Earlier this year I worked on a fascinating project with my Adelaide watch restoration friend Ben Birkett and renowned Russian watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin. Essentially, I wanted to create an industrial hexagonal timepiece fabricated from concrete. The inspiration behind the concept was modernistic contemporary concrete houses. At the time I had just completed my 7th book entitled ‘Concrete Dream Homes’ and was intrigued by the industrial appearance. I wanted to replicate the raw untreated essence of the material in watch form. After several trials, British craftsman George Slaughter final achieved the brutalist aesthetic desired. The timepiece called the ‘Edge’ was featured in Mondani Magazine and shared on various social media outlets.
As far as I’m aware the ‘Edge’ is the first and only concrete watch with a skeletonised dial. However other brands like 22 Design Studio, Diesel, Dzmitry Samal and Giuliano Mazzuoli have also produced interesting concrete timepieces. Now Hublot has got in on the act and unveiled a stylish watch called the Classic Fusion Concrete Jungle New York. With a price tag of $18,800, this is certainly the most expensive concrete watch presently on the market and the most exclusive. Initially, limited to 50 pieces and only available at Hublot’s Fifth Avenue flagship boutique.
Hublot originally made a version of the Classic Fusion Concrete Jungle New York back in 2016 with a concrete bezel. The latest incarnation takes the concept much further with the bezel, case and dial now being fabricated from composite concrete. Interestingly Hublot has used a ratio of 65-75% cement, 25-30% epoxy resin and 5 -10% fibreglass to achieve a refined texture. The watch is dedicated to New York, which was dubbed as the ‘Concrete Jungle’. The overall inspiration is very similar to Diesel’s fantastic DZ4513 Mega Chief concrete chronograph. In my opinion, both watches are equally striking even though they are priced at different ends of the spectrum.
At the heart of the watch is an in house Swiss automatic mechanical movement developed by Hublot. The Calibre HUB1143 has a power reserve of 42-hours and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. This entire splendour is visibly showcased via the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the Classic Fusion Concrete Jungle New York features hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph facility. The watch is also water-resistant to a depth of 50-metres.
As a final touch, Hublot has equipped the Classic Fusion Concrete Jungle New York Black with a stylish black rubber and synthetic textile strap.