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Last week in New York, Hublot unveiled its most recent collaboration, in support of the brand’s “Art of Fusion” ethos, with the limited edition Classic Fusion Aerofusion Concrete Jungle watch that was created with artist Tristan Eaton. Looking to make a tribute piece to the city of New York, Hublot found Eaton’s well-known street art and pervasive downtown murals to be the ultimate representation of the place often referred to as the “concrete jungle.”
Naturally, Hublot’s watchmakers found a way to move beyond simple cobranding and actually incorporate concrete into the watch’s bezel itself. The special edition’s case in black ceramic and concrete sports a sapphire dial with the artist’s logo, and looks both powerful and refined with a revealed self- winding skeleton chronograph movement. And while the face of the watch is all tonal grey, the case back bursts in bright colors with Concrete Jungle (2016)—a miniaturized work of Eaton’s, which is a symbol that was previously explored in his NoLIta mural from 2012. The watch blends street art with technical innovation, and raw material with brazen creativity. It is quintessential New York.
Eaton isn’t the first artist with whom Hublot has teamed up. Earlier this spring, the brand announced the Big Bang Sang Bleu, created with the founder of Sang Bleu studio, interdisciplinary artist Maxime Büchi. His interest in geometry and symmetrical harmonies, so often seen in his work and tattoo art, dictated the shape of the bezel, the design of the case, the finish of the dial, and even the typeface of the numerals.
Then there was Hublot’s Classic Fusion Cruz-Diez, fabricated with Franco-Venezuelan artist Maestro Carlos Cruz-Diez— an icon of the kinetic-optic art movement. The watchmaker asked the artist to adapt his 1964 work Chromointerférence to three timepieces, creating movement just from the pairing of colors, lines, and shapes on which a black frame was superimposed to change by the minute. With these unique dials, a wholly other level of kinetic-optics was achieved in almost kaleidoscopic fashion.
A similarly unprecedented colla- boration came from Hublot’s MP-05 “La Ferrari” masterpiece watch in sapphire, which wasn’t your typical watchmaker-automotive partnership. Instead of slapping a logo on the dial, Hublot worked directly with Ferrari’s design director, Flavio Manzoni, to develop an ultra-complex, record-breaking movement that appeared suspended in air in a carved sapphire case that was remarkably reminiscent of an engine.