There is a certain and somewhat universal stigma of Hublot with connotations of negativity, of a lack of imagination and originality, of being anything but authentic. The list goes on and on. And I have to admit, I have not been immune to this way of thinking. However, as of late (perhaps from the beginning of this year), I’ve done my upmost to forgo this instantaneous stigma, ignore the abundance of critics and try to understand the brand a little bit more.
Now, with little spiel out of the way, I want to really dive into this piece. Normally I structure my analysis a certain way, but this time, and to keep things as much about the watch as possible, I’m going to focus solely on expanding on the reasoning behind my rating scores. We’re going to look at the movement first. Then we’re going to delve into its aesthetics. Then we’re going to hypothetically see how well the watch will wear. And finally, we’ll expand on the relevant pricing information. You ready? Okay, let’s go!
The movement of the Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Molon Labe’ gets a somewhat generous 3/5. The HUB1155 is an automatic chronograph mechanism which is actually based on the ETA 2894 calibre. The movement has been heavily skeletonised and completely finished by Hublot. And while the movement itself is probably quite impressive from a technical standpoint, in a timepiece costing 5-figures, I’d expect nothing less than in-house. It boasts a power reserve of about 42-hours, and features the passing hours, minutes and seconds, a 30-minute chronograph counter with chronograph seconds, as well a slightly obscure date window at 6 o’clock. From a functionality perspective, the HUB1155 does gain a few points, and on a whole, I do feel that a score of 3/5 is very much justified.
Next, we move onto the aesthetics. To proliferate the ideology of ‘Molon Labe’, Hublot x The Rake opted to use absolutely had to reflect the piece’s underlying purpose. As an Australian-born-Greek, I take great pride in knowing that my heritage involves and should give thanks to, to an extent, the act of those Spartan warriors against the massive Persian cohort. Such is my admiration and respect for those acts, that I will soon be tattooing a depiction of the Greek warriors on my body (sorry in advance to my wife and my bank account). So, for me, the visceral execution of this piece needed to be perfect, and it was definitely close.
My scoring for the aesthetics of the Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Molon Labe’ is 4/5. I rather enjoyed the openworked nature of the dial, coupled with the 18k yellow gold-plated indices and hands. The 45mm micro-blasted titanium case is large, but with respect to the persona that the watch is trying to personify, anything smaller would have been a bit silly. The engraved and black-brushed bronze bezel, the black composite resin lugs and the polished H-style titanium screws finish off what is, for me a fairly pleasing aesthetic. A 4/5 is definitely fitting here.
Now, onto wearability. Again, at 45mm in diameter, this is anything but small. A 45mm wide watch would sit on my wrist very well, but for those of us with smaller wrists, I’m afraid that the Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Molon Labe’ may look a bit odd. I don’t have any indication as to the height of the watch, but if the images provided are anything to go off, then the orientation of those lugs will ensure a pretty snug fit. In terms of matching the look of the Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Molon Labe’ with a suitable outfit, this may prove to be a bit of an issue. I’ve always found that brown/bronze/earthy coloured watches really only suit a certain fashion colour palette. This isn’t to say that this is an ugly colour combination. I’m just saying that with respect to the Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Molon Labe’ sitting on my own wrist, I’d have limited opportunities to pair it with something that I’d feel comfortable with. For that, I give the Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Molon Labe’ a wearability rating of 3/5.
Finally, affordability. The Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Molon Labe’ has a price tag of $23,200AUD. This is anything but cheap. It has been, however, produced in a very limited quantity. Only 25 of these limited editions will ever be made, and your chances of bumping into someone with the same watch as you (assuming you’ve bought the thing, of course), are slim to none at best. But, and taking into consideration the above ratings, at a cost of $23,200AUD, I think that the Hublot x The Rake Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Molon Labe’ is a bit more expensive than I would have liked. If the piece were, let’s say, to have an in-house mechanism, then sure a $20k-plus price tag is warranted. For affordability, I’d give the Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Molon Labe’ a 3/5.
All in all, I was fairly impressed by what Hublot x The Rake produced. Without sounding patriotic, as a Greek I love seeing my history and heritage everywhere I go. The influence that those Spartan warriors had on this piece is pretty obvious, and I think Hublot and The Rake have done all they can to honor that part of history.
The Hublot x The Rake Aerofusion Chronograph ‘Molon Labe’ is available now and costs $23,200AUD.