Black Bloom

A collector’s delight and an all-black watch-work of art, world-renowned artist Takashi Murakami’s new timepiece for Hublot features his iconic smiling flower, made up of brilliant black diamonds, that actually move like petals.

Hublot's Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black

Global art sensation Takashi Murakami’s smiling, colourful flowers are the perfect motif for high-fashion pieces, and are considered high art. His distinct pop art has won him fans from Kanye West, to Drake and Pharell, who’ve collaborated with him to feature his motifs on their merch. This month, luxury Swiss watchmaker Hublot brings the Japanese artist on board, to unveil a unique, visually arresting timepiece that fuses Murakami’s creativity with Hublot’s love of art, the 45 mm Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black, inspired by Murakami’s iconic embem, the smiling flower.

The Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black with the 3D smiling flower

The watchmaking manufacture has been drawing from creative spirits from some time now, even as it has been the first to act upon its ‘Art of Fusion’ motto, that embraces its partnerships and represents the coming together of the traditional and the innovative, bringing together new materials and techniques. And this is precisely what we see in this new timepiece by Hublot. With brand friend Takashi Murakami’s visually modern style, a bridge between Japanese tradition and pop culture, the watch encapsulates his iconic smiling flower, that uses high technology with a ball-bearing system developed by Hublot’s engineers, to turn its petals.

Takashi Murakami visits Hublot’s Manufacture

It was while visiting the manufacture in February 2020, that Takashi Murakami was able to explore first hand the watchmaker’s metier and the design of a timepiece. The creative process resulted in the innovative Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami, with the smiling flower at the centre, inserted onto the sapphire glass, that creates a 3D effect that goes with the famous ‘smile’.

Takashi Murakami wearing the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black timepiece by Hublot Takashi Murakami visits the Hublot Manufacture lending his creativity to the watch

The Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black takes up one of the most evocative Hublot signatures, the All Black! Invented by Hublot in 2006, it turns out that the ‘All Black’ style is also one of Murakami’s artistic signatures. For an even more pronounced effect, the petals (456 brilliants) and face (107 brilliants) are here set with black diamonds.

The Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black timepiece

The watchmakers in Nyon have installed their manufacture Unico calibre in the case with its Classic Fusion emblematic design, a movement offering a 72-hour power reserve. As the first collaboration between Hublot and a Japanese artist, the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black will quickly become a collector’s item since it is limited to only 200 models.

Takashi Murakami's artwork Haha Bangla Manus 2020 Takashi Murakami wearing the all new Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black

“Takashi Murakami is an international star, not only in contemporary art circles but also with the general public,” says Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot. “He shakes up the borders between art and pop culture. It is a real privilege to see him join our team of ambassadors. We are delighted with the launch of this watch-work of art!”

Takashi Murakami in his studio wearing the Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black Japanese artist Takashi Murakami visits the Hublot Manufacture

“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,” says Takashi Murakami. “Sometimes a collab with a brand is only for its packaging, but I realized that a company like Hublot, with its own factory, did things a bit differently, and I was able to do the exact type of collaboration I always wanted to do. Bringing my art into the creativity of these watchmakers represents a unique adventure for me, and I’m delighted with this project.”

Takashi Murakami at his desk in his studio wearing the Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black

With its satin-finished polished black ceramic 45 mm case and bezel, the 3D smiling head of the flower is literally inserted on top of the sapphire glass – and set with 107 Black diamonds (the black diamonds were seen in Hublot’s All Black! in 2006 as mentioned above), and the flower literally comes alive on your wrist.

The smiling flower and moving petals of the Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black The polished black ceramic case of the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami with the Hublot logo on the crown

The black lacquered dial features rotating décor – the 12 Black-plated petals set with 456 Black diamonds, the truly impressive and enchanting aspect of this watch. At its heart beats the MHUB1214 UNICO complications – a self-winding movement (frequency - 4Hz/28’800 A/h) with main plate and bridges in anthracite ruthenium, and oscillating weight in anthracite. There’s an oscillating weight with micro-blasted and satin-finished surface escapement. There are 256 components and 30 jewels. The power reserve is for 72 hours, and it’s water resistant to 50 m.

The caseback of the Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black

The caseback is in satin-finished Black ceramic, with a sapphire crystal. The straps are in Black lined rubber with Black-plated stainless steel deployant buckle clasp. (Price: EUR 26,900; USD 27,300)

Artist Takashi Murakami wearing the Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black


Priya Kumari Rana

Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

Lifestyle Insider is a showcase of all that is beautiful and luxe. Behind every creation, is a designer, chef, entrepreneur, or a design maison. I have delved into my own appreciation for objetsde luxe that I have admired over the years – be it a love of fashion from the world’s top Parisian and Italian fashion maisons and their ’90s muses, or the care that goes into sari and Indian textile collections in my own family. Growing up on four continents, as the daughter of a former Indian Ambassador, I’ve seen a remarkable array of historic places and met a myriad people. My aim is to bring my world view into this website, a curation of what I find particularly stunning, unique, and newsworthy.

It’s an exciting time for brands all over the world. With change comes opportunity. With the global ‘reset’ and uncertainty on many fronts, there is a chance to write a new script. Let’s be those pioneers.

A bit about me:
A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.

Priya Kumari Rana

Founder and Editor

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