Works of Art: Hublot Showcases its Philosophy, Contemporary Aesthetics, and Mechanical Sculptures in This Year’s Watches & Wonders
By The Time Place Magazine
One name that reverberated throughout the fair’s halls as Watches & Wonders 2023 concluded was Hublot. With its most recent releases, this Swiss watch manufacturer has once again surpassed itself, providing a cutting-edge and breathtakingly gorgeous line. The new products for 2023 are evidence of the brand’s philosophy, “The Art of Fusion,” and its persistent dedication to expanding the frontiers of conventional watchmaking. Each watch, from the Classic Fusion to the Square Bang Unico, is a flawless fusion of trailblazing technology, skilled workmanship, and unmatched beauty.
Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski
Speaking of which, one of the most impressive pieces in Hublot’s 2023 collection is undoubtedly the Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski. This timepiece, created in collaboration with French contemporary artist Richard Orlinski, is a stunning example of how watchmaking and art can create something unique.
At first glance, the new timepiece appears to be a sculptural masterpiece, with its faceted case and intricate details. But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that this is not just a work of art but a high-performance chronograph as well. The Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski Titanium is worn with the iconic black rubber strap, while the Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski Full Titanium stretches its three-dimensional silhouette along the entire watch, a significant technological achievement that combines comfort and elegance.
For additional refinement in this new collection, the titanium’s facets are given a matt surface by being micro-blasted. The bezel changes into a polygon due to its stunning dodecagonal shape, which has been the distinguishing feature of Hublot’s partnership with Richard Orlinski since 2017. Beneath the work of art, the HUB1153 automatic chronograph movement drives the watch.
Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami
Another exciting addition to the 2023 novelties is the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami collection, which consists of 13 unique watches and 13 unique NFTs (non-fungible tokens). This collaboration between the Swiss luxury watchmaker and the Japanese contemporary artist is a celebration of art, technology, and innovation.
Intriguingly, the 13th timepiece in the line-up is dubbed the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Black Ceramic Rainbow. This watch, which drew inspiration from the two previously released pieces, reinvents Takashi Murakami’s signature image: the smiling flower. To this end, there’s a flawless gradient of rubies, sapphires, amethysts, tsavorites, and topaz formed by the flower’s 12 petals.
The 45 mm black ceramic case contrasts strikingly with the motion appearance of the petals. Essentially, the Hublot engineers’ brilliant ball-bearing design allows the petals to revolve on an axis with each movement, producing a dizzying display of colour. And the best part is, to provide a three-dimensional illusion, the centre of the smiling flower is placed on top of the sapphire glass. Meanwhile, the other 12 references recall the master flower and represent one of the petals. Put simply, 12 references for 12 hours on the dial, and 12 NFTs.
The Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami collection is a true testament to the power of collaboration and innovation. It brings together two seemingly disparate worlds—luxury watchmaking and contemporary art with the inclusion of NFTs—and creates something truly unique. As Takashi Murakami himself said, “When my collaboration with Hublot was announced, we made it known that we would be adopting new forms of artistic expression. After creating all the timepieces together, as well as the digital works of art, we are now imagining new ways of accessing contemporary art.”
Square Bang Unico
Furthermore, in addition to the Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski and the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami, Hublot has also unveiled several other novelties at the much-awaited watch fair. Among them are the Square Bang Unico Diamonds, the Square Bang Unico Sapphire, and the Square Bang Unico Ceramic.
The Square Bang Unico Diamonds is a breathtakingly beautiful watch that is sure to turn heads. The new collection, which was introduced in Watches & Wonders last year, jumpstarted a new period known as the diamond age. In particular, eight pieces with four setting levels are now available in white gold, titanium, and King Gold.
The Square Bang Unico Diamonds and Pavé—both in titanium and King Gold references—are each set with 44 and 138 diamonds respectively. On the other hand, the Square Bang Unico Jewellery is set with 144 diamonds in both titanium and King Gold references. Meanwhile, the Square Bang Unico High Jewellery is set with 285 diamonds in both white gold and King Gold references.
Overall, the Square Bang Unico is still intense and edgy but is now enhanced by a suit of light that exudes an unequalled splendour. Driven by the HUB1280 automatic movement, it’s safe to say that this timepiece is an actual work of art as well and is definite proof of Hublot’s expertise in diamond settings.
What’s more, the Square Bang Unico Sapphire is another stunning timepiece in Hublot’s 2023 collection, as its case is made entirely of sapphire crystal, giving it a unique and futuristic look. Meanwhile, the Square Bang Unico Ceramic is a modern and sporty timepiece that is perfect for everyday wear, as its case is made of black ceramic, giving it a sleek and understated look.
Suffice it to say that Hublot’s novelties for 2023 are a testament to the brand’s unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of traditional watchmaking. From the stunning Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinski to the innovative Square Bang Unico Sapphire, each timepiece is a masterful blend of innovation, expert craftsmanship, and exceptional aesthetics. To cut a long story short, like all of its creations, Hublot continues to be different and unique, and these new novelties are sure to delight many watch enthusiasts and collectors alike.
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