Watches of Switzerland And Hublot Unveil Their Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Special Edition
What happens when two horological powerhouses team up to produce a timepiece for collectors? A new special edition chronograph worthy of Hublotistas who appreciate the VIP treatment they receive at Watches of Switzerland boutiques.
With its stores reopening across the world, Watches of Switzerland is signaling that it won’t be business as usual as the economy recovers. It will be even better. And the international luxury watch boutique is celebrating its reopening with a unique collaboration with Hublot called the Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Watches of Switzerland Group’ Special Edition.
Both brands brought out their big guns for the launch of this limited-edition watch at an immersive digital event hosted by CEO Brian Duffy and Executive Director Craig Bolton of The Watches of Switzerland Group and Brand Director UK & Ireland Omar Choudhary and North American President Jean-François Sberro of Hublot.
And even though journalists couldn’t touch the timepiece, it was clear that this watch will be a winner for fans of Hublot’s bold watches and Watches of Switzerland’s unique boutiques.
For the unaware, the new Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Watches of Switzerland Group’ Special Edition is the second collaboration between Watches of Switzerland and Hublot, the first being the Classic Fusion Chronograph Special Edition introduced in 2018. And although the launch was held over Zoom, the companies still threw a good party, shipping guests a bottle of Veuve Cliquot to toast this important occasion while listening to singer-songwriter Julian Perretta play his hit single “Wonder Why.”
The reason this new watch deserved such a high-flying debut is that the original timepiece, which was limited to just 25 pieces, was such a success with collectors that both brands quickly signed up for a sequel. According to Watches of Switzerland CEO Brian Duffy, the first Classic Fusion Chronograph Special Edition collaboration served as the jumping-off point for the new Aerofusion Chronograph Special Edition. More importantly, it was a true partnership with Watches of Switzerland using customer feedback to work with the Hublot team tweaking the original.
What's In Store
The updates to the Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Watches of Switzerland Group’ Special Edition are striking enough that enthusiasts who bought the first collaboration will be sorely tempted by this version as well.
Still 45mm in diameter, the biggest change between the first collaboration and the new special edition is the case material. The original titanium case has been replaced by a black textured-ceramic case. The carbon fiber bezel is also gone, but the black skeletonized dial provides more than enough visual excitement.
Plus, the Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Watches of Switzerland Group’ Special Edition further embraces the red details of the original. In addition to the red topstitching on the alligator and rubber straps and the red lacquered second hand of the original, this chrono also features scarlet markers and numbers on the sub-dials.
A New Deal
As President of Hublot North America Jean-François Sberro stated during the launch, “Presenting a new watch from the comfort of home was a new experience.” But both Watches of Switzerland and Hublot have also evolved their online and in-store experiences since 2018.
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Watches of Switzerland has been holding private Zoom consultations with clients. Now, as their boutiques re-open, Watches of Switzerland's pre-pandemic focus on providing customers with a premium in-store experience has perfectly positioned the luxury retailer to offer a physically distanced yet friendly place to shop. And Hublot has also been shifting toward being more selective with its authorized dealers and expanding its eCommerce offerings.
Again, this approach comes from listening to what customers want. “We worked closely with Hublot’s design team and are delighted with the result,” says Duffy. Also adding that he may be a little impartial as he already bought one of the Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Watches of Switzerland Group’ Special Editions.
Because the first collaboration was so successful, the two companies decided to increase the number of these special editions to 100 (or, 99 when you subtract Duffy’s). Twenty-five of these timepieces will be allocated to the four U.S. stores: Watches of Switzerland Soho and Hudson Yards in New York City and the casino boutiques at the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Boston Harbor.
The Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Watches of Switzerland Group’ Special Edition is now available for pre-order on the Watches of Switzerland and Hublot e-commerce sites. The price is USD 17,700 or £14,600.
(Images provided by Hublot)