Hublot is no stranger to artistic collaborations – this is already their third one for 2021. At LVMH Watch Week, they presented another razor-sharp ceramic collaboration with Richard Orlinski, plus the diamond-studded “smiling flower” of Takashi Murakami. Now American street artist Shepard Fairey – best known for his Obama “Hope” poster – has collaborated on the Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Shepard Fairey, a watch that doubles as a mandala-engraved sculpture dedicated to the cycle of life.
This enigmatic piece of wrist art is based on the slender Classic Fusion range which, with a few exceptions, usually represents the more formal voice of Hublot. This time, Shepard Fairey takes us on a journey imbued by a feeling of shamanic crafts, like a talisman for the wrist to ward off evil spirits (pandemic ones?) and bring good fortune.
Shepard Fairey is an artist bringing his politically influential art through everything from graphic design, painting, illustration and street art. Well known as the founder of the OBEY clothing company, it only seems fitting that he contributes to wrist-worn art, and what an introduction this titanium chronograph is. Far from the usual high-tech weapons of Hublot, Fairey brings with him a deeper sensibility with the raw expression in the titanium case being a symbolic mandala, an ornamental symbol representing harmony and the cycle of life.
The case itself is where the magic lies, in deep, visceral, intricate engravings and a black burnished patina to the metal. This transforms the sharp, angular look of the Classic Fusion into what feels less like a watch and more like a spiritual totem gifted by a kind-hearted time traveller.
The upper lug section of the case is deeply striated with deep blackened grooves cut into the titanium. The bottom lug is visibly worn, roughly brushed and brings a rustic warmth to what we associate with the high-tech craftsmanship of Hublot. Otherwordly dialwork is created with the sapphire crystal disc, printed with the same intricate designs as the enigmatic case, including the still legible twin chronograph registers. Polished, rhodium-plated hands and indices provide the perfect counterpoint to the delicate, symmetrical pattern emblazoning the dial. This almost mystical swirling vision is lifted by a bright red chronograph seconds hand tip, and red minute markings encircling the dance of the mandala. In the centre, capping the centre of the hands is Airey’s signature “Star Gear” mark. Fitted on a recognisably Hublot striated, lined black rubber strap, the black stainless steel deployant buckle is also brushed in the same rustic blackened style as the case.
Through the rear crystal of the 45mm wide and 13.4mm thick case is the HUB1155 self-winding movement. Through a simple rotor with large black Hublot lettering, the clean future-proof movement has 42 hours of power reserve. With 207 components, 60 jewels, and a normal 4hz / 28,800vph beat, the organic detail of the front gives way to the in-house technological forte of Hublot, creating an artful juxtaposition. Only 50 pieces of the Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Shepard Fairey will be made, to deliver a watch that will be a standout piece in any collection.
The Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Shepard Fairey, price and availability:
The Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Shepard Fairey is $22,000 USD, limited to 50 pieces. For more details, visit Hublot, or your nearest Hublot Boutique
Made in partnership with Hublot. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.