Hublot reveals concrete timepiece, but is it a brick?

November 2016

As a tribute to New York, the Swiss watchmaker introduces a watch co-designed with gritty street artist Tristan Eaton. Let’s see if it lives up to the expectations.

Hublot reveals concrete timepiece, but is it a brick?

When I think of the “concrete jungle” I don’t think of just any city – I think of New York City. While the American metropolis offers many positives, it can also chew up any unsuspecting city warrior and grind them down to the ground.

Usually the phrase refers to a highly urbanized area with modern, concrete buildings which are either unattractive, gritty or unsafe. It was a bit surprising, then, to see that Hublot named its latest release the Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Concrete Jungle. I say surprising because if the watch truly replicates a concrete jungle, I would expect it to be either intimidating, or just simply unattractive or unpleasant to wear.

Hublot reveals concrete timepiece, but is it a brick?

But in the end, it’s not really either.

The gritty looking “concrete timepiece” was co-designed by visionary street artist and former New Yorker, Tristan Eaton. It gets part of its absurdly long name (“fusion” for example, appears twice in watch’s name) thanks to the concrete elements that have been incorporated into the bezel. Not much in terms of real concrete, but the new bezel gives the watch that New York street look.

The more impressive novelty, in my opinion, is the watch’s case back. It features Eaton’s signature collage technique that creates a colorful motif of the Statue of Liberty – another New York icon - which is based on one of his original art pieces.

Hublot reveals concrete timepiece, but is it a brick?

To launch the new watch, the brand’s American Managing Director, Jean-François Sberro, hosted a three-part event Manhattan. True to the city that never sleeps, it all started with a cocktail in a glass enclosed penthouse, followed by dinner and then a visit to an underground lounge for the after party.

Besides the concrete inspired bezel at the front and the impressive pop of colour with the art work on the case back, there’s not much in the way of innovation here. Not that the watch is unimpressive, but I suppose I always expect more from a brand whose motto is “Be First, Be Unique, Be Different."

Hublot reveals concrete timepiece, but is it a brick?

Given that the watch has New York at it’s core, it will only be available for purchase at Hublot’s New York boutiques on Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue. One piece of the limited run of 50 will set you back a mere $19,500 – not insignificant for a chunk of “concrete”.

Technical information

  • Reference: 525.CI.0117.NR.NYC16
  • Diameter: 45 mm
  • Thickness: 13.40 mm
  • Water Resistant: 5 ATM (50m)
  • Case: Microblasted black ceramic
  • Glass: Sapphire with anti-reflective treatment
  • Case back: Microblasted black ceramic engraved “SPECIAL EDITION” image + "N°XX/50
  • Case back Glass: Sapphire with interior anti-reflective treatment + logo “NYC16”
  • Dial: Sapphire dial with NYC logo printed at 3’00; Microblasted rhodium-plated appliques
  • Hands: Microblasted rhodium-plated hands
  • Movement: Caliber HUB1155, self-winding skeleton chronograph
  • Frequency: 4 Hz (28’800 A/h)
  • Power reserve: 42 Hours
  • Strap: Black rubber and black synthetic textile with black stitching, or black rubber and grey calf with grey stitching
  • Buckle: Microblasted ceramic and black PVD Stainless steel deployant buckle clasp