Hublot and artist Daniel Arsham bring back organic design with the Droplet pocket watch

Hublot and artist Daniel Arsham bring back organic design with the Droplet pocket watch

Russell Sheldrake
  • After carving a sundial into a snowy Zermatt bank, Hublot and Daniel Arsham collaborate on their first watch.
  • The organic shape of the Arsham Droplet is crafted in sapphire, titanium, and rubber, powered by the 10-day Meca-10 movement, and limited to 99 pieces.
  • It can be worn or displayed in three different ways, including as a table clock with a magnifying glass.

Organic design has never truly taken hold in the watch industry – and some are probably very pleased about that. There were a few very rounded shapes that came out of the 1980s, like the Omega Seamaster Polaris or even the later funky timers from Oakley that seemed to melt over the wrist. But for the majority of watch design, we tend to only see the sharp angles that best display polish and finishing techniques, while the natural, smooth forms that we have come to associate with organic haven’t made their way into the watch world. This clearly didn’t sit right with Hublot and surrealist artist Daniel Arsham, leading them to collaborate on their first-ever watch – the Hublot Arsham Droplet.

hublot arsham droplet necklace

When it comes to Daniel Arsham’s contemporary style, expectations and traditions are things he’s not afraid to break. A lot of his work plays with time in some way or another, whether he is turning modern classics like Pokémon cards or Porsche 911s into crystalline fossils, or bringing classical sculpture into the 21st century with playful contrasts in materials. He is also a prolific collaborator, having recently collaborated with Tiffany & Co to deck out the historic brand’s new Fifth Avenue flagship in his signature awe-inspiring sculptures.

hublot arsham droplet

While Arsham and Hublot have been partnered since 2023, this is the first watch the two have released together, although they did create a 20-metre sundial out of snow on the side of a mountain in Zermatt. This temporary, temporal sculpture very much spoke to Arsham’s musings on the passage of time and how it takes its toll on physical objects. This time, we are getting an actually purchasable watch from the two, although given it’s limited to just 99 pieces, its purchasability is up for debate. The Arsham Droplet is a pocket watch that can be worn or displayed in three different ways, either as a traditional pocket watch, a pendant, or a table clock.

hublot arsham droplet desk mode

Made from a titanium frame, a sapphire crystal case, rubber bumpers in Arsham Green, and 17 o-rings to give it 30 metres of water resistance, this truly speaks to Hublot’s philosophy of fusion. Not only that, but this piece represents a world-first, a pocket watch being made out of sapphire crystal.

Let’s talk about this organic, droplet shape. It’s not something we’ve really seen before in the ever-traditional space of pocket watches. And having the design come from an artist of Arsham’s calibre makes this all the more rewarding in terms of its balance and execution. The unusual shape does actually fit in the hand quite nicely, and thanks to the rubber bumpers on the edge, grip isn’t an issue.

hublot arsham droplet movement caseback

Inside the watch is Hublot’s Meca-10 movement, a manual-winding calibre that has been providing the brand’s watches with 10 days of power reserve since 2016. The skeletonised bridges play well off the circular frame that flows from underneath, and it is magnified by the highly domed sapphire crystal above it. To further add to this magnification, the table clock stand that this comes with has a magnification disc which enlarges your view of the entire watch. Practical? Maybe. Very cool aesthetically? Definitely.

This is not going to be a watch for everyone. Not by a long stretch. The pocket watch market is already small, but I don’t think this is going to appeal to your standard pocket watch collector anyway. This is far more likely to appeal to those already aware and fans of Arsham’s artwork. While the mechanical side of this watch is impressive, the Meca-10 is nearing a decade old and not breaking any headlines. What is breaking headlines here is the organic design and the fact that it has come from one of the most sought-after artists active today.

Hublot x Daniel Arsham Arsham Droplet pricing & availability

The Arsham Droplet made in collaboration with Hublot and Daniel Arsham is being made in a limited edition of 99 pieces. Price: US$88,000

Brand Hublot
Model Arsham Droplet
Reference 916.NX.5202.NK
Case Dimensions 52.6mm (W) x 73.2mm (L) x 22.5mm (T)
Case Material Sapphire, titanium, rubber
Water Resistance 30 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire front and back
Dial Open
Strap Titanium necklace with clasp
Titanium pocket chain with carabiner
Titanium table stand with magnifying glass
Movement HUB1201 Meca-10, in-house, manual-winding
Power Reserve 10 days
Functions Hours, minutes, small seconds, power reserve
Availability 99 pieces
Price US$88,000