Hublot has once again collaborated with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami on a unique piece, for the Only Watch 2023 auction. The biannual charity auction, all proceeds from which go towards research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, has seen watch brands create exceptional one-off pieces since its launch in 2005.
The Hublot MP-15 Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Only Watch marries Murakami’s colourful design codes with Hublot’s sharp technicality – here, the brand debuts its first central flying tourbillon in a feat of engineering. Murakami specifically requested the complication, challenging Hublot to create a piece seemingly hovering in the air, awarding hours and minutes the same central positioning while staying faithful to Murakami’s precise proportions.
Hublot and Takashi Murakami’s Only Watch 2023
His vibrant aesthetic is encompassed in the 12 petals of the watch, set with a rainbow of 444 gemstones. The petals, which curl towards the movement as if to the sun, eschew a natural graduation for bold, playful pops of colour.
‘Only Watch was created in 2005 and our manufacture was founded just four years later, in 2009,’ says Hublot CEO, Ricardo Guadalupe. ‘We are both of the same generation. We have grown very quickly and have pushed the boundaries in our respective fields: Hublot in high watchmaking and Only Watch in philanthropy. Whenever Only Watch founder Luc Pettavino needs us, we will be there. Hublot has never shirked its moral and social obligations, nor will it ever do so.’
Alongside the watch, collectors will receive a special edition of calligraphy created by the artist. ‘I decided to pick up calligraphy again,’ says Murakami. ‘My mother used to love it and I took many classes in this art from the age of five to 17. I progressed to a very high level, attaining the seventh dan, which is equivalent to assistant instructor. When I went to art school, my calligraphy practice became more sporadic. But my mother brought it up whenever I spoke to her! So, I decided to return to it, working directly on my used coffee filter paper, which is a very good base for the ink. This enabled me to create unique calligraphy, “Time of Rainbow”, inspired by the unique watch I have designed with Hublot for Only Watch 2023.’
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Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.
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