Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami has won over a legion of fans thanks to his bright and colourful style that blurs the line between high and low art. And in his latest collaboration with Swiss watchmakers Hublot, his famous smiling flower imagery has been transformed into a stylish and collectable timepiece.
Titled the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow, this watch is the second timepiece the pair have released. Earlier this year they put out an All Black watch which instantly became a collector's item, and its technicolour counterpart is sure to go the same way. Like its predecessor, this watch uses the smiling flower image found in Takashi's art, however this one has shifted from black to colour with transparent effects.
By setting the artwork against a clear background, wearers will be able to enjoy both Takashi's art as well as the intricate mechanics crafted by the watchmakers in Nyon. Owners of the Classic Fusion model will recognise its 45-mm diameter case as it reuses the same characteristic features cut from sapphire crystal.
"The smiling flower presents a mischievous smile on a three-dimensional face that literally emerges from the watch dial," Hublot tells Creative Boom. "12 colourful petals rotate around this face, and their polychromatic effect is achieved by setting 487 stones representing the colours of the rainbow: rubies, pink sapphires, amethysts, blue sapphires, tsavorites, yellow and orange sapphires."
As if that wasn't impressive enough, the petals turn under the watch crystal thanks to an ingenious ball-bearing system specially developed by Hublot's engineers. Watching them slowly rotate on the watch face further helps to bring Takashi's smiling flower to life.
Takashi himself says of the collaboration: "This partnership with Hublot has enabled me to express my creativity in what is a totally new medium for me. The mastery of the watchmaker's technicians has opened up new fields of possibilities for my inspiration. The result is this new watch in the colours of the rainbow."
If the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow watch is tickling your fancy then don't hang around. It's strictly limited to a run of just 100 numbered pieces that sell for £88,000 each. Maybe start dropping hints now if you want it for Christmas?
"Our continuing collaboration with Takashi Murakami is taking us to new lands of expression as yet unexplored by the watchmaking world," adds Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe. "In this work, artistic creation and our company's know-how intertwine to give birth to a work of art you can wear on your wrist!"