One of the biggest releases this year at Baselworld 2016, is the collaboration between the legendary shoemaker Berluti and Hublot. The Berluti emblematic Venezia leather and its famous patina, partnered with Hublot’s innovation in watchmaking, creates the new Classic Fusion Berluti. In the words of Ricardo Guadalupe, "Working with Berluti was a natural choice. One of the major difficulties was the dial. Using a living material in a sealed case is very complicated. Finding the perfect balance between the nuances of the dial and the strap is also a challenge." Hublot and Berluti work as modern day alchemists to create a watch with character and soul. The new watches product of this collaboration are the Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti Scritto ref. 511.OX.0500.VR.BER16 in a limited edition of 250 pieces and the Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti All Black ref. 511.CM.0500.VR.BER16 available in a limited edition of 500 pieces.
In celebration of the Parisian shoemaker’s 120th birthday this combination brings the best of Hublot and Berluti to the table. Berluti was founded in 1895 by Alessandro Berluti, a hard-working Italian that rapidly found work with orders from a number of fellow-countrymen, experienced shoemakers with their own establishments. Everywhere between the Paris Opéra and the Tuileries the newly established grand hotels of Paris welcomed an international clientele in search of novelty and Parisian elegance. And here Alessandro set up his own bootmaking workshop, to craft shoes for these wealthy men who were not only connoisseurs but also extremely exacting clients. The rest, is history.
To make things even more interesting, the new Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti is presented in an exquisite leather lined wooden box that serves as a strap and shoe care kit that includes the finest Berluti shoe polish, brushes and all other tools necessary to keep those straps and shoes looking like new. The Berluti waxed and brushed objects are an invitation to a ritual, an observance to brilliance. Give a man fine shoes and a beautiful watch and he can conquer the world.
Berluti’s Venezia leather with exclusive tanning, is due to Olga Berluti's ingenuity. Hublot has realized the of dressing its dials with this noble and natural material. This complex and delicate process requires the organic components of leather to be neutralized making each dial inimitable. The dial features embossed hour markers and embossed Hublot logo. A sapphire crystal dial separates the leather dial from the hands and sapphire crystal to further protect the exclusive leather. The Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti Scritto features a tobacco bis hued leather dial, while the Hublot Classic Fusion All Black comes with a 'nero grigio' —black grey in Italian— leather dial.
This new limited edition available in two metal and dial variations feature straps and dials that truly reveal the sheer skill of the Berluti House. This collaboration between Hublot and Berluti, defines excellence and distinctive style. While the Classic Fusion Berluti All Black features a 45 mm black ceramic case, the Classic Fusion Berluti Scritto features an 18K Hublot King Gold case also in a diameter of 45 mm.
The straps on these very special limited edition watches are of course also made via the same dedicated procedure as Berluti shoe leather: from patterning, shaping, cutting and assembling the pieces of leather, to the mounting of the strap and lacquering. Each strap is enviably exclusive. The Classic Fusion Berluti Scritto features a Venezia leather tobacco bis strap expertly carved from Venezia Scritto calf leather with writing inspired by 18th century calligraphy. The bold artist Olga Berluti, was enthused to present a homage to this calligraphy engraved in leather. The Classic Fusion Berluti All Black features a nero grigio Venezia leather strap. Both straps are fitted with the deployant Hublot folding clasp and are rubber lined.
The beating heart inside the new Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti Scritto and the Classic Fusion Berluti All Black is the automatic Hublot calibre HUB1100 composed of 63 parts and 21 jewels, which provides a power reserve of 42 hours when fully wound. The movement is fully visible via the display case back.
On the wrist, the watches wear slightly smaller than their actual size and more like a 42 mm timepiece. However, their looks are unparalleled and even better when paired with a fine pair of Berluti shoes. These are two watches that for sure will become strong conversation pieces among watchlifestylers. Definitely an amazing limited edition by Hublot.
Sticker Price $29,400 USD for 18K King Gold Scritto and $14,600 for All Black Ceramic. For more info on Hublot click here.