This year’s Only Watch event might well be almost five months away, but Hublot has given us a preview of what to expect by showcasing the remarkable MP-15 Takashi Murakami Only Watch Sapphire watch that Takashi Murakami and Hublot collaborated on.
While Hublot and the iconic designer Murakami have form that goes way back—they recently presented 13 new NFTs and 13 unique timepieces featuring the iconic smiling flower central to the Japanese artist’s work—this new watch not only pulls from Murakami’s legendary motif, but also presents a first-ever central flying tourbillon movement.
Murakami’s flowers have long since been classed as something of a pop culture force, finding their way onto artwork and fashion for the likes of Kanye West, Drake and Kid Cudi. But while the smiley flowers have been bought and sold for high prices since 1995, the artist explained, in a 2005 interview with The New York Times, that they were, in fact, a manifestation of the repressed emotions and collective trauma experienced by Japanese residents after the 1945 Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings.
For the Hublot Only Watch timepiece, the motif has been brought to life on the MP-15 by making it the actual case of the watch. Coming in at 42mm wide and 13.4mm thick, the case is made up of 12 petals set with a total of 444 coloured gemstones in a symmetrical and rainbow-like gradient. At the centre of the piece, the iconic smiley face is laser-engraved onto the domed sapphire crystal, which envelops the central flying tourbillon giving it the appearance of being stuck in mid-air. It’s a truly spectacular piece that is hoped will fetch big money at auction.
Only Watch was created in 2005 by Luc Pettavino with one intent: raise funds for research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It has allowed the charity organisation behind Only Watch, the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies, to raise almost SGD$146M.
The Only Watch auction will take place in Geneva on November 5. Find more information here.