Hublot Introduces the Classic Fusion Elements in Mineral Stone

Five stones in a limited run.

A Singapore watch retailer with a presence across Southeast Asia, Australasia, and even Japan, The Hour Glass frequently collaborated with the brands it represents on regional exclusives. The latest is the Classic Fusion 42 mm Elements, a variation on the watchmaker’s long-running, minimalist wristwatch but dressed up with striking mineral stone dials, ranging from tiger’s eye to turquoise, set against a titanium-and-gold case.

Tiger’s eye

Initial thoughts

Like past editions created by The Hour Glass, the Classic Fusion Elements is different but attractive, accomplishing the most obvious purpose of a collaboration edition. Even though the Classic Fusion has been iterated endlessly, the Elements still manages to stand out. That’s thanks to several simple but smart details that demonstrate a good eye for design.

The dial, for example, does away with hours markers and the date so the mineral stone can be revealed in all its natural glory. The unencumbered dial is not only appealing for its striking simplicity, but it will also speak to fans of the brands as it resembles the original Hublot design of 1980.

Even though the dial is the star, the two-tone case plays an important role in the overall look. The gold accents make the case immediately more striking than its monochromatic counterparts, but the restrained use of gold means the result is stylish and avoids old-fashioned look that often comes with the two-tone combination.

That said, the dial colours do call to mind the candy-colour Rolex Oyster Perpetual, which is no doubt intentional given the market’s desire for such dials.

With the addition of lavish stone dials, the Elements does cost more than the the basic Classic Fusion, starting at about US$19,700 and rises to about US$21,200, depending on the material.

That’s pricey by most measures, especially since the movement is a Sellita, though the aesthetic is unquestionably attractive – in fact they are perhaps the most appealing amongst Hublot’s recent launches. But the price can also be rationalised by the surprisingly small production run of just 10 pieces for each stone type, making the watch that much more special.

Stone dials

The Hour Glass has selected five different stones for the Elements – good news for enthusiasts who appreciate the natural grains and colours of the minerals. Most striking amongst the quintet is no doubt turquoise, which has a bright, vibrant tone that encapsulates the upbeat spirit of the Classic Fusion, which is all about blending different materials in a lively design.

Turquoise

More commonly found in watchmaking but no less attractive are stones such as tiger’s eye, lapis lazuli, and malachite. But there’s the line up also includes the last and most unusual stone: red jasper.

The mineral is perhaps the most special amongst the range because it’s rarely used for watch dials. At the same time, it is visually attractive, with a simple grain and vivid colour that complements the two-tone case perfectly.

Red jasper

Malachite


Key facts and price

Hublot Classic Fusion 42 mm Elements Special Edition for The Hour Glass
Ref. 542.NX.849E.LR.THG21 (Tiger’s Eye)
Ref. 542.NX.849J.LR.THG21 (Red Jasper)
Ref. 542.NX.849M.LR.THG21 (Malachite)
Ref. 542.NX.849T.LR.THG21 (Turquoise)
Ref. 542.NX.849L.LR.THG21 (Lapis Lazuli)

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: Titanium and King gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: HUB1112 (Sellita SW300-1)
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Winding:
 Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 42 hours

Strap: Alligator covered rubber with gold-plated steel buckle

Limited edition: 10 pieces in each dial variation
Availability: At The Hour Glass stores in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand
Price:
Tiger’s Eye, Red Jasper, Malachite – 26,500 Singapore dollars, or about US$19,700
Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli – 28,500 Singapore dollars, or about US$21,200

For more, visit thehourglass.com.


 

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Patek Philippe Introduces the Calatrava Ref. 5057G “Cortina Watch 50th Anniversary”

Elegantly dressed in grey and white.

One of Patek Philippe’s longest standing and most important retailers in Asia, Cortina Watch celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022. In that half century, Cortina has grown from a single store in Singapore to one of the biggest retailers in Southeast Asia with a network of 45 stores and remains controlled by the founding Lim family. As it was with its 25th anniversary in 1997, Cortina is marking the milestone with a limited edition Patek Philippe – the same model in a different guise in fact.

The Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 5057G “Cortina Watch 50th Anniversary” preserves the design of the earlier anniversary edition, but dresses it up in a more contemporary grey and silver livery. Importantly, the ref. 5057 was a brand-new reference conceived for Cortina, which means the new edition is only the second time that the reference is seeing light of day.

Initial thoughts

The ref. 5057G is notable in several ways. For one, it is unusual amongst retailer editions in having complications instead of being a time-and-date Calatrava, no doubt a reflection of the especially strong ties between the Stern and Lim families. Second, the ref. 5057G harks back to the watchmaker’s aesthetic of the 1990s with its dial and hobnail bezel. This sets it apart from Patek Philippe’s recent watches, which mostly have a more contemporary style.

And the ref. 5057G is intrinsically attractive. I have yet to see the watch in person, but I’ve examined the preceding ref. 5057R several times and it is a handsome, elegant watch that feels like a typical Patek Philippe of its era. Both the hobnail bezel and asymmetric dial layout are the most important – and most appealing – elements of its design.

Revisiting the Jubilee

The new ref. 5057G is a throwback to the limited edition in rose gold that Patek Philippe put together for Cortina’s 25th anniversary, the Cortina Jubilee edition that was also a 100-piece run.

“We have retained the aesthetic codes of the 25th anniversary Calatrava, launched in 1997, for the 50th anniversary limited edition,” explains Jeremy Lim, chief executive officer of Cortina Watch, “This is in homage to the past and present leaders of both companies who have nurtured our longstanding partnership. I hope that it will continue to strengthen over the next 50 years, and with the next generations after us.”

The ref. 5057R of 1997

The ref. 5057G preserves both the design and movement of the Jubilee edition, including the all-important triple hobnail bezel.

But the dial now gets a radially brushed, metallic grey finish that darkens towards the edges. All the of the markings on the dial are white, while the hands are rhodium plated to match the case.

Visible through the open back is the cal. 240 PS IRM C LU, a variation of the micro-rotor calibre that is one of Patek Philippe best known movements, being widely used across its model range thanks to its slim profile.

Better known for being inside the Nautilus ref. 5712, the movement incorporates a pair of useful complications, namely date and power reserve, and a romantic one, the moon phase.

The underside of the sapphire back is printed with the retailer’s anniversary emblem in translucent lacquer, leaving the movement entirely visible


Key facts and price

Patek Philippe Calatrava “Cortina Watch 50th Anniversary”
Ref. 5057G-010

Diameter: 36.5 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: 18k white gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 240 PS IRM C LU
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, moon phase, and power reserve
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 38-48 hours

Strap: Alligator with white gold folding clasp

Limited edition: 100 pieces
Availability:
 Only at Cortina Watch
Price: 75,000 Singapore dollars including GST (approximately US$55,700)

For more, visit Patek.com and 50thanniversary.cortinawatch.com.


 

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