Leather Infusion: Introducing The Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti
Hublot’s partnership with Berluti is a match made in luxury heaven.
Hublot’s partnerships have always been interesting. In the past, the brand has teamed up with hip hop stars (Sean Carter Classic Fusion), tattoo artists (the Big Bang Sang Bleu) and car designers (Ferrari) to create some innovative timepieces over the years. And we’re not just talking about painted dials or engraved case backs here (although those kinds of collaborations also exist), but actually inviting other creatives to play with Hublot's design DNA.
One of the most intriguing of these collaborations Is Hublot’s partnership with Parisian shoemakers Berluti. The two luxury houses first paired up in 2017 to produce two timepieces — the Classic Fusion Tourbillon Berluti Scritto King Gold and Classic Fusion Tourbillon Scritto All Black. These limited editions of 20 pieces each were noted for their leather dials embossed with Berluti’s signature Scritto motif.
Hublot, of course, is well known for experimenting with materials — or fusion, if you will — and had already played with fabrics like lace, so why not leather? But over time, the Hublot/Berluti pairing has proved to be a very good marriage. The proof is in their latest introductions: two new editions of the Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti in Cold Brown (titanium) or Cold Gold (Bronze). Each watch is paired with a Venezia Cold Brown or Cold Gold leather strap.
Despite the use of the word cold in the description, the use of rich, finely tooled leather really warms up the angular architecture of the Classic Fusion silhouette.
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Like Hublot’s partnership with Ferrari, you can really feel the two the companies exploring each other’s aesthetics. And for this, the third outing for this collection, you can see that they are pushing the Berluti touch all the way to the metal, inscribing Berluti's signature Scritto to the case itself.
There is an expression, “Shoes make the man,” and Berluti’s craftsmanship certainly proves the saying right. What’s so fascinating about this mashup is the way the leatherwork projects the look and feel of luxury without having to rely on precious metals or stones is fascinating. The fact that these limited edition watches come in a bespoke box that also contains a leather care kit almost elevated them to fetish objects. You can now add leather conditioning to other horological rituals like polishing and winding.
At a special launch event in New York on April 30th, Hublot CEO Richard Guadalupe and Berluti’s North American Managing Director Marc Nicolosi watched as artisans demonstrated the alchemy of tanning the luxurious leather—shading them just so to a achieve a play of light on the surface.
It must be noted that both Guadalupe and Nicolosi both wore Berluti shoes, which made the watches fit seamlessly as part of a whole look. Casual but elegant and, just as the Berluti leather integrates with the Classic Fusion infrastructure. That infrastructure extends to the watches' insides as well. The HUB1143 Hublot self-winding chronograph movement powers both pieces. This mechanism beats at a frequency of 4Hz (28'800 A/h) and has a power reserve of 42 Hours.
The Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti is limited to 200 pieces of each version. The watch is available now and priced at $18,800 USD for the Cold Brown version and $29,900 USD for the Cold Gold.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)