The 2011 Hublot Classic Fusion Opaline Dial (refs. 542.OX.2610.LR in 42 mm, and 511.OX.2610.LR in 45 mm) collection features a nice combination of colors and textures that, surprisingly enough if you think of it, look extremely well-balanced and even elegant in that ever so slightly arrogant kind of way that the brand is known for. Although the choice of the mechanism doesn’t look particularly impressive, it is still a nice time-measuring device if you are more worried about a timekeeper’s exterior than about its guts as long as the precious “Swiss Made” inscription is present in the lower half of the dial.
Although there was a lot of criticism when ETA declared the intention to stop selling its blank movements to third-party clients, the move was good for the industry.
Well-established and even younger but financially successful brands like Breitling, the Italian Panerai and, yes, Hublot finally realized that you just can’t sit on your ahem laurels forever selling the same mass-produced movements simply packed in branded cases and sold at a huge margin. Because at a certain moment people start asking questions, you know.
Hublot’s first attempt at making its in-house movement was the Unico series of calibers that started with the gorgeous HUB1240 flyback chronograph movement. However, at some point, Hublot’s top brass probably decided that using in-house mechanisms for their ahem more affordable timekeepers puts an unacceptable dent into their profit margins. That was how the Caliber HUB 1110 was born. Being based on the well-known Sellita SW300 ebauche, the refinished and rebranded mechanism features a standard three-handed layout and a simple calendar: just enough for a modern dress watch. With its relatively simple design, it is also as reliable as an old-school hammer and easy to fine-tune by just about any qualified service person in just about any part of the world except for, maybe, Somalia, but you probably don’t want to take such an expensive timekeeper there.
First introduced with the recent Big Bang 38 mm model, the caliber also powers this new Classic Fusion Opaline.
According to the company, the rose gold version will be available both in 42 and 45 mm cases that, being successors to the glorious heritage of their sportier Big Bang collection, features the same basic shape but is a trifle simplified compared to the original.
However, thanks to a combination of polished and satin-finished surfaces, the case looks truly gorgeous and, well, even stately.
My only complaint here is about the dial. Supplied with baton-shaped indexes, the silvered opaline job somehow looks rather boring, lacking the necessary depth and details. Well, nothing is perfect.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Hublot Classic Fusion Opaline Dial specification
Price: $21,000 (MSRP, ref. 542.OX.2610.LR in 42 mm) / $25,600 (MSRP, ref. 511.OX.2610.LR in 45 mm)
Movement: Automatic, HUB 1110, base Sellita SW300, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Branded oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 46 hours
Case: Rose gold
Sizes: 42.00 mm or 45.00 mm
Dial: Opaline, silvered
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Leather or rubber
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective