Hublot Quartz Chronograph [3/98]

Archives September 24, 2002 admin

Hublot Quartz Chronograph Review

Posted by Ken Fox on TimeZone open forum

Richard suggested I re-post this review, which was lost in the shuffle recently. I am re-writing it from memory and hopefully will do a better job this time.

The Hublot Quartz Chronograph watch I recently purchased certainly qualifies as an oddity in my collection, but it is growing on me. The model in question is ref# 1620.140.2, in steel and yellow gold, sapphire crystal, black dial and rubber strap. The all stainless version (w/ SS bracelet) is pictured in Watches 98 on page 239, and my exact watch (excepting the white dial) is found on page 189 of Watches ’96.

The overall design is very simple and elegant, with the classic Hublot “porthole” styling and rubber strap. The case measures 37 mm in diameter, and 9 mm thick. I cannot find the weight of the watch listed anywhere, however it is very light and I would estimate 35 – 40 grams. The dial is very simple, and very readable, even in strong sunlight. A small date window is located @ 6:00 o’clock. Pushers on my model are gold toned, however they are SS in the plain SS model. I cannot tell if the (anise-scented) rubber strap is adjustable, but it fit my wrist comfortably right out of the box. The entire watch feels very light on the wrist, almost imperceptible.

The magic in the watch is clearly in the movement, an F. Piguet 1270 hybrid quartz/mechanical movement w/ quartz time base and mechanical chronograph mechanism. The movement has 22 jewels and is pictured on page 64 of Watches ’98. It has performed flawlessly, keeps perfect time (to the second in 1 week of atomic time testing) and works smoothly. The chronograph buttons feel very precise, and the sweep (main) second hand has the smooth sweep you would associate with a mechanical movement. This movement is similar to (and reputed to be of the same quality as) the JLC 631 used also in certain IWC models. Hublot indicates that with 1 hour per day usage of the chronograph (timing) function, the expected battery life is 3 years. More intensive use of the chronograph function would reduce battery life.

This watch has a US list price of $4900, and I paid somewhat less than half of that through a gray market source. The SS model lists for $4100. A metal mesh like bracelet is available in different metals at additional cost. My major reservation on this watch is the price, which I feel is too high even at street level. Nonetheless, it is an excellent sports watch and one I will wear regularly while pursuing my recreational interests in the great outdoors.

Catalogs and price lists can be obtained from MDM USA at 1-800-536-0636