Unwinding With Watchonista: At Home With The Hublot MECA-10 Table Clock
Hublot is known for thinking outside the box. The company was born in 1980 when Italian Carlo Crocco left the Binda Group and created the Classic Fusion. With its integrated strap, minimalist design, and round bezel adorned with screws, the first Hublot Classic Fusion resembled a ship’s porthole.
Fun Fact: Hublot means porthole in French.
When it was released, the Classic Fusion was a little ahead of its time and was ignored by the watch community upon its debut at the 1980 Basel Watch Fair. But, happily, it has since become iconic.
The brand is also known for thinking big: The Big Bang MECA-10, for example, measures 45mm in diameter and has a 10-day power reserve. And though imposing in size, the design of the Big Bang MECA-10 is very playful and was inspired by children’s Meccano building sets.
During the brand’s 40th anniversary in 2020, the team at Hublot announced the brand had reimagined the model as a clock. This development is quite apt for our times: What better way to mark the wintery days spent working or relaxing at home than with a table clock that doubles as a mesmerizing mechanical wonder?
Watchonista was inspired by this new clock and decided to spend an afternoon playing around with the new 45mm Classic Fusion 40 Year Anniversary Limited Edition in polished black ceramic and the MECA-10 table clock, pairing them with some of our favorite pastimes.
A perfect at-home afternoon needs a soundtrack, so we begin by digging through the crates for some classic vinyl to set the mood.
And just as LPs gave way to CDs, and CDs gave way to digital downloads, and back to vinyl again, watches have also gone through some dramatic transformations over the years.
The most controversial feature of the Classic Fusion was that it had a rubber strap attached to its 37mm gold case. At the time, this was unheard of in luxury watches. And while the timepiece had its fans from jump street, it took some time for the concept to gain traction.
In the 2000s, the brand switched hands a few times before Jean-Claude Biver stepped in and used the Fusion’s disruptive design codes to rock the watch world.
Now that we've found the perfect tunes, it is time to settle in with a good art book.
Upon taking the reins, Biver christened the company’s new ethos: “The Art of Fusion.” And the Classic Fusion was to be the brand's canvas. Because even though it was quite spare in style due its lack of traditional design codes, the Classic Fusion gave Hublot’s watchmakers carte blanche to create more maximalist timepieces like the Big Bang.
How does the Classic Fusion relate to newer novelties like 2016’s Big Bang MECA-10? You could compare it to a building block in a Lego set or one of the many metal pieces found in a Meccano construction kit. Hublot describes their Meccano-inspired Big Bang Meca-10 as a “transitional object.”
Created in 1898 by Frank Hornby in Liverpool, England, Meccano model construction sets use reusable strips, plates, wheels, axles, and gears to build mechanical devices. And it is the Meccano-like strips and plates that are instantly recognizable in the Big Bang MECA-10.
True, this skeletonized watch stands in stark contrast to the comparatively basic black dial of the Classic Fusion. However, the Big Bang MECA-10 movement doesn’t have any excess decoration such as Geneva Stripes, engine turning, or hand-engraved balance bridge. Rather, the skeletonized design is meant to display the MECA-10’s HUB1201 movement with clarity, showing off its three parallel bridges, all stacked horizontally in a clean, rational configuration.
If the Classic Fusion is an example of minimalist art, the MECA-10 is its constructivist cousin.
Of course, collectors are always trying to guess where Hublot will go next. But the introduction of the MECA-10 Clock was an unexpected delight. One that warrants breaking out the good cigars.
With this new piece, the concept of fusion comes in the form of collaboration. Specifically, the adaptation of the MECA-10 from a wristwatch to a clock required the expertise of both the team at Hublot as well as the world-renowned clockmakers at L’Epée.
“We have managed to reproduce the unique features of our MECA-10 movement on a larger scale,” said Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe. “This feat of engineering was achieved thanks to the concerted effort of the teams from both Hublot and L’Epée. In this way, we are charting a new course for the hallowed tradition of clockmaking.”
Just as the manufacture reinvented its manual movement to power the MECA-10, Hublot wanted to create a new clock that preserved the watch’s original specifications, including the 10-day power reserve.
The result is a manual-winding movement with two barrels. Its spacious 19.60 by 18.10 cm case comes in two versions. The first features Meccano-inspired angles and a ring in polished satin-finished steel and transparent composite. The second comes in a black PVD-covered case with its bridges supporting the gear trains coated in black as well.
Finally, both versions have a notched crown at 3 o'clock that is rubber-coated for a better grip when manually winding the movement.
These two limited editions of the MECA-10 Clock are available now, ready to elevate your indoor experiences. The fabulous table clock starts at $47,400 and tops off at $50,500. While the Classic Fusion 40 Year Anniversary limited edition starts at $8,300 for the titanium version, $10,400 as pictured in polished black ceramic, and $25,200 for the 18k yellow gold version.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)