The collaboration between luxury watchmaker Hublot and renowned artist Takashi Murakami has culminated in the striking Hublot MP-15 Tourbillon Sapphire, a timepiece that redefines the boundaries of watchmaking. Limited to just 50 pieces, this watch is both a testament to Hublot’s innovative spirit and a canvas for Murakami’s creative genius.
Hublot‘s foray into the use of sapphire in watchmaking is nothing new, but the MP-15 Tourbillon Sapphire takes this expertise to a new level. At the heart of this watch is a central flying tourbillon, a first for Hublot, which brilliantly illustrates the brand’s 40-year journey in the refinement of its craftsmanship. The tourbillon, an intricate mechanism traditionally used to improve the accuracy of a watch, is here transformed into a stunning visual element.
Murakami’s influence is unmistakable in the design of the watch. His signature floral motif, with 12 petals made entirely of sapphire, surrounds the tourbillon. This choice of material is not only aesthetic, but also functional. The translucency of the sapphire creates a play of light and shade that enhances the three-dimensional qualities of Murakami’s art and the intricate details of the watch’s mechanics.
The technical prowess of the MP-15 is as impressive as its artistic merit. It has an extraordinary power reserve of 150 hours – almost a full week. This is all the more remarkable when one considers the energy requirements of a central tourbillon. To wind this masterpiece, Hublot has provided a specially designed stylus, rechargeable via USB, which is seamlessly connected to the crown, thus ensuring that the delicate mechanism is not subjected to excessive stress.
What makes the MP-15 Tourbillon Sapphire even more unique is its disregard for conventional watchmaking norms. The hour and minute hands are peripheral, circling beneath the tourbillon cage. This design choice is a bold statement that challenges traditional layouts in which the escapement and the hands occupy separate spaces. To achieve this, Hublot’s engineers redesigned the cannon pinion and the hour wheel, placing them coaxially around the tourbillon carriage.
The absence of an upper bridge on the tourbillon further underlines Hublot’s commitment to innovation. This design choice adds a aesthetic appeal to the watch but also allows aficionados to appreciate the intricate workings of the gears and tourbillon components that seem to float within the case.
Despite its avant-garde design, the MP-15 Tourbillon Sapphire remains user-friendly. Its 42 mm diameter ensures a comfortable fit, complemented by an integrated rubber strap. Traditional features such as white indices on the flange and black hands with white Super-LumiNova ensure excellent legibility.
In the words of Takashi Murakami, this collaboration with Hublot marks a new chapter in his artistic journey, focusing on transparency rather than colour. This project has allowed him to explore new forms and volumes, resulting in a creation that harmoniously blends his artistic identity with Hublot’s mechanical expertise.
Priced at €330,000 or $316,000 USD, the Hublot MP-15 Tourbillon Sapphire is for the discerning connoisseur and represents the pinnacle of innovation, design and artistic collaboration.
© Photos: Hublot