Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow: Fusing Fun, Flowers, And Rainbows
by Martin Green
Sometimes watches are also a gateway to discovering the work of others. Until the introduction of the Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow, I was unaware of the creations of this Japanese artist. It opened a new world for me, which in turn also gave me an even greater appreciation of this Hublot watch.
I love rainbows
As a former student of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), I have a profound passion for gemstones. One of the things that I appreciate so much about so-called rainbow watches is that they highlight a wide variety of different types of precious stones. While I love diamonds, there are so many more beautifully hued stones to explore. Hublot was one of the first to introduce watches with rainbow settings, and, together with Takashi Murakami, the brand explores yet another facet of this universe.
Takashi Murakami used his signature smiling flower design for this watch. An excellent choice because as the petals of the flower are rounded and even move, the stones catch the light from different angles, bringing them to life. It becomes a very expressive creation, representing Murakami’s fun and colorful universe perfectly.
Sapphire crystal? Big deal!
Hublot used transparent sapphire crystal for the case. Opinions on sapphire crystal-cased watches differ. In some parts of the market, they have taken over where platinum leaves off. To some extent, I find this more than fair. While colorless sapphire (also known as corundum) is not too difficult to make, milling it into the right shape is still a tedious and time-consuming process with a high percentage of rejects. So it is capability and rarity that makes these types of watches so special as, unlike precious metals, the material itself doesn’t have much value.
The experience also differs quite a bit. Sapphire crystal is (obviously) not shiny, has little heft to it, and heats up to body temperature quite fast. This makes it an understated, comfortable material to wear. It might look like plastic from a distance to the inexperienced eye, but the wearing experience is much more on par with what one would expect from a high-end watch.
Another advantage of sapphire crystal is that designers have the opportunity to add another dimension to the watch, like Hublot’s did with this Classic Fusion model. As everything is literally transparent, there is no competition for the smiling flower’s center stage performance in this creation. Given its elaborate setting with colored gemstones, it is highly unlikely that the smiling flower would be anything else but the star of the show. Still, a metal case would render a different perspective and, therefore, experience.
Compare it with the All-Black version that Hublot made of the same watch, and you will see that they differ as much as Yin and Yang.
The heart of the watch is the Caliber HUB 1214 UNICO movement. That is good news because with a chronograph module it powers Hublot’s signature Big Bang Chronograph. It is a typical movement of this era running at a four-Hertz frequency, fitted with a silicon escapement, and offering a generous power reserve of 72 hours. The contemporary finish is what I like to call sophisticated industrial.
This also makes the back of the watch pleasing to see; the only thing missing is a touch of Murakami. It contrasts with the front in that nothing this side has to offer reveals that you are looking at something this special from the front.
While the effect of the moving petals is very cool to see and works wonderfully well with the colored gemstones, creating it is not too difficult. Hublot extended the cannon pinion so that the disk with the petals could be placed below it. By making it heavier on one side, it has the tendency to move along with the motion of the wrist, just like the oscillating weight.
Like many Hublot models, this Classic Fusion is not for those who shy away from attention. However, its eye-catching qualities come in second to others like literally being a piece of art that you can wear.
It combines the universe of Takashi Murakami with that of Hublot, and given the prices the Japanese artist’s stationary work sells for, the $106,000 Hublot wants for this watch is a steal.
But the most extraordinary power of this Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow is that it never fails to put a smile on your face.
For more information, please visit www.hublot.com/en-nl/news/classic-fusion-takashi-murakami-sapphire-rainbow.
Quick Facts Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow
Case: 45 x 13.45 mm, translucent sapphire crystal
Dial: set with 487 brilliant-cut colored gemstones: rubies, pink sapphires, amethysts, blue sapphires, tsavorites, and yellow and orange sapphires
Movement: automatic Caliber MHUB1214 UNICO, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 72-hour power reserve, silicon escapement
Functions: hours, minutes
Limitation: 100 pieces
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