The Hublot Berluti collaboration
Watch & Bullion30 March 2016 | 3 min read
No other company does collaborations quite like Hublot, and bravery seems to be the key ingredient. While not always a success, every now and then this bravery pays off, and today I am happy to present one of those occasions. The Hublot Berluti limited edition: one of the most thoughtful collaborations I have yet to see.
For those of you who do not know Berluti, they are a Parisian leather manufacture with Italian roots who specialize in shoes. To give you a taste of the brand, they have a club called the swann club. There a their most esteemed customers come together to celebrate their love for shoes. At these meetings they polish their shoes with, and I did not make this up, fine venetian linen which they dip in Dom Pérignon and then expose them to the quarter moon.
Now while I don’t know to what extent that actually helps the leather, it surely helps illustrate that Berluti takes their leather very, very seriously, and this timepiece is evidence of that.
There are two versions. Firstly, in the nature of Hublot, an all black variant which comes with a 45 mm ceramic case. It features a nero grigio venezia handmade strap sporting the signature «Gaspard» incision which is inspired by the art of scarification. This piece is issued in a limited edition of 500 pieces and retails for 13,900 swiss francs.
Next there is the Scritto version, which comes with a 45 mm king gold case and a tobacco coloured strap with laser engraved 18th century calligraphy. While the all black Gaspard seems to be more Hublot heavy, the Scritto focusses more towards representing Berluti, featuring one of their most iconic leathers. It comes in a limited edition of only 250 pieces, and retails for 27,900 swiss francs.
While personally preferring the rich golden tones of the Scritto version, the execution is flawless in both models leaving it down to your taste. Both versions come in a box similar to the way Berluti packages their shoes and adapted to the model you chose. Additionally they provide you with an array of tools to keep good care of your leather, a nice touch which can foster your relationship to the piece.
The most interesting part though is the dial which is made out of leather, something which according to my knowledge, is unheard of in the industry, and that for a reason. Leather, being an organic material, contains water which means it can rot. To circumvent this Hublot reduced the water content and ensured us that the dial has undergone standard dial quality control, making it interesting to see how this piece will age.
If I were to nitpick on one little thing, it is that the crowns are signed differently, the black version having a little arrowhead at the horizontal line of the H. Regardless however and without the shadow of a doubt I would recommend anyone with a faint interest to go see the model in person and appreciate the craftsmanship that formed this watch, trust me, you wont regret it.