Hublot and Berluti's Burnished Leather Big Bang Watch
The first bezel on a timepiece features Venezia leather.
It is the Parisian cobbler's artisanal leather shoes that are known for their patinated finish and are the staple of men with sartorial inclinations around the world. As a result of its ongoing partnership with Hublot, its patrons might just as well start thinking of elegant timepieces as well.
It has been four years since the brands began collaborating, and they have released several premium watches with the partnership, but when it came time to design their latest model, they went back to the drawing board. Kris Van Assche, Berluti's creative director, developed the resulting watch in close cooperation with him, and based on the Big Bang Unico chronograph, which is a first for the partnership.
There has been a steady build up in Berluti's successive issues, but what ties them all together is the characteristically deep burnished look of Berluti's Venezia leather. Incorporating this rich material around the dial of the Big Bang, sandwiched between two slices of sapphire glass, this watch is one of a kind. A special process developed by the two brands has been developed to encapsulate the organic elements of the hides, so that the natural hide will remain unchanged as time passes.
This model goes a step further by using Venezia leather in its bezel as well as the strap, which was previously limited to just the dial and strap of earlier editions. Only an innovative configuration can be used to make this possible. A rigidifying resin is used on one part to hold it together before it is joined to a black ceramic base which serves as the base for the fusion. After that, the watch case is screwed onto the fuse.
It has been observed that over the years, the bezel can also develop a deeper patina as well, becoming more individual as time passes.
This leather, known as 'Cold Brown' by the brand, was reworked from an archival shade discovered and reworked by Van Assche. Despite its glacé finish, this watch is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it has also been designed to emphasize the subtle tonal variations created by the long, complicated handwork. It features an MHUB1242 caliber movement that keeps things running efficiently within its 45mm case and maintains a generous 72-hour power reserve that keeps things running smoothly.
For $26,200, this Big Bang Berluti Cold Brown is available in a limited edition of only 100 pieces, and comes housed in a special co-branded leather chest that matches the watch, and is accompanied by a Berluti shoehorn keychain.