To make your watch dreams come true, Hublot has been teaming up with some truly diverse and unexpected design collaborators. So what makes for the perfect partnership? MOJEH takes a close look at who’s been stoking those fires of creativity over the past year
Fred and Ginger. Lennon and McCartney. Dolce and Gabbana. Cookies and cream. Sometimes, things are just better in twos — a fact that Hublot has taken very seriously over the years, and 2022 has been no different. Living up to its ‘art of fusion’ tagline, the luxury watch manufacturer has never been afraid to mix things up a little, with surprising and delightful results. From the biggest of household names to experts in all manner of fields, Hublot’s choice of collaborator can sometimes seem random — but nothing could be further from the truth. “We always look to collaborate or partner with those who represent the values of our brand and have a story to tell around it, to make people dream about us through his or her personality and words,” says David Tedeschi, Hublot’s regional director for Latin America and Caribbean, Middle East and Africa. “It’s important to have synergy between us, therefore we look for partners who first of all like our brand, often people who already own a Hublot watch. We want to have the right alchemy otherwise it doesn’t work. Our ambassadors also come from different universes: sports, art, music… They have a big reach to the public. These days with social media that’s very important.”
Past partnerships have included footballing titans Maradona and Pelé, while Novak Djokovic, Jet Li and Usain Bolt are other members of Hublot’s constellation of star collaborators. But the focus isn’t just on fame and notoriety. In fact, partners from all forms of discipline are welcomed into the brand’s fold — as long as they are the right fit. “Hublot is a pioneer in exploring and establishing new collaborations and partnerships from sports to art, music and more,” says Tedeschi. “These collaborations are bound to spark new inspiration and creativity, inspiring unique ‘art of fusion’. We believe that we must always find new sources of inspiration and new platforms of communication to new audiences. Therefore, our brand ambassadors and partners play a vital role in connecting us with new and different people by telling a story through the form of our partnership.”
In a sector traditionally dominated by sporting collaborations — which, considering the importance of perfect timekeeping in most sports, makes sense — Hublot has never shied away from the more aesthetic side of things. This year has seen one of Hublot’s most daring partnerships yet, and the only balls involved were in the complex system of bearings allowing for the smooth spinning of this unique timepiece’s dial. “On the artistic level, the timepieces have been offered as a canvas for the collaborator to infuse their creativity,” says Tedeschi. “It is not just simple artwork on the dial, but it is a complete redesign of the watch to fuse the artist’s and the brand’s DNA. We partnered with Takashi Murakami to create two different limited editions that became one of the most demanded watches in our collection.” And it’s easy to see why. Absolutely bursting with character, the Hublot/Murakami Classic Fusion creations brought the very best out of both parties. Murakami’s whimsy with a side of nudge-nudge-wink-wink energy simply bursts from the timepieces, while Hublot’s innovation, craftsmanship and plain old guts in taking on such a different approach to watchmaking is nothing short of inspirational. The yin and yang contrast of the subtly gleaming All Black with the multicoloured dazzle of the Sapphire Rainbow is simply inspired, and quite rightly cemented Hublot’s place as not just a friend of the arts, but a home of artistry itself. And with the launch of two NFTs celebrating their partnership, the buzz surrounding these very special timepieces was sealed, making them instant classics.
If anyone can understand fusion it’s someone who combines skin and ink, and globally-renowned London-based tattoo studio Sang Bleu’s founder Maxime Plescia-Büchi, who has been working in partnership with Hublot since 2016, has become a regular contributor to the brand’s canon. “For me, the coming together of Sang Bleu and Hublot is a ‘match made in heaven’ insofar as the two projects, in their respective domains, represent the highest level of technical and creative innovation without ever compromising the quality of their aesthetics,” says Plescia-Büchi of his ambassador role. “A feature of Sang Bleu and Hublot is the principle of fusion, in their manner of building bridges between materials, techniques and cultures. As a watch lover, I have always dreamed of such a collaboration, and I cannot imagine a greater opportunity to further develop my creative scope and the reach of Sang Bleu.” With the release of Sang Bleu and Hublot’s green god of a watch at the end of last year, the Big Bang Unico Sang Bleu II Mexico melded esoteric tattoo imagery with the undeniable punch brought by the hexagonal, matte carbon and neon green timepiece. And Plescia-Büchi and Murakami weren’t the only two artists to make a creative contribution to Hublot this year. “We also have a long-running partnership with contemporary French artist Richard Orlinski since 2017, and have been releasing new editions with him,” says Tedeschi. “This year for example, we took inspiration from the facets of Orlinski’s sculptures and inserted that in the bracelet.” The March release of the Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski Bracelet saw an unprecedented integrated strap, created with the finest of precision, and infused with the angular beauty of Orlinski’s most lauded works. The timepiece’s bevelled, faceted titanium with a partial diamond pavé reflects light and draws the eye, just as any fine piece of sculpture should, and is a testament to the strength of partnership when executed to perfection.
Hublot’s ‘Hublot Loves Art’ project has been responsible for supporting artists from the grassroots up for more than a decade, and one of its great success stories is Samuel Ross. Just 10 years ago Ross was a recent graphic design and illustration graduate, but his meteoric rise as a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker and fashion designer shook the art world — and earned him the 2019 Hublot Design Prize. After his 2020 announcement as a brand ambassador and creation of a sculpture to mark 40 years of Hublot, 2022 saw the launch of the Big Bang Tourbillon Samuel Ross — the culmination of Ross’s unique graphic language and the Hublot watchmaking prowess that supported his journey — limited to just 50 pieces of brushed titanium and orange- accented horological beauty. “Everything started in 2019 when they rewarded my work with the Hublot Design Prize, leading me to join the brand as an ambassador the year after,” said Ross in 2021. “Together with Hublot, we fuse materials that have history with ones that will become the future. I love when my creativity crosses all disciplines and that is exactly what we are building here with Hublot. I’m happy to be part of the Hublot Art family.”
But there’s no design without passion, and 2022 is a very important year for Hublot when it comes to the excitement of the sporting sphere. With the upcoming FIFA World Cup comes endless emotion, which is nothing new to the brand. “Hublot is the first luxury brand to sponsor football, starting in 2006 by being the official watch of the Swiss national team,” says Tedeschi. “Then we continued with Euro 2008 in Switzerland and the creativity in our approach was to brand the referee board, a first in the history of football. Today we are the official timekeeper of the FIFA World Cup for the fourth time since 2010. This partnership has sparked an extremely successful awareness and recognition of the brand internationally. Not to mention that we have collaborated with football legends from the likes of Pelé and Maradona; and today Kylian Mbappé is brand ambassador.” Chosen to partner with Hublot thanks to his excellence off the pitch and humility off, Mbappé embodies the duality of Hublot’s DNA. Starring in a brand campaign, the Paris Saint-Germain and French national forward — along with Hublot’s extended family of footballing heroes — is in for a big year in more ways than one. And when collaboration is the name of the game, neither he, nor any of Hublot’s ambassadors, could be in safter hands. After all, when making the dream come true — it just takes two. Discover the collections