When it comes to the intersection of haute horlogerie with high fashion, few do it as well as Hublot. The watchmaker has had a partnership with luxury leather specialists Berluti for four years, and its latest collaboration sees this same eye for design and use of materials applied to Hublot’s iconic Big Bang Unico for the first time.
While leather is mostly just reserved for watch straps, this innovative timepiece also incorporates it into both the dial and bezel. For the former, the material is encased between two pieces of sapphire glass, with the leather cut out to allow for a full view of the Unico manufacture movement at the heart of the watch. Even more unusual is its use on the bezel, which required a redesign to achieve its distinctive look. Here, the first element of the bezel, made of leather approximately 1mm thick, is inserted into a base part constructed from black ceramic, before being screwed onto the case of the watch.
One of the most appealing and tactile qualities of leather is the special patina it takes on, making each piece unique. For this watch, Berluti’s creative director Kris Van Assche delved into the archives to find inspiration for the ‘cold brown’ patina applied here. Its subtle hue is a result of a long and complex glacage process used to obtain a rich colour. With wear, the bezel of the watch will continue to take on a patina over time, as will the strap, which is similarly made from Venezia leather combined with black rubber.