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
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