Nat­u­ral Fin­ish

In a fur­ther dis­play of its mas­tery over ma­te­ri­als, Hublot col­lab­o­rates with Parisian shoe­maker Ber­luti to cre­ate time­pieces dressed in ex­quis­ite leather, writes lauren ong

Prestige (Singapore) - - WATCHES -

SWISS WATCH­MAKER HUBLOT is no stranger to fea­tur­ing unique and in­ter­est­ing ma­te­ri­als on the di­als of its time­keep­ers. Over the years, it has dec­o­rated the faces of its creations with ev­ery­thing from blades of grass from Old Traf­ford ( King Power Red Devil, 2011) to to­bacco leaves ( King Power Ar­turo Fuente For­bid­den X, 2014). Both watch di­als proved rather chal­leng­ing to ex­e­cute ow­ing to the or­ganic na­ture of the ma­te­ri­als used.

This year, Hublot once again draws on its ex­per­tise in work­ing with or­ganic ma­te­ri­als, with the Clas­sic Fu­sion Ber­luti col­lec­tion in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Parisian shoe­maker it is named af­ter. Pro­duced to com­mem­o­rate Ber­luti’s 120th an­niver­sary in 2015, the time­pieces present di­als crafted com­pletely in the French la­bel’s sig­na­ture Venezia leather, which is cre­ated through a nat­u­ral, min­eral tan­ning process to achieve that in­stantly recog­nis­able sheen and patina.

While en­clos­ing leather within a watch case may not seem like a tall or­der, it is in fact a com­plex and del­i­cate process. Like all nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als, leather will de­te­ri­o­rate over time af­ter pro­longed ex­po­sure to the el­e­ments. As such, the or­ganic com­po­nents within the leather had to be neu­tralised be­fore the ma­te­rial could be utilised in the dial.

Fus­ing the ex­per­tise of both brands, the lim­ited edi­tion col­lec­tion in­tro­duces two dis­tinct mod­els, each in a dif­fer­ent leather fin­ish. Show­cas­ing a sleek, dark fin­ish is the Clas­sic Fu­sion Ber­luti All Black. Housed within the watch’s 45-mm black ce­ramic case is a grey-black dial fash­ioned from Ber­luti’s nero gri­gio Venezia leather. Pow­ered by the HUB1100 me­chan­i­cal self-wind­ing move­ment, the clas­sic three-hand time­piece of­fers a power re­serve of about 42 hours. In­spired by the art of scar­i­fi­ca­tion, the Clas­sic Fu­sion Ber­luti All Black is paired with a match­ing hand­made strap in black nero gri­gio Venezia that bears Ber­luti’s sig­na­ture “Gas­pard” slash — a fold in the leather that is se­cured by a sin­gle stitch — across its length. The horologe is avail­able in 500 num­bered pieces only.

Also part of the exclusive col­lab­o­ra­tive col­lec­tion is the Clas­sic Fu­sion Ber­luti Scritto. Un­like the Clas­sic Fu­sion Ber­luti All Black, this piece comes in a much warmer brown and gold colour pal­ette. Pre­sented in a case forged from Hublot’s pro­pri­etary King Gold — a rose gold al­loy that is red­der than tra­di­tional 5N red gold — is a dial made from golden brown to­bacco bishued Venezia Scritto leather from Ber­luti (the shoe­maker’s most recog­nis­able type of leather). Like its monochro­matic sib­ling, the watch is also equipped with a HUB1100 me­chan­i­cal self-wind­ing move­ment that of­fers ap­prox­i­mately 42 hours of au­ton­omy. It comes paired with a Venezia Scritto calf leather strap that is laser en­graved with writ­ing in­spired by 18th cen­tury cal­lig­ra­phy. This model will be of­fered in a num­bered edi­tion of 250 units only.

Both Clas­sic Fu­sion Ber­luti time­pieces come pack­aged in a large box sheathed in the same type of leather fea­tured on the re­spec­tive watch di­als and straps. En­closed within the box are var­i­ous im­ple­ments for leather care, such as brushes and wax, as well as a leather watch pouch.

They say that good shoes will take you to good places. We say, so will a good watch.

FROM FAR LEFT: THE CLAS­SIC FU­SION BER­LUTI SCRITTO IN ITS SPE­CIAL WATCH BOX; CLAS­SIC FU­SION BER­LUTI ALL BLACK; CLAS­SIC FU­SION BER­LUTI SCRITTO

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