One of the most impressive debuts at the inaugural LVMH Watch Week Dubai, Hublot‘s Classic Fusion Gold Crystal timepieces harness the beauty from an uncommon act of nature. In contrast to each all-black ceramic case and bezel, gold in crystal form sets the dial ablaze. Available in 38mm and 45mm iterations, both with in-house automatic movements, these watches explore the aesthetic potential of the precious metal. And once again, the Swiss haute horlogerie brand had to invent the process along the way.
To fabricate these crystals, the engineers in Hublot’s research and development department heat 24 karat gold flakes to their melting point. Emanations of gold atoms rise up, only to be caught by a cold surface where they harden in unique, delicate crystalline shapes. Gold crystals like these rarely occur in nature as formation conditions exist within a very specific window of temperature and pressure. Further, only 20% of those produced by Hublot can be utilized. (The gold crystals that cannot be salvaged are melted down for future attempts or repurposed in other styles.)
Each crystal cluster that Hublot accepts is then placed by hand on top of the dial and enclosed in a clear lacquer. Some 20 layers of this are applied—in vacuum conditions that prevent air pockets—to hold the fragile formations. In addition to acting like a glue, the lacquer preserves the sparkle. Altogether, Hublot tapped into the mesmerizing character of gold and found a refreshing way to cast it within their celebrated timepieces.
Hero image and video courtesy of Hublot