This is not news. It’s merely a report on an existing phenomenon for your horological entertainment. That phenomenon is the Hublot X Berluti watches collaboration project. At Baselworld in 2016, at the request of absolutely no one, Hublot released their first collaboration with the Italian luxury goods brand Berluti. The first model released — the Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti — was a simple three-hander, cased in what Hublot called 18k King Gold, with a leather strap that features the erratic diary of a madman.
I don’t know which is more absurd: my suggestion that the script is some psychopath’s ramblings… or the reality that Berluti puts this on tons of its products and it’s just the script from a French letter Berluti bought at auction in the 1800s. But the main feature of the entire collection is the leather dials.
Fully embossed, the three-hander seems like what Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre might wear to a $3,000-per-plate political fundraiser. I’ve included some of the TBWS writing crews’ commentary when they first laid eyes on the Hublot X Bertuli collab.
The chronographs — released in 2019 after Hublot heard no objections at their annual board meeting where I assume Gary Busey and 1990s Robert Downey Jr share full voting power — shift things around a little. The lunatic scrawl has been moved to the case and the effect is a watch that looks like Nic Cage had it made to commemorate receiving the back-end check he got when National Treasure: Book of Secrets made $457.4 million.
On a very slightly more serious note, how does one care for the leather? Does standard services involve mink oil? Leather ages, dries out, changes color; how long can this last? Or will this be another marketing opportunity for some leather-borne spider dial? And who is spending $27,000 on this? Or $20,000 on the chronographs?
That’s right, the three-hander is a limited edition and costs seven thousand actual dollars more. What’s happened? What’s happening?
Mike became obsessed with watches in 2015 after spending an inordinate amount of time finding the perfect wedding watch (the Frederique Constant Slimline Automatic). He prefers a well-executed date window or none at all, and strives for a diverse collection with limited overlap. When not fretting over which watch to wear with which strap, he works as an emergency mental health clinician in Northern Virginia, where he lives with his wife and son.