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SpotlightBionic Bloom: Hublot MP-15 Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Sapphire

The ethereal Hublot MP-15 Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Sapphire plays with kinetics, transparency at the onset of frosty winters

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The best kinds of partnerships are the ones that have proven fruitful and never-ending. A case in point: The Hublot X Takashi Murakami. Before 2023 draws to a close, the brand have unveiled a 50-piece limited run without a trace of colour, gemstone, or even opacity—the Hublot MP-15 Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Sapphire. This collaborative timepiece is a variation of their August launch, the Hublot MP-15 Takashi Murakami Only Watch Sapphire; both pieces reflect the direction the world is taking with artificial intelligence, cyborg, bionic and other such sci-fi experiments. The Only Watch version was the first wristwatch by the brand to feature a central flying tourbillon—amid the 12-petal formation studded with 444 rainbow-hued gemstones.

Hublot MP-15 Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Sapphire smiling flower stylus HUB9015 calibre
The Hublot MP-15 Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Sapphire reflect the direction the world is taking with artificial intelligence, cyborg, bionic and other such sci-fi experiments

Since 2021, however, the duo have collaborated on 14 dynamic Classic Fusion iterations—from all-black to rainbow-hued to sapphire clear—that feature the ‘smiling flower’ motif patented by the Japanese contemporary artist. Formally called ‘Flowers’, Murakami debuted this iconic smiling motif in 1995, which gained instant fame through high-profile celebrity appearances on Kanye West’s album art, Drake’s clothing line, Porter bags, Ben Baller jewellery, Hajime Asaoka’s tourbillon watch, and more… Beneath Murakami’s intentionally childish motif, however, lies a dark truth: to keep alive in public memory the unfathomable loss and pain felt by survivors of the 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

The Watch Guide
Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami flaunts the Hublot MP-15 Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Sapphire

Sapphire Symphony Of The Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Sapphire

The hypnotic ethereality of the 42mm MP-15 stems from its polished transparent frame. The petalled case, caseback, crown are all in sapphire crystal, while the inner flange is translucent. Attached to the case is a matching translucent rubber strap, embossed with the smiling flower, secured with monogrammed sapphire and titanium folding clasp.

The Watch Guide

Spinning mid-air with gay abandon at the core—under the smiling face—is the whimsical flying tourbillon

The Watch Guide

The hypnotic ethereality of the 42mm MP-15 stems from its polished transparent frame: sapphire petalled case, sapphire caseback, sapphire crown, translucent inner flange

Airborne Mystics Of The Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Sapphire

The MP-15 is a kinetic marvel—a wrist-worn kinetic piece of art. Spinning mid-air with gay abandon at the core—under the smiling face—is the whimsical flying tourbillon. Powered by the 236-part in-house HUB9015 calibre, the central tourbillon can run on 150-hour power reserve, beating at 21,600vph. A rechargeable stylus accompanies the MP-15 Tourbillon Sapphire, to operate the crown and complete 100 revolutions to wind up the twin barrels connected to the flying tourbillon. To accommodate the central tourbillon, the cannon pinion and hour wheel were relocated to pivot around the same axis. Moreover, the upper bridge was entirely ditched to showcase an open-worked dial where the tourbillion parts and movement gears appear floating in space.

Hublot MP-15 Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Sapphire smiling flower stylus HUB9015 calibre
Powered by the 236-part in-house HUB9015 calibre, the central tourbillon can run on 150-hour (6.25 days) power reserve, beating at 21,600vph

A signature trait carried forward from the previous Flower versions are the triangular hour hand and slimmer minute hand—both white outlined in black—shooting from under the tourbillon cage, resting at the same level as the escapement. Matching these, are 12 baton indices along the dial edge.

Intentional or not, the Hublot MP-15 Takashi Murakami Tourbillon Sapphire also nicely complements the frosty winters.

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