Swiss-based luxury watchmaker a benefit of the doubt.
Although the mechanism is, again, fairly compact (having a fitting diameter of just 25.60 millimeters and just 3.60 mm thick, it doesn’t require too much real estate to sit comfortably inside the case,) the watch is delivered in a large body whole 45 millimeters in diameter. Still, at just about 11 millimeters top to bottom, the case is fairly slim for a timekeeper powered by a self-winding caliber, so wearing one with the formal dress will not be a problem.
Well, I hope that the current trend of churning out chunky, oversized timekeepers will soon reverse and we will see more of slim, dressy timekeepers sized below 40 millimeters in diameter.
According to the Swiss company, the total run is limited to just 100 pieces. There is still no info about the price.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Hublot Classic Fusion Yacht Club de Monaco (ref. 501.PM.1680.RX.YCM09) specification
Price range: $22,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber HUB1100 (base Sellita SW300-1,) automatic, Swiss Made
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Yellow gold, solid titanium case back with black PVD coating
Bezel: Black ceramic
Size: 45.00 mm
Dial: Black carbon fiber
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black rubber
Crystal: Sapphire with double antireflective coating
Back: Solid, engraved with Hublot “H” logo