A constant innovator in his evolving practice, Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami has been a Web3 enthusiast since the very beginning. Following his sold-out NFT collection “CLONE X” with virtual fashion collective RTFKT Studios in October 2021, his debut solo NFT collection of his iconic multi-colored grinning petals “Murakami.Flowers” in March 2022, the “Superflat” instigator is ready to strike again in the crypto-art playing field. And this time, he’s making things tick.
Murakami and Swiss watchmaker Hublot are reunited once again for a dynamic collection between watches and art. The result? An exclusive 13-piece collection of black ceramic timepieces, each engraved with Murakami’s signature smiling floral motif on its dial, which are set to be unveiled during Watches & Wonders in Geneva in March 2023.
The collection also comes with 13 unique NFTs that owners can avail and keep. The NFTs draw their influence from 1970s Japanese video games and television culture, with visual nods to the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black — the debut collaboration between the horlogerie and Murakami back in January 2021.
“When my collaboration with Hublot was announced, we made it known that we would be adopting new forms of artistic expression,” says Murakami. “After creating all the timepieces together, as well as the digital works of art, we are now imagining new ways of accessing contemporary art.”
Murakami and Hublot reinterpret the artist’s flower motif with 12 petals forming a gradient of rainbow colors composed of rubies, sapphires, amethysts, tsavorites, and topaz. The flower glistens in a spectrum of shimmering colors as they spin on an axis, a movement made possible with Hublot’s ball-bearing system.
The 45mm pitch-black ceramic casing makes a striking contrast with the kinetics of the gem-covered petals, and the center of the flower is placed atop the sapphire glass to create an almost three-dimensional illusion as the watch’s hands move.
As enticing as the collection may sound to fans of the artists or luxury watch connoisseurs, getting your hands on any one of the watches is set to be a challenge. 12 of them will be available for purchase on Hublot’s e-commerce platform exclusively accessible to owners of a previous series of 324 NFTs, which Hublot and Murakami released as part of their third collaboration in 2022, and were offered to owners of former Hublot x Takeshi Murakami models — either the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami All Black or the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow.
From now until the new watches are available for sale in early April 2023, those who are interested in the upcoming series will have to collect one of the 324 NFTs from OpenSea in order to secure a chance of buying one of the 12 watches.
The 12 NFTs can be resold on OpenSea until April 2024. Only when a collector purchases all 12 of the NFTs will they be eligible to purchase the 13th and most coveted piece of the collection — the Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Black Ceramic Rainbow watch. If no collector manages to obtain all 12 NFTs, the watch will be sold at auction by Hublot to raise funds for charity.