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Courtesy of Hublot

Berluti’s heritage meets Hublot’s Big Bang Unico chronograph

Leather is inching beyond the watch band and dial. Luxury Swiss watchmaker Hublot and French men’s fashion maison Berluti, both of which are owned by LVMH, collaborated on the limited-edition Big Bang Unico Berluti Cold Brown chronograph. No stranger to collaborations, including with Berluti, Hublot understands how to synthesize its partners’ DNA. In this case, it looked to Berluti’s Venezia leather with a special treatment.

“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,” said Berluti creative director Kris Van Assche, who customized a cold brown patina through a glacé process for his first experience designing a Hublot timepiece.

It sounds easy enough to apply the exclusive leather to the strap and dial, but the bezel was a whole different story that required meticulous craftsmanship and further explains why only 100 were made. By rethinking the bezel in two parts, watchmakers were able to adhere a micro-layer of leather to its ceramic base. The innovative construction also enables the leather’s patina to weather in sync with the watch band. The patina technique from its manufacturing origin to how it evolves years down the road means each watch is slightly different. Dials, which are encased between separate pieces of sapphire glass, have been upgraded, too; this iteration adds cutouts around gears. Being able to see the Unico movement is a must considering its cachet among watch collectors. Microblasted black ceramic cases are engraved with their limited-edition status.

The brands came together in a final goodwill gesture that will surely delight their fans. Each signed custom chests protecting watches alongside gifts of a Berluti travel case and shoehorn key.