Usually when we see partnerships between fashion houses and watch brands, it tends to be a bit of a fast operation – perhaps a syncing of colour or pattern, a special design created by the fashion label for the watch maison. Hublot, however, with its history of in-depth partnerships, has more in mind.
Last year was the 120th anniversary of Berluti, the footwear label best known for its incredible leather. For the year, the brand unveiled a new Alessandro shoe, along with a leather-bound limited edition book featuring their shoes worn by renowned customers of the atelier from Jean Cocteau to Yves Saint Laurent.
In continuation of this, they’ve collaborated with Hublot to create two special editions, that are to be made available at exclusive Hublot boutiques around the world. The Classic Fusion Berluti All Black is restricted to 500 pieces around the world, and its gold sib, the Classic Fusion Berluti Scritto, at 250. (No news yet on whether they will be available in Singapore.)
Berluti is renowned for its Venezia leather, made famous by Olga Berluti who is rumoured to have been inspired by the Moon’s alleged effect on leather. It’s a beautiful material that matures with age, and when carefully maintained, retains a sheen for life. Naturally, the partnership involves Venezia leather, but not just on the straps. It’s also used on the dial, which was the big challenge in this case.
Hublot has used numerous materials on dials and watch cases before but never leather, which is a living material and also soft. In addition, since the dial’s thickness affects the placement of the hands, and the thickness of the case as well. Hublot had to cut the leather to a razer-thin standard, then apply it on a dial base to hold it in place. More importantly, it needs to ensure that the dial doesn’t delaminate over time.
In addition, the Venezia leather strap is also affected by the oils on the skin, which is why Berluti often recommends that one should not wear the same pair of leather shoes on a daily basis but allow it to rest. In order to prevent the strap from overuse, Hublot affixed it to its rubber-back, stitched together to protect the material. The watches are also presented in a special shoe box in leather, along with a leather polishing kit and watch case.
A complete set: the Classic Fusion Berluti collaboration
The Classic Fusion Berluti All Black is in stainless steel claid in black PVD, and matched with the Venezia Grigio leather in ‘Nero’ colour, a deep charcoal grey that’s beautiful and sexy. The Scritto edition is in King Gold, paired with Berluti’s famed calligraphed leather. If you’re a leather fan, you’ll want in on this. And buy a pair of Berlutis to match.