It isn’t often that watch brands team up with people outside the industry for timepieces, but when they do, it is typically with classic artists or architects. Hublot, however, has blazed new ground by building relationships with today’s most popular street artists. The newest collaboration, announced in Los Angeles at a large-scale celebration, is with the highly renowned Shepard Fairey whose works are in the collections of such prestigious museums as Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Fairey is not only a contemporary street artist, but also a graphic designer, illustrator and activist. Among his more famed works is the Barack Obama “Hope” poster, created in 2008 during the US Presidential election. He is also the founder of OBEY Clothing and creator of the well-known “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” sticker campaign.
One of the most avant-garde contemporary watch brands on the market, Hublot’s main concept in watchmaking is the Art of Fusion, which is also its tag line. Under that umbrella, wherein the brand fuses new materials, concepts and more, it has several offshoot campaigns including “Hublot Loves Art.” In this project, the brand has teamed with different artists, such as Romero Britto, Chen Man, and now, Shepard Fairey to create special timepieces.
The new Big Bang Meca-10 Shepard Fairey watch is part of the Big Bang Meca-10 family of Hublot watches that was first unveiled to the world two years ago. The concept for the watch was inspired by the classic Meccano mechanical construction toys, and the watch movement has a gear-driven mechanical aesthetic. The bold architectural design of the skeletonized manually-wound movement, with a 10-day cogwheel power reserve indicator, is comprised of 223 components. The HUB 1201 movement is designed to offer 10 days of power reserve, hence the name Meca-10.
For the Big Bang Meca-10 Shepard Fairy series there are two timepieces being offered, one in gray with bold red accents, and one in blue. Each version boasts several features designed by Fairey. For instance, there is an opening at 3:00 that displays Fairey’s “Star Gear” logo. Additionally, a red dot is reveled when the movement’s power reserve has run low; juxtaposed to that dot is a gear wheel at 6:00 that indicates exactly the number of days left of power reserve.
Crafted in a 45mm carbon fiber and Texalium case with a décor designed by Fairey, each Big Bang Meca-10 Shepard Fairey watch also sports a rubber and calfskin strap with embossed design that reflects Fairey’s distinctive artwork in the form of a floral looking scroll pattern. The strap is Hublot’s patented “one-click” mechanism that allows for interchangeability. Each of the two editions of the Big Bang Meca-10 Shepard Fairey watches will be made in a limited edition of 100 pieces, each retailing for $28,300.
“Hublot is about craftsmanship and a very refined execution and that to me is what my art is about: doing whatever it takes to create a visual that I think is important to create,” says Shepard Fairey. “The amazing thing about working with Hublot is that they say, ‘we can try anything that you want’; they were very open to anything that I wanted to experiment with and they take a lot of pride in pushing the envelope in terms of technique.”
“While all of our artist partners are world renowned, joining forces with Shepard Fairey truly raises the bar for our ‘Hublot Loves Art’ program in terms of scale and prominence, as Americans would easily recognize his iconic work,” says Jean-Francois Sberro, President of Hublot North America. “For the Shepard Fairey timepieces, we worked closely to translate the elements that are characteristic to his art on a micro-scale to retain a look that is signature to both brands.”
Photography courtesy of Hublot. Main image credit: Gilles Toucas