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Berluti and Hublot partner on limited-edition timepieces

By Kristopher Fraser


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New York - Paris-based shoemaker Berluti is turning to watchmaker Hublot in their attempt to expand their luxury offerings.

Berluti has partnered with Hublot for two limited-edition time pieces that will be unveiled at the Baselworld watch and jewelry fair in Switzerland this week.

Berluti didn't stray away from their history as shoemakers in trying to create these watches, however. The offerings include the Classic Fusion Berluti Ceramic and the Classic Fusion Berluti King Gold, whose straps are created from Berluti's Venezia leather, which features their exclusive tanning technique.

“Leather is a standard material in watchmaking for straps,” said Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot ’s chief executive officer to WWD. “But we wanted to go beyond the traditional approach to leather and work with the most emblematic leather there is. Working with Berluti was a natural choice. One of the major difficulties was the dial. Using a living material in a sealed case is very complicated.”

It did take many attempts at trial and error, but eventually Hublot found a solution to make sure the timepieces were water resistant.

The ceramic model is available in black gray with straps that offer Berluti's trademark slices in the leather, otherwise known as the "Gaspard Incision" after a technique employed by Italian artist Lucio Fontana. Exactly 500 of these watches were made.

The 18-karat King Gold watches, which are limited to 250 pieces, feature scritto calligraphy on the strap.

The price point for The Ceramic is 14,900 dollars and the price point for the King Gold is 29,400 dollars. The watches will arrive in Hublot boutiques in June.

All of the watches will come with a Berluti leather box, which has the same dimensions as the company's shoe boxes.

Guadalupe is hoping that this will be an ongoing partnership with Berluti, but the success of the watches will be determined by customers come June.