Hublot Classic – Laying the Groundwork
The Hublot Classic is the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer's original watch. Models from the 1980s set the foundation for the brand's hallmark porthole design. Today, these vintage watches serve as an affordable entry point into the world of Hublot.
5 Reasons to Buy a Hublot Classic
- Affordable prices: Quartz watches for under 1,200 USD
- Recognizable and distinctive porthole design
- Desirable 80s look
- Stainless steel, solid gold, or stainless steel and gold cases
- High-precision quartz or automatic caliber
Character-Defining Vintage Watches with a Porthole Design
The Hublot Classic lives up to its name in every sense. Its distinctive porthole design laid the groundwork for the current designs of the Big Bang, Classic Fusion, and King Power in the early 1980s. Its look is no coincidence: 'Hublot' means 'porthole' in French.
The design of the Classic is sporty and elegant. Despite what the name suggests, these watches are not classic dress watches. Instead, they are sporty luxury watches that are appropriate at any event and with any outfit: They pair just as well with a suit at the office as they do with a polo shirt on the golf course. The twelve screws on the bezel are a defining feature of this timepiece. Early models from the 1980s have a hinged lid on the front that protects the display and underscores their porthole design. Another distinctive feature of early Hublot Classic watches is the "MDM Geneve" inscription on the dial. The letters "MDM" stand for "Marie-Danielle-Montres" in honor of the wife of the brand's founder, Carlo Crocco.
Even back then, Classic watches had rubber straps and were way ahead of their time. Today, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer's timepieces continue to play a pioneering role in terms of technology and materials. For example, no other manufacturer combines gold and ceramic to create scratch-resistant watch cases.
Furthermore, vintage watches in the Classic collection represent the most affordable entry point into the world of Hublot luxury watches. Pre-owned quartz watches often cost less than 1,200 USD. You can even find bi-color models in gold and stainless steel for around 1,200 USD. These models will add a proper 80s touch to your wrist. The line's top models are made of solid gold and include a chronograph function for measuring periods of time.
How much does a Hublot Classic cost?
|Model||Pre-owned price (approx.)||Automatic||Features|
|Classic Regulateur||9,300 USD||✓||Hours and seconds displayed on subdials, white gold|
|Classic Chronograph||6,900 USD||✓||Chronograph, gold|
|Classic Gold||4,300 USD||–||Gold|
|Classic Chronograph||2,100 USD||–||Chronograph|
|Classic Automatic||2,100 USD||✓||Automatic|
|Classic Lady||930 USD||–||Women's watch|
Detailed Price Information
The Hublot Classic exists almost exclusively as a pre-owned watch since they are no longer in production. If you're looking to purchase a new watch with a similar design, the Classic Fusion may be the right watch for you. However, these timepieces are markedly more expensive than their sister models from the 80s.
You can purchase a gold Hublot Classic with a quartz movement for as little as 4,300 USD. Those with automatic movements demand over 4,600 USD. Chronographs in 18-karat gold are slightly more expensive at 6,900 USD. One special model is the Regulateur in white gold. It displays the time using a central minute hand and two subdials for the hours and seconds. Be sure to have about 9,300 USD on hand to purchase one of these pieces.
Stainless steel and bi-color versions are significantly less expensive. You can find a bi-color women's watch with a quartz movement for only 930 USD. Women's models in stainless steel sit in a similar price range; however, examples in very good condition can cost upwards of 1,200 USD. Three-hand watches with an automatic caliber come in at around 2,100 USD. Quartz-powered chronographs usually cost around the same, but can also cost upwards of 3,500 USD.
It's possible that prices for the Hublot Classic will rise within the next few years. Hublot is still a relatively young brand. If its cult factor increases, that could notably influence prices. Older models from the 1980s could experience an increase in value, especially the watches with a hinged lid on the dial. Currently, such a watch is available for 2,300 to 4,100 USD, depending on its condition.
From Three-Hand Watches to Chronographs
There is a large vintage market for the Hublot Classic. Since Hublot has only existed since 1980, most of the wristwatches are still relatively young. Accordingly, most are still in very good condition. In terms of case material, you have the choice between stainless steel, gold, and bicolor models made of stainless steel and gold. The case size is rather unusual for Hublot. Most of the available watches have a moderate size of 36 mm. There are plenty of women's watches that are sized around 30 mm.
The moderate sizes of these timepieces can be explained by their origins: 36-mm men's watches were standard back in the 80s. The current trend toward retro watches also means that ever more manufacturers are adding smaller watches to their catalogs.
Most of the watches in this collection use very precise quartz movements. However, there are also some watches powered by automatic movements, which don't require batteries. Most watches only have the essentials: the time and date. If you want something a bit sportier, take a look at the chronographs. You can use this type of watch as a timer. If the watch also has a tachymeter scale, you can even calculate speed over a certain distance.