Avant-garde Swiss brand Hublot has a proud history of working with modern artists, creating unique riffs on the brand’s core designs with art world powerhouses such as Shepard Fairey, Richard Orlinski, and Maxime Plescia-Buchi. The latest name to join Hublot’s growing stable is Japanese graphic artist Takashi Murakami, who translates his cheery signature “Smiling Flower” motif to the canvas of the Classic Fusion line. The result is the limited edition Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black, which transforms the iconic flower into a three-dimensional rotating centerpiece while creating a dramatic statement that cheerfully defies the urge to appeal to all tastes.
The 45mm black ceramic case of the Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black is a familiar starting point to build on, with its angular integrated lug form and signature H-screw bezel design. At 45mm, this is likely to be a bold case on most wrists, even considering both the slimming effect of black finishes and the lightness of ceramics, but this design is gleefully unsubtle from the ground up. Where this flair for the dramatic really shines through is atop the sapphire crystal. Mounted directly to the crystal is a domed three-dimensional polished ceramic center of Murakami’s signature flower, fully encrusted with 107 black diamonds. While this sparkling cap certainly makes this version of the Classic Fusion case distinctive, it’s unlikely to make it unwieldy as the overall thickness stands at 13.4mm. On the other hand, water resistance suffers noticeably with a depth rating of only 50 meters.
The flower design started on the crystal of the Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black flows through the sapphire layer and completely dominates the dial. The black lacquered base dial surface is almost entirely covered by a freely rotating array of 12 stylized black flower petals, plated in black and set with another 456 black diamonds. This moving, sparkling element looks captivating in initial images, creating an undeniably eye-catching effect. Actual timekeeping is left to two simple black plated pointed baton hands, with a mystery dial-esque effect thanks to the flower head atop the crystal.
Hublot powers the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black with its in-house MHUB1214 UNICO automatic movement. Decoration is simple and ultra-modern, with partially skeletonized bridges and plates in matte ruthenium topped by a brushed tungsten skeleton rotor. The MHUB1214 UNICO offers a solid 72 hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. Hublot caps off the design with a simple integrated strap in striped black rubber.
Bold, flashy and willfully dancing to the beat of its own drum, while the limited edition Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black may not be for all tastes the brilliant finishing and bold concept of the design demand appreciation. Only 200 examples of the Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black will be made, available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $27,300. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.