Hublot Announces NFT Lottery for Latest Takashi Murakami Edition

The smiling rainbow flower returns.

A frequent partner of notable personalities ranging from artists to celebrity chefs, Hublot’s most notable collaboration is the partnership with Takashi Murakami, the Japanese contemporary artist whose “Superflat”, anime-inspired art has gained acclaim and spawned a commercial empire. Having two sold-out Murakami editions under its belt, Hublot now debuts a third, the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Black Ceramic Rainbow.

More specifically, it’s a single unique wristwatch, along with a dozen more (slightly less) unique watches, for a total of 13. They will be sold via a lottery that can be entered only by owners of the non-fungible tokens (NFT) that were given to owners of the first two editions, the monochromatic original in black diamonds and its chromatic opposite, the transparent and technicolour Sapphire Rainbow.

Hublot chief executive Ricardo Guadalupe (left) with Takashi Murakami at the launch event in New York

Initial thoughts

While Hublot puts out many collaboration editions, too many by my estimation, the Murakami watches stand out for being visually simple yet striking. And they have a whimsical aspect that captures Murakami’s style perfectly.

The 13 unique editions combine the best of the prior two editions – the rainbow flower from the sapphire model with the all-black ceramic case. The monochromatic case is a perfect canvas for the rainbow flower, the essence of Murakami.

And in terms of value, the Murakami watches – at least the first and current editions – are fair value considering the pricey nature of everything Murakami creates. As much entrepreneur as artist, Murakami has collaborated with brands ranging from G-Shock to Louis Vuitton to create products that are uniformly premium priced and then even more expensive on the secondary market.

A pre-owned G-Shock Murakami, for instance, is being offered for US$7,400 on eBay, while a brand-new example is priced over US$20,000 on Chrono24. In comparison, the original all-black edition cost about US$25,000 and the latest launch is double that (the sapphire model was six figures so it’s something else altogether).

With that in mind, the Hublot Murakami watches are reasonable propositions for gem-set watch with an in-house movement. The Murakami editions are a cut above the standard Cassic Fusion because they are equipped with Hublot’s Unico movement instead of the Sellita calibres found in the standard model.

Luck of the draw

The lottery is actually a two-stage affair with straightforward mechanics. The first stage involves the 12 unique watches that will be offered online sometime in April 2023 via a lottery open only to owners of the NFTs (basically digital artworks) linked to the original two editions, which total 324 watches. Anyone who owns one of those NFTs can enter. Because the NFTs can be bought and sold separately from the underlying watches, it is not necessarily the owners of either original edition who can enter the lottery.

Each of the 12 unique watches will be delivered with an NFT reflecting the respective watch, which leads to the second stage of the lottery that takes place over a year until April 2024. The owner of all 12 NFTs linked to the unique watches will be able to purchase the 13th unique edition. This is naturally conditional on the fact that all of the original owners of the NFTs decide to sell them.

If no person is able to acquire all 12 NFTs, the 13th watch will be sold at auction to benefit a charity.

The NFTs representing the 12 unique watches that will be sold in a lottery

The difference between the 12 unique watches and the final 13th timepiece lies in the petals on the dial. Each of the 12 unique watches has gem-set petals in a single colour, along with a rainbow-set flower face. In contrast, the 13th watch has a rainbow face matched with graduated, rainbow petals, making it the only true “rainbow” watch.

The unique 13th watch

Dial aside, all of the latest Murakami editions share the same specs, namely a black ceramic case and self-winding Unico movement.

The case is identical to that used for the first all-black Murakami watch. It’s a chunky 45 mm in diameter and 13.45 mm high, and is entirely black ceramic save for titanium screws, a titanium inner case, and a black resin insert in between the bezel and case.

Key facts and price

Hublot Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Black Ceramic Rainbow
Ref. 507.CX.9099.RX.TAK23

Case diameter: 45 mm
Height: 13.45 mm
Material: Black ceramic
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m

Dial: Set with 384 brilliant-cut coloured gemstones

Movement: HUB1214 UNICO
Function: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Additional features: Silicon escapement
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 72 hours

Strap: Black rubber with steel folding clasp

Limited edition: Unique piece with additional 12 unique pieces for NFT lottery 
 From Hublot
Price: Unavailable

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