The name Berluti always conjures up images of the patinated leather shoes and 18th-century Scritto-engraved accessories immediately.
Thanks to its latest collaboration with Hublot, however, the Parisian cobbler will also be adding elegant timepieces to this equation — just in time for Christmas too.
Although not the first timepiece to come out of this unique partnership (the four-year collaboration has seen a series of other unforgettableble watches), this one was extra special because the two brands — including Berluti’s creative director Kris Van Assche — have gone back to the drawing board to fully encapsulate the organic beauty of the shoemaker’s Venezia leather.
The resulting watch is one of many firsts; besides being based on the iconic Big Bang Unico chronograph for the first time, it’s also the first to use leather in its bezel, instead of merely on the dial and straps. This is done via an innovative configuration that sees an adhesive and rigidifying resin being applied to the first part of the bezel before being inserted onto the second part — essentially a base in black ceramic. The fusion is then screwed onto the case of the watch.
The leather in question is just as intriguing; dubbed Cold Brown, the material was revived by Van Assche after he was inspired by Berluti’s archives. A glacé finish further highlights subtle tonal variations that can take on a deeper patina over time — just like its matching strap — to become more individual and unique.
“The Big Bang chronograph’s strong, unmistakeable and modern identity reflects Berluti’s new universe and lifestyle, “ said Van Assche. “The patina is our trademark, usually present in our shoes and leather goods, but all that know-how can also be used for something totally different. Bringing the Cold Brown patina – which was inspired by an archive patina and renewed through a glaçage process to obtain a rich, cutting edge colour – to the Big Bang Unico is an opportunity for Berluti’s craft to be discovered in a new context. Using our tradition and heritage in innovative, forward thinking ways has opened up a world of possibilities,” he added.
At the heart of this limited edition special is the iconic Unico manufacture movement. The 45mm chronograph with a flyback function is powered by the MHUB1242 calibre and offers 72 hours of power reserve.
In true display of craftsmanship, style, and mastery of materials, all 100 Hublot Big Bang Unico Berluti Cold Brown watches will each come in a chest signed by both houses and accompanied by a Berluti shoehorn key ring and travel case.
Find out more about The Hublot Big Bang Unico Berluti Cold Brown here.
Images courtesy of Hublot)
The story originally appears on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong.