Watches: Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Sino-Swiss FTA
By Thierry Ané on July 3, 2014
In 2013 China and Switzerland signed a Free Trade Agreement regarded as the most ambitious trade deal signed by both countries to date. This agreement is the first that Beijing has signed with a nation in continental Europe and it represents a major step forward for Switzerland’s engagement in Asia. It entered into force on July 1st 2014 and, to mark this historic event, Hublot has been asked to create an official commemorative watch.
The “Classic Fusion Chronograph Sino-Swiss FTA” was officially unveiled by Jean-Claude Biver, Chairman of Hublot and President of LVMH Group Watches Division, for the opening of the 2014 Sino-Swiss Economic Forum that also took place two days ago in Beijing in an effort to enhance trade cooperation between the two countries and to improve competitiveness and sustainable development of of both nations.
Perhaps as a nod to Chinese classic tastes in terms of timepieces, the Nyon-based manufacture opted for a “Classic Fusion” model and decided to introduce two versions of the “Classic Fusion Chronograph Sino-Swiss FTA”, one in Titanium limited to 30 pieces and another in King Gold (the brand’s very own red gold containing 5% of platinum) that will be produced in a limited run of just 20 watches.
Both models are equipped with the self-winding HUB 1143 calibre storing 42 hours of energy when fully wound. This mechanical chronograph movement made of 280 individual components, including 59 jewels, beats at the frequency of 4 Hz or 28,800 vibrations per hour. Finished in the pure tradition of Fine Watchmaking, it can be observed through the transparent sapphire back.
As usual, the brand spared no effort in the customisation process and these two 45 mm Classic Fusion chronographs showcase unique aesthetics with several design nods to China and the Free Trade Agreement. They both feature an all-metallic look with the hour markers (note the star appliqué at 12 o’clock in reference to China), the hands, and the beautiful satin-finished dial in the same colour as the case. The small seconds counter at 3 o’clock is adorned with an engraving of the Chinese and Swiss national flags and their common red colour has been used of the central chronograph seconds hand.
The sapphire crystal on the back received a beautiful transfer featuring the flag of both countries together with the inscription “Sino-Swiss FTA takes effects on July 1st, 2014” in French and Chinese. Each version is mounted on an elegant black alligator strap sewn onto black rubber with contrasting red stitches. The Titanium version is secured by a stainless steel folding buckle while the deployant clasp of the King Gold model is crafted in the same proprietary gold as the case.
Watchmaking is one of Switzerland’s most famous industries and Chinese citizens are known for the appreciation of high-end timepieces: the choice of a watch as commemorative object was thus quite obvious. Choosing Hublot as official partner also made sense. This young manufacture has indeed experienced an exceptional growth over the past decade and has enjoyed an incredible fame, all of this everywhere including China. It is thus a perfect symbol for a trade agreement aimed at enhancing economic exchanges.