Credit: Hublot

Hublot and Takashi Murakami are back together again to create a very colourful Classic Fusion.

Takashi Murakami is an artist who has so much clout that he actually has his own artistic theory. “Superflat” has one aspect that maintains the belief that in post-war Japanese society the difference between social class and popular taste has become “flattened” which means that there is little distinction between high and low forms of art. Murakami has been repackaging elements usually considered “low” and then presenting them to a “high-art” market. And that is exactly what he has done here with Hublot and the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow.

Haute horology isn’t exactly the most open and inviting of hobbies to get into. Especially when you consider the price of entry. 

This isn’t the first time Murakami has lent his trademark smiling flower to Hublot as earlier this year he designed the Classic Fusion All Black. It’s safe to say that this time around he has used the whole spectrum of colours.

Hublot gave Murakami a transparent 45mm sapphire crystal case as a canvas and assumedly just let him go nuts. The petals of the flower are set with 487 gemstones coming in a range of rubies, tsarovites, amethysts, and assorted coloured sapphires.

Murakami said of the collaboration, “When I visited the Hublot manufacture in Switzerland for the first time, I realised to what extent the traditional know-how, precision, futuristic technology and craftsmanship were all intertwined in the creation of a watch. Bringing my art into the creativity of these watchmakers represents a unique adventure for me.”

Unique is the right word I would say because nothing looks quite like this and that’s a good thing. Hublot are a polarising brand in the watchmaking world but even the naysayers cannot deny the absolutely stunning quality of experimentation they have been playing with this year.

Elsewhere, Murakami has stated that, 

“This partnership with Hublot has enable me to express my creativity in what is a totally new medium for me. The mastery of the watchmaker’s technicians has opened up new fields of possibilities for my inspiration. The result is this new watch in the colours of the rainbow.”

The petals on the dial are mounted on a ball bearing system which allows the petals to spin around freely as you move your arm. It’s a pretty cool feature that doesn’t really come across in pictures that I’m sure is something to behold in reality.  

The movement is Hublot’s first 100% in-house movement, the HUB1214 Unico calibre. This features a doubling coupling system and column-wheel from the dial side and is constructed with 330 components. There’s a decent 72-hour power reserve.

This is simply an absolutely stunning watch. It uses Hublot’s transparent sapphire case to great effect. Placing so much colour on a colourless palette really gives the impression that this really was a blank canvas and Murakami treated it as such. It doesn’t quite have the flatness characteristic of Murakami’s other work but he himself did say that this was something all new for him. Hublot should consider this watch a triumph.

The watch is limited to just 100 pieces and are available now via Hublot for $147,000 AUD ($106,000 USD).

In other watch news, check out Zenith’s gravity defying Zero-G Sapphire