The renowned Japanese artist Takashi Murakami is teaming up with Hublot watchmakers again for a collection of 13 unique physical watches paired to 13 non-fungible tokens.
The watches were inspired by 1970’s Japanese television shows and video games, and Hublot has already offered fans a sneak peek at the 13th timepiece — a 45mm “Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Black Ceramic Rainbow” — which will be difficult to acquire.
The new design combines Murakami’s smiling flower motif with a black ceramic case and colorful rainbow gems — both features from previous Murakami Hublot collaborations launched in 2021.
For all the Murakami watch launches, Hublot engineers created a ball-bearing system that enables the flower petals to spin as the wrist moves. The timepiece has a domed center of the smiling flower on top of crystal that creates a 3D effect. The domed center’s 12 flower petals are set with single-hued gems, including rubies, saphires, topaz, and amethysts. There are a total of 384 gemstones.
Reports say Murakami was initially hesitant to team up with Hublot, and that one of his conditions of working together was to create “super unique stuff.” At a conference at The Standard, High Line Hotel in New York, the artist said a watch goes beyond just telling time. Instead, it’s like conceptual art because it presents “the concept of time.”
The other 12 watches will be unveiled at the Watches & Wonders event next month in Geneva, Switzerland.
By purchasing an NFT, holders can purchase the corresponding physical watch for 50,000 Swiss Francs, or about $54,000. They will have from now until April to acquire an NFT. Adding to the exclusivity of the collection, if one collector acquires all 12 NFTs, they can purchase the 13th watch. If that doesn’t occur, it will be auctioned for charity by Hublot.
Exclusive NFT Drops Tied to IRL Perks
Murakami and Hublot understand that some collectors are willing to pay top dollar for exclusive NFT collections tied to physical products. And they’re not the only ones in the space that are taking that route. At Rarity Sniper, we’ve covered dozens of stories about brands and artists with similar projects. Here are the top three.
First, whiskey brand Johnnie Walker recently partnered with Web3 platforms Blockbar, Vayner3, and 88rising to release an exclusive NFT collection. To receive the physical bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue, holders must burn their tokens. The physical bottles and NFTs feature artwork from digital artist “VANDYTHEPINK.”
Next, TIMEX watch manufacturer partnered with the Bored Ape Yacht Club for a limited run of 500 Ape-themed watches linked to NFT wearables. The IRL watches feature Bored Ape and Mutant Ape engravings and were only available for BAYC NFT holders. They were priced at 2 ETH, around $2,500 at the time.
Finally, Nike teamed up with Division street to drop an AR football helmet NFT collection featuring 291 digital wearable helmets. Each NFT helmet is tied to 1/291 physical University of Oregon football jerseys designed by Todd van Horne.
Tying physical objects to NFTs is becoming increasingly important for brands and artists, and Murakami and Hublot look to be at the top of their game. We’ll have to wait until at least April to see how the exclusive watches and NFTs sell. But considering the history of the artist and company involved, we’re confident they’ll do fine.