Takashi Murakami Fuses Art and Horology with the Hublot MP-15

An all-new calibre with a central tourbillon.

Hublot unveiled its fourth collaboration with the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami – the MP-15 Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Sapphire. Demonstrating Hublot’s mastery sapphire crystal cases, the watch is the brand’s first central tourbillon in regular production.

The MP-15 is a fusion of artistic expression and watchmaking, that pushes the boundaries of mechanics and design, with the nudging of Mr Murakami, who previously designed a pair of simpler watches for Hublot.

Initial thoughts

The MP-15 is an entirely new watch, from case to movement, that was constructed to embody  Mr Murakami’s signature style. It takes a fresh and playful direction away from the relatively tamer previous editions that were based on an existing model.

First seen with the unique example produced for Only Watch, the latest collaboration between Hublot and Takashi Murakami seamlessly combines Mr Murakami’s artistic vision with Hublot’s watchmaking proficiency, resulting in a unique and expressive watch. 

Notably, the MP-15 is not as big as expected. It’s 42 mm in diameter but has no lugs, while the strap is narrow, making it suitable for both men and women.

The Only Watch edition

The MP-15 is more than a watch; it’s arguably wearable art. The retail price of US$316,000 certainly puts it closer to Mr Murakami’s creations than a wristwatch, even with the tourbillon. It is a very expensive wristwatch, but not so expensive relative to Mr Murakami’s art.

Though this is a relatively large edition of 50 watches, word has it that this will be the final collaboration between the two, which would make this quite special.

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami with Hublot chief executive, Ricardo Guadalupe. Image – Hublot

A blossoming collaboration

The collaboration between Murakami and Hublot began in 2012, resulting in a series of artistic timepieces. The inaugural creation was the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black, followed by editions like the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Rainbow and the Black Ceramic Rainbow. All three, however, were variants of the same time-only model.

The MP-15, on the other hand, is equipped with a new movement that boasts Hublot’s inaugural central flying tourbillon. To accommodate the tourbillon, the hours and minutes are on the periphery of the dial, achieved by repositioning the cannon pinion and hour wheel around the tourbillon cage.

It also has an impressive 150-hour power reserve. Fortunately, the twin barrels inside the movement can be wound with a rechargeable tool that swiftly completes the 100 turns of the crown needed to fully wind the watch.

The case is a clear sapphire flower made up of 12 petals, a form that is central to Mr Murakami’s art. The case, back, crown, and dial are all clear sapphire, giving the watch a surprisingly degree of transparency.

Key facts and price

Hublot MP-15 Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Sapphire
Ref. 915.JX.4802.RT

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 13.4 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Polished Sapphire Crystal
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. HUB9015
Functions: Hours and minutes
Winding: Manual winding
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 150 hours

Strap: Transparent decorated rubber with sapphire crystal and titanium folding buckle

Limited edition: 50 pieces
Availability: Available at Hublot boutiques, retailers and online
Price: US$316,000

For more, visit Hublot.com.


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