Watchmakers at Hublot have gained a reputation as experimental horologists by employing all kinds of unusual materials. We’ve seen them use: carbon fiber, osmium, zirconium, tantalum, magic gold and they even embroidered a timepiece, among other eccentricities. Now, they’ve taken what normally would make a strap and made a dial instead! Introducing the “Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti”.
That may not seem as a grand novelty, since leather on a luxury watch is pretty common, if we’re thinking about the strap mounted to it. But, Hublot came up with a spin to make it an alluring material. Using leather to carve out a watch dial is not a simple task. One of the biggest obstacles to doing so successfully resides in placing a living material in a sealed case, as well as differentiating it from the strap, in a fashionable manner. After some tinkering the end result was an “all-black” model with a “Nero Grigio” leather dial and a matching “Nero Grigio Venezia” handmade strap. While the brown model was fitted with a matching “Tobacco Bis” hued leather dial and a brownish “Venezia Scritto” calf leather strap.
Berluti is famous for their unique leather finishing, especially in its production of shoes and boots. But, has also ventured out making: belts, bags, wallets and garments. As for fabricating a watch dial, there’s always a first time and they were happy with the opportunity to showcase their skills. Hublot CEO, Ricardo Guadalupe, stated they “wanted to go beyond the traditional approach to leather and work with the most emblematic leather there is. Working with Berluti was a natural choice.”
Berluti is also a subsidiary brand of the LVMH group which also owns stakes in Hublot and other watch brands, like: Bulgari, TAG Heuer, Zenith, amongst others. The company was founded by the Italian Alessandro Berluti and later was acquired in 1993 by the LMVH group. And has featured many historic and contemporary celebrities as patrons, including: Frank Sinatra, Andy Warhol, Marcel Proust, Robert De Niro, Roman Polanski, and others.
The 45mm case is made of satin-finished and polished black ceramic. Its bezel is also satin-finished and polished black ceramic with 6 H-shaped polished titanium screws. The crown is also polished and features the “Hublot” logo, while the lugs exhibit a black color composite resin. It’s all topped off by a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment and the transparent caseback allows to gaze into the watches inner movements. The caseback also features its “limited edition numeral” and “Berluti” engraved on it, for identification purposes.
The dial is available in brown or black for this specific model, with the particularity of being all made out of genuine Berluti patinated Venezia leather. It features embossed hour index markers, with the ‘Hublot’ logo under the 12 o’clock position and the ‘Automatic’, ‘Swiss Made’ indications under the 6 o’clock position. The hands are polished black-plated or gold-plated, depending on the version we have in hand.
One curiosity about this timepiece is how exactly will the dial age? The eventual patina will render each individual piece of this collection a unique watch, as time takes its toll. Guess we’ll have to wait and check-in on this timepiece further down the line.
Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti
This “Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti” (Ref#: 511.OX.0500.VR.BER16 & Ref#: 511.CM.0500.VR.BER16) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber HUB1100, with 21 jewels, 63 moving parts and 28,800 vph. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 42 hours and water-resistance can reach up to 50m (164 feet). Mounted to this watch is a black or brown rubber strap made from genuine Berluti patinated Venezia leather, with a Scritto décor on it and a 18k red gold and black-plated stainless-steel deployant buckle clasp. These are limited edition watches, with only 250 produced pieces for the brown “Scritto” version; and double that, summing up 500 produced pieces for the “All Black” version. These timepieces are also accompanied by a special box, filled with shoe polish tools to maintain and conserve leather products.
Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti (Ref#: 511.OX.0500.VR.BER16) in brown
Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti (Ref#: 511.CM.0500.VR.BER16) in black
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