Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami’s vibrant artworks have long graced t-shirts by Supreme and Uniqlo, shoes by Crocs and Vans, handbags by Louis Vuitton, and now the face of a Swiss watch. Sweet-talked into a collaboration with Hublot, the artist’s all-new timepiece dubbed ‘Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black’, is a testament to how deeply immersed he became in the project.
“Sometimes collaborations with watch companies only involve printing on the packaging, so I used to say I would collaborate only if I could be fully involved,” Murakami says in a video about the new watch, which was introduced Monday at LVMH’s virtual Watch Week. “But I knew that was never an option and I kept saying no, as I had no interest in just printing a package. I think I also declined this project a few times.”
In line with his body of work, which subverts the traditional boundaries between high and low art, the watch merges the childlike form of a daisy with the rarefied crafts of gem-setting and high-end mechanical watchmaking. Showcasing Murakami’s signature smiling flower composed of 12 petals that spin around the head of the pistil at the centre of the dial using a clever ball-bearing system devised by Hublot’s engineers, this timepiece is adorned with over 560 black diamonds.
Beneath its beguiling display ticks the in-house Unico calibre, a self-winding movement which offers 72 hours of power reserve. Housed in a 45 mm case of satin-finished and polished black ceramic on a black-lined rubber strap, the ‘Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black’ is currently limited to a mere 200 pieces and retails for an estimated $27,300.