The latest sapphire creation by the Swiss watchmaker is the MP-15. Created alongside Takashi Murakami, this is the first MP-15 timepiece to have a central tourbillon.
The MP-15 Takashi Murakami is no ordinary sapphire timepiece. In the true sense of watchmaking, the “dial is the face of the watch”. However, with this latest endeavor, Hublot has combined the movement, and dial into one unique arrangement, accompanied by the beautiful floral sapphire case surrounding it.
The MP-15 Takashi Murakami also features a first for the brand, something that has not been before in the Manufacture’s 40 year history. In the centre of the dial, what we will see is Hublot’s first ever series produced central flying tourbillon. With the tourbillon complication taking centre stage, the hour indices are angled around the tourbillon cage, to be seen from a peripheral position by the viewer. The twelve white hour indices are placed on the flange of the dial, which is how this angle is achieved. The hands follow the same angled design, with the hours and minutes indicated by the tips of the two hands.
Hublot states in regards to this innovative design “the hour indices and hands are peripheral, rather than central. Aficionados will appreciate the technical feat: the hands literally pass beneath the tourbillon cage, in a bold affront to the basic principles of traditional watchmaking science. Here, the escapement and the hour and minute hands vie for position in a single central space. To accommodate them, the cannon pinion and the hour wheel had to be pivoted around the tourbillon support by creating a co-axial construction.”
The tourbillon has been designed without an upper bridge, with all the components being skeletonised. This makes it easy to appreciate all the work that has gone into developing and creating the MP-15. With the tourbillon being skeletonised, the components appear to floating in space, all which is visible to the viewer.
The 42mm polished sapphire crystal case is composed of Takashi Murakami’s iconic motif, a flower composed of 12 petals. Like the case, these 12 petals are all entirely made out of sapphire. In regards to this latest MP-15 sapphire design, Hublot states that “the flower features soft curves and bold, generous volumes. Hublot’s aim was to create absolute transparency in order to maximise the luminosity of the MP-15: sapphire case, sapphire case-back, sapphire crown, translucent flange and strap. The sun will never merely shine on this floral work of art: it will pass straight through it, illuminating its curves and reliefs.”
Light refraction from this timepiece will certainly be something to behold. With the sapphire petals refracting onto the sapphire case, it will be able to play with light beautifully, especially sunlight as mentioned by Hublot. The adjustment of time can be done as per the traditional sense, through the crown at 3 o’clock. The intergrated transparent decorated rubber strap will also provide comfort on the wrist. However, the only downside to transparent straps will be the gradual change in colour with exposure to sunlight.
The movement operating this latest MP-15 is Hublot’s own HUB9015 manual-winding tourbillon movement. The movement operates at a frequency of 21,600 VpH (3Hz) and gives out a staggering 120 hour power reserve (5 days). This certainly is quite an achievement for this type of complication. For those that don’t like to manually wind their timepieces every time they put the watch on, this won’t be too much of an issue now with this type of impressive power reserve. To fully wind the timepiece, Hublot has created a special stylus that is rechargeable via a USB socket. This stylus is placed on the crown, for which it then winds through 100 revolutions until the barrels that power the tourbillon are fully wound.
The crystal on the dial features Takashi Murakami’s artistic work, as there are two twinkling eyes along with a broad smile. The contemporary Japanese artist sums up this latest Hublot creation by stating “Up until now, my work has focused on colour. It was a really exciting challenge to start a whole new chapter focussing on absolute transparency. The forms and volumes are perceived completely differently. With Hublot, we were able to preserve the individuality of my floral motif, but with a unique and different identity which was purer and perfectly in tune with Hublot’s mechanical universe. I’m very proud of the result!”
The Hublot MP-15 Takashi Murakami is boutique exclusive and will be limited to a number of 50 pieces worldwide. The model will be available for purchase in November 2023.
- Case: 42 mm and thickness 13.40mm
- Case Material: Polished Sapphire Crystal
- Dial: Polished Transparent Composite Resin
- Crystal: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating inside
- Water resistance: 30 meters / 3ATM
- Movement: HUB9015 Manual-Winding Tourbillon
- Power reserve: 120 hours (5 Days)
- Bracelet/Strap: Transparent Decorated Rubber with Sapphire Crystal and Titanium Deployant Buckle.