Sometimes, the unlikeliest partnerships can lead to spectacular results. From car brands, artists fashion houses and sports clubs, there have been too many commercial tie-ups to keep track of in the world of watches. In fact, there are few other industries that can boast of a tradition of interdisciplinary collaboration that is as long and varied as that of watchmaking. We take a look at five of the latest collaborations in contemporary watchmaking.
01 | Hublot x Takashi Murakami | Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow
Following the success of Hublot’s Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black introduced at the beginning of 2021 is the new Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow watch, which presents a completely different take on the artist’s iconic smiling flower. Featuring a 45mm-diameter case cut from sapphire crystal, the watch is fitted with a three-dimensional mobile smiling flower set with 487 stones representing the colours of the rainbow: rubies, pink sapphires, amethysts, blue sapphires, tsavorites, yellow and orange sapphires.
02 | Richard Mille x Rafael Nadal | RM 35-03
After three years of intensive R&D, Richard Mille introduces RM 35-03 Automatic Rafael Nadal, the fourth timepiece in the collaboration between the watchmaker and the world-famous tennis star. It premieres the butterfly rotor, a patented new system for movement winding that allows the wearer to adjust the rotor’s geometry, thus controlling the movement’s winding speed. Comprising two weights in grade 5 titanium and metal that is activated by a separate gear train, the rotor can be stopped by pressing a push-piece at 7 o’clock. This allows the rotor’s gears to spread the two weights to a 180° angle, suspending the winding process during sporting activities when too much movement may affect the power held within the winding barrel. Offered in a case made of Carbon TPT® and Quartz TPT®, no two watches look identical thanks to the unique striations derived through the process of dividing carbon fibres or silica threads.
03 | Zenith x Bamford Watch Department | Pilot Type 20 Chronograph
One of Zenith’s most celebrated models, Pilot Type 20 Chronograph, is now up for customisation. Working together with the London-based Bamford Watch Department, this service is offered by Zenith boutiques and limited to just 100 configurable pieces. Through a dedicated tablet app available at the boutiques, customers can choose the colour of the dial, markers, hands, as well as the strap and stitching according to their preferences. The special piece is delivered in a rugged customised black Pelican case capable of withstanding drops, shocks and changes in pressure.
04 | Bvlgari x MB&F | Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra
The Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra is a collaboration between Bvlgari and MB&F. Thanks to Bvlgari’s exquisite touch, MB&F’s FlyingT’s has been transformed. It now features a redesigned case with a snow-set dial adorned with carefully selected coloured stones (including examples like rubellite, amethyst, tanzanite and topaz) that form a full circle around the movement. Available in only 20 pieces each in white or rose gold.
05 | Roger Dubuis x Urban Art Tribe | Excalibur Dr. Woo Monotourbillon
The first creation from a collaboration between Roger Dubuis and the Urban Art Tribe, a collective of world-famous urban culture artists, is the Excalibur Dr. Woo Monotourbillon, a daring take on the Excalibur Monotourbillon. Using the astral signature as a creative guiding force, renowned tattoo artist Dr. Woo also added a multitude of other symbols, like geometric codes, planetary signs and shapes, throughout the watch. Some were etched onto the sapphire crystal using metalised gold, while others were laser engraved directly onto metal or hot stamped onto the leather strap. There is a spider motif that occupies a different and unique position on the dial of each of the eight limited edition timepieces, making every single one a unique creation.