Hublot has always supported artists, especially those on the edgier side of the contemporary scene. The results are unique fusions between watchmaking precision and creative vision. Hublot’s latest Classic Fusion piece was made in collaboration with Takashi Murakami and marks the first time the brand has worked with a living Japanese artist. The result is spectacular: the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black.
Immediately noticeable is the Smiling Flower motif that dominates the face of the watch. It’s Takashi Murakami’s signature design and is famous across Japan, featuring in wall patterns, furniture and art installations. Here, the usually colourful flower is rendered in all black, which is one of Murakami’s other design principles; it also means the watch fits perfectly alongside Hublot’s existing All Black collection that began in 2006. It might just be a coincidence that both the manufacture and the artist like black but it makes for the stealthiest happy flower around.
Integrating Murakami’s signature design into the piece isn’t as simple as taking a pre-existing watch and slapping a sticker on it, as some poorly executed collaborations can feel like. The centre of the flower has been inserted into the sapphire, making it appear to float three-dimensionally in front of the petals. The petals themselves are if anything more impressive. Thanks to a system of ball-bearings, they actually rotate around the face of the watch. To top it off, the petals and central face are covered in a combined 550+ brilliant cut black diamonds.
Beneath the surface, the timepiece is run by standard Hublot mechanisms, at their ever-high quality. The main powerhouse is the self-winding Unico calibre, offering a 72-hour power reserve and housed within the 45mm diameter satin-finished, black, ceramic case.
Considering the 3D effects and engineering that went into the design alone, it’s a well-sized watch at just 13.45mm thick. It’s entirely wearable, which is obviously a big plus, especially as it could be considered a novelty piece, some of which are a little too out-there to consider actually strapping on.
As with most collaborations, the Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black will be available exclusively in a limited run of 200 pieces. Considering how popular the Smiling Flower design already is, both in Japan and worldwide, it’s sure to become an instant hit with both watch collectors and art lovers.
As such, the CHF 25,900 (approx. £21,324) price tag doesn’t seem too over the top compared to some watches with a similar amount of hype surrounding them. At least compared to Murakami’s actual art.
Price & Specs:
Model: Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black
Case/Dial: 45mm diameter x 13.45m height, black ceramic, rotating decor with 12 black-plated petals set with 456 black diamonds
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: MHUB1214 UNICO, automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 72h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Strap: Black rubber with folding clasp
Price/Availability: CHF 25,900 (approx. £21,324), limited to 200 pieces, available at Hublot boutiques and retailers
More details at Hublot.