This Kinetic, Technicolor Hublot Will Melt Your Brain
Sometimes calling a watch a work of art is meant figuratively. In this case, it’s literal. The Hublot Classic Fusion Carlos Cruz-Diez’s dial is a kinetic work of art created in partnership with the artist himself—and it’s bonkers.
Cruz-Diez is a Venezuelan artist best known for making pieces that change as the viewer moves around them (and for the installation in the lobby of the Faena House in Miami). For the watch, Hublot asked him to start from his 1964 work Chromointerférence. The piece involves a screen print of bright colors with a distorting medium in front that, when moved, creates new colors and shapes as the visible areas shift. (Here’s a video if you can’t quite picture it.) The idea was to bring the same principle from a wall-mounted installation to a tiny watch dial.
The watches start with Hublot’s basic 45-millimeter Classic Fusion case, in either black ceramic or king gold (a proprietary alloy with a higher platinum content). Then things get crazy. The actual watch dial is printed with an array of bright colors, but you never get to see the dial on its own. Over the top is a black grid that produces an almost eye-watering visual effect, as the dial looks different from every angle. To enhance the effect, the grid rotates every minute, completing a full revolution in 12 hours, so the appearance evolves over the course of the day. You can see it at work here:
If one of the core watches isn’t enough for you, there’s also a limited-edition tourbillon model. Same 45mm case, this time in platinum, with a choice of different-colored composite rings around the case, plus the same mechanical dial. Below the black grate you can see the one-minute tourbillon whirring away. Even excluding the rest of the dial, I really like the partially hidden tourbillon here; you get the complication without it being quite as blingy (though I don’t think anyone afraid of bling is going to be wearing one of these).
The watches were unveiled internationally on Monday at the opening of Cruz-Diez Bidimensional Research 1959-2015, a retrospective of the artist’s work at Espace Expression Gallery in Miami, though they’d been shown previously in Venezuela.
The Hublot Classic Fusion Cruz-Diez in king gold ($46,580) is limited to 40 pieces; the ceramic ($22,580), 50 pieces; and the tourbillon ($210,000), just 10 pieces, available exclusively at Hublot’s Miami Design District and Caracas boutiques. All three come with both alligator straps and a special strap with an iridescent look meant to mimic that of the dial.
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