When men with sartorial inclinations the world over think Berluti, they think of the Parisian cobbler’s artisanal leather shoes and signature patinated finish. But thanks to an ongoing partnership with Hublot, its patrons just might start thinking of elegant timepieces in equal measure.
The brands began collaborating four years ago and have launched a series of premium watches, but decided to go back to the drawing board when designing their latest model. Working closely with Berluti creative director Kris Van Assche, the resulting watch is based on the Big Bang Unico chronograph, a first for the partnership.
Each successive issue has built on the last, but what ties them together is the unmistakable look of Berluti’s Venezia leather, with its characteristically deep burnished appearance. This rich material is incorporated around the Big Bang’s dial, sandwiched between two pieces of sapphire crystal. The two brands developed a special process that encapsulates the organic elements of the material so the natural hide will remain unchanging with time.
While the use of Venezia leather was limited to just the strap and dial in earlier editions, this new model goes so far as to include it in its bezel. This is only possible thanks to an innovative configuration that uses an adhesive and rigidifying resin on one part before being joined to the second part, a base of black ceramic. The fusion is then screwed onto the case of the watch itself. Like the strap, the bezel can take on a deeper patina over time, growing more individual with each passing year.
The particular shade of leather used––one the brand dubs Cold Brown––is based on an archival one uncovered and reworked by Van Assche. Its glacé finish emphasizes the subtle tonal variations throughout, which are created by long and complicated handwork. But aesthetics aren’t the only reason to make this watch your own. An MHUB1242 caliber movement keeps things running efficiently within its 45mm case and maintains a generous 72-hour power reserve.
Limited to a short run of only 100 pieces, the watch comes housed in a co-branded leather chest accompanied by a Berluti shoehorn key ring and travel case. The Big Bang Berluti Cold Brown is available for $26,200.