FLORAL SAPPHIRE AND CENTRAL TOURBILLON: HUBLOT UNVEILS THE MP-15, DEVELOPED WITH TAKASHI MURAKAMI.
With just 50 pieces available, the MP-15 is the first limited edition Hublot watch with a central flying tourbillon. This quirky, playful, yet high-tech model offers a magnificent interpretation of the visual effects of sapphire.
“"Our customers do not want to choose between technology and style: they want both, with no compromise on either. Our mission is not to fulfil their expectations, but to surpass them. Our MP-15 is designed to do just that. It magnifies the sapphire, a material only the Hublot manufacture is able to work at this level, both in terms of complexity and geometry. A unique show of light for a major achievement: the first ever central tourbillon produced by Hublot as an extremely limited edition. It's a collector's model – just like all of our MPs". ”
According to the adage, the dial is the face of the watch. Yet, on the MP-15 Takashi Murakami, there is no dial in the true sense. For this model, Hublot has fused the case, movement and dial in a unique arrangement.
In the dial's customary location sits the complication, with the hands occupying a peripheral position. At the centre, Hublot's first series-produced central flying tourbillon – unique and different from anything the Manufacture has created in its 40 years.
It is surrounded by Takashi Murakami's iconic motif, a flower composed of 12 petals made entirely of sapphire. 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.
This central flying tourbillon features an impressive power reserve of 150 hours, almost a full week, an exceptional technical achievement for this type of complication. To enable it to be fully wound, Hublot has created a special stylus. Supplied with the piece, for which it has been specially designed, and rechargeable via a USB socket, the stylus is placed on the crown, which it winds through 100 revolutions smoothly and easily until both barrels that drive the central tourbillon are fully wound. The position of the latter embodies its function: a visual pleasure, visible at all times. Takashi Murakami has ably underlined its mischievous nature by incorporating two twinkling eyes and a broad smile.
Around the edge, the hours and minutes are indicated by the tips of two hands. These 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.
Hublot has also designed its tourbillon without an upper bridge. All of its components are skeletonised. This makes it easy to appreciate just how much work has gone into developing the MP-15, in which some of the gears and all of the tourbillon components – which appear to float in space – are visible.
The deeply innovative MP-15 nevertheless features the standard markers that enable it to be worn and read naturally and easily. Twelve white indices appear on the flange, while black-plated hands with white SuperLuminova guarantee perfect legibility both day and night. The model is traditionally wound and set using a crown at 3 o’clock. Moreover, the modest 42 mm diameter of this piece makes it supremely easy to wear, not least thanks to its integrated rubber strap which offers optimal comfort.
“"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!" ”
©TAKASHIMURAKAMI/KAIKAI KIKI CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.