Hublot’s Takashi Murakami Watch – A Wearable Art

When a watch becomes a work of art: Wearable art of the highest quality is at the heart of a new collaboration between Takashi Murakami and Hublot. The first collaboration with a Japanese contemporary artist for the Hublot brand has pushed the boundaries of creation by developing the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black, the theme of Murakami’s artistic emblem, the smiling flower at the center of the watch in fine detail.

The watch’s conceit is, not surprisingly, all in the flower, which Murakami created to be studded in black diamonds and to consume the entire dial. The floral disc segment protrudes from the top side of the sapphire crystal, while the petals around it are mounted under the hour and minute hands on a Hublot-engineered ballbearing system so that they spin with the movement of your arm. Combined with the case’s polished black ceramic facets, the result is far more animated than the watch’s All Black designation – in use by Hublot since 2006 – might suggest.

Murakami, who coined the term “superflat” for the artistic movement he began, admitted he turned Hublot down “a few times” until he was sure his involvement in the development of a watch would be material and not simply a rubber-stamping process.

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It appears he got what he wanted. In line with his body of work, which subverts the traditional boundaries between high and low art, the watch merges the childlike form of a daisy with the rarefied crafts of gem-setting and high-end mechanical watchmaking. As the watches produced in collaboration with Hublot’s previous muses, Richard Orlinski and Marc Ferrero among them, Murakami’s mark on the watch is unmissable, far more than a co-branding exercise in search of the bottom line.

Behind the decor, Hublot has installed its three-day Unico automatic calibre, visible, as is customary, through a sapphire crystal case back. Only 200 pieces are slated for production, each priced at £22,600.

Murakami signed off with a moment of charming introspection, admitting he was a difficult man, but expressing what seemed genuine surprise at how straightforward the collaboration had been. A nice touch. Magical even.

Below, get a detailed look at the Hublot's Takashi Murakami watch a wearable art.