Limited to only 50 pieces, Hublot and Takashi Murakami’s latest collaboration features the MP-15 with its first central flying tourbillon in all-transparent glory.
According to the adage, the dial is the face of a watch, but for Hublot – with its ‘Be First, Unique and Different’ philosophy – and an esteemed artist like Takashi Murakami, the possibilities for their collaboration stretch beyond the conventional. As such, the MP-15 Takashi Murakami enveloped in a stunning floral sapphire and powered by Hublot’s first series-produced central flying tourbillon was born.
“Our customers do not want to choose between technology and style; they want both, with no compromise on either. Our mission is not to fulfill their expectations, but to surpass them. Our MP-15 is designed to do just that. It’s a collector’s model – just like all of our MPs,” says Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe.
There is no dial on the watch in the standard sense. In its place is the complication, with the hands occupying a peripheral position while the central flying tourbillon sits at its heart. Surrounding this unique arrangement is Takashi Murakami’s unmistakable motif, a flower composed of 12 petals made entirely of sapphire, complete with its twinkling eyes and broad smile.
In fact, the entire MP-15 Takashi Murakami was created with absolute transparency in mind by Hublot to highlight its luminosity. From the sapphire case and case-back to the sapphire crown to the translucent flange and strap, sunlight will simply pass through this floral work of art, illuminating its soft curves and reliefs.
“Up until now, my work has focused on colour. It was a really exciting challenge to start a whole new chapter focussing on absolute transparency. The forms and volumes are perceived completely differently. With Hublot, we were able to preserve the individuality of my floral motif, but with a unique and different identity which was purer and perfectly in tune with Hublot’s mechanical universe. I’m very proud of the result!” Takashi Murakami shares.
BENEATH THE FLOWER
This central flying tourbillon features an impressive power reserve of 150 hours (almost a full week), which is an exceptional technical achievement for this type of complication. Hublot has even created a special stylus – rechargeable via a USB socket – to fully wound the MP-15 Takashi Murakami. Supplied with the watch, the stylus can be used by placing it on the crown, which will then smoothly wind through 100 revolutions until both barrels driving the central tourbillon are fully wound.
There are a few technical feats achieved in accomplishing the design of the MP-15 Takashi Murakami. This tourbillon has no upper bridge and with all of its components skeletonised, it gives off the illusion that they’re floating in space. Additionally, the hours and minutes are indicated by the tips of two hands around the edge that literally pass beneath the tourbillon cage. To accommodate the escapement and the hour and minute hands vying for position in a single central space, Hublot pivoted the cannon pinion and the hour wheel around the tourbillon support. This was only made possible with the creation of a co-axial construction.
As deeply innovative as the MP-15 Takashi Murakami is, it still carries the standard markers to ensure it can be read naturally and easily. Twelve white indices appear on the flange, while black-plated hands with white SuperLuminova guarantee perfect legibility both day and night. The model is traditionally wound and set using a crown at 3 o’clock. For the finishing touch, its modest 42 mm diameter makes it supremely easy and comfortable to wear, thanks to its integrated rubber strap.