T his spring sees Sotheby’s team up with French fashion house Berluti, globally renowned for its leather goods, for an eclectic online sale running from 24 April–7 May. The auction, Berluti : The Art of Craftsmanship*, is themed around unique Berluti products that would otherwise be near, if not impossible to come by.
Alongside the likes of a Berluti upholstered Porsche 911 and a football made in Berluti’s signature Venezia calfskin signed by Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, four Hublot x Berluti timepieces are on offer. Hublot and Berluti’s partnership formally began in 2016 with the release of their inaugural collection of automatic time-only watches housed in Hublot’s Classic Fusion case with a dial and strap in Venezia leather. Since then the Berluti watch line-up has grown to also include tourbillon and chronograph models trimmed in a host of Berluti-leather variations, and has proved itself a very popular part of Hublot’s catalogue.
Unlike all previous versions – with their limited edition production runs – each of the Hublot Berlutis that make up the quartet for sale by Sotheby’s are unique pieces and, in fact, prototypes realising sketches and R&D work that didn’t go into full production. Naturally, all four follow the established Berluti-leather dial/strap design cues; with all using Venezia leather, ‘nero caviar’ patina and engraved Scritto decoration. The Scritto pattern replicates parts of an 18th century French letter found by Berluti matriarch Olga Berluti during her pivotal tenure at the brand.
The Berluti watches are great examples of Hublot’s modern, more lifestyle savvy approach to 21st century watchmaking. One that presents traditional haute horology in a manner most relevant to today’s well-heeled customer. And with more and more customers than ever making the jump to connoisseur status (be it with art, cars or watches and more), the opportunity to acquire a one-off version of your chosen object of desire is surely not one to be missed.