Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black: It Will Make You Smile
by Anders Modig
Hublot brings contemporary art of a new kind to the horological scene with the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black.
Sparkling black diamonds shimmering on a locomotive black lacquered dial, automatic manufacture movement, black ceramic case with exquisite surface treatments, and, last but not least, a big diamond-studded “smile” protruding out from the sapphire crystal – the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black is a creation co-signed by one of the most renowned living artists and the engineers and watchmakers at Hublot.
In his art, Takashi Murakami fuses animation and manga with traditional Japanese techniques such as gold leaf on toys, fashion, and you name it – which fits well with the “The Art of Fusion” motto from Hublot. As Tinder might put it: “It’s a match!”
In 2000 Murakami started a new movement in contemporary art, which he coined Superflat. This theory is not only based on the legacy of the flat, two-dimensional, surface-oriented nature of manga and anime, the term is also a nod to Japanese societal development.
Murakami claims that class differences as well as differences in taste have flattened. To put it in simple terms: high and low have left the building. So it makes perfect sense that Murakami ruthlessly mixes, sometimes even repackaging, his art originally made for art institutions in toys and t-shirts.
Over the years Murakami’s collaborations have been numerous, including with Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and many more, which has (nearly) made Takashi Murakami a global household name. And his artistic emblem, his most reoccurring motif, is the smiling flower. Which has now made it into Swiss watchmaking.
“When I visited the Hublot manufacture in Switzerland for the first time, I realized 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,” Murakami said in a press statement.
Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black
The smiling flower is omnipresent both in and on the watch. The petals on the black lacquered dial are on ball bearings (shoutout to Hublot’s engineers!), allowing the flower to spin without a care in the world. The smile that we have come to know from countless exhibitions and installations sits on top of the watch, inserted into the sapphire crystal.
The floral three-dimensionality is enhanced by black, subtly sparkling, brilliant-cut diamonds. The petals carry 456 of the dark gems, while the smile has diamond lips and a tongue set with another 107 diamonds.
Telling the time is secondary on this work of art, which is powered by Hublot’s well finished automatic Unico manufacture Caliber MHUB1214.
The main plate and bridges are coated with ruthenium for an anthracite color, while the tungsten rotor is naturally a dark grey. The latter is also micro blasted and satin finished, thus elegantly “circling” the horological scene while winding the 72-hour power reserve of the mainspring.
It is worth mentioning that the Swiss lever escapement is crafted in silicon – contemporary art accompanied by contemporary technology.
The bezel (as usual secured with Hublot’s emblematic H-shaped screws) on top of the 45-millimeter black ceramic case is vertically satin-brushed, whereas the sides are polished perfection.
The spinning petals on the dial are not functional from a horological point of view. But if putting a smile on your face isn’t considered a function, it should be.
Because this happy piece of horological art will make you smile.
For more information, please visit www.hublot.com/en-ch/watches/classic-fusion/classic-fusion-takashi-murakami-all-black-45-mm.
Quick Facts Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black
Case: 45 x 13.45 mm, satin-finished and polished black ceramic
Dial: set with 563 black diamonds
Movement: automatic Caliber MHUB1214 UNICO, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 72-hour power reserve, silicon escapement
Functions: hours, minutes
Limitation: 200 pieces
Price: $27,300 / CHF 25,900
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Nope: makes me frown, a lot!
Ugly as can be just like all Hublot watches. Should be spelled Hublow.
Misleading title! Does not make me smile. Moreover, the ugliest watch I have laid my eyes on.