A study in scarlet
A STUDY IN SCARLET
Get your magnifying glass out: The Watch Gallery and Hublot are deepening their close relationship with a limited edition that pings with appropriately blood-red accents, says Alex Doak
It’s no wonder The Watch Gallery was snapped up, lock, stock and barrel by Europe’s leading watch retail, Bucherer back in March. Aside from its formidable line-up of gleaming boutiques, The Watch Gallery was a pioneer in selling new timepieces online, at a time when “www” was understood by many in the luxury industry to mean “Wild West web”.
They proved it could be done, while retaining both the luxury experience and customer confidence, then gave everyone else the confidence to do the same. But the imagination and innovation didn’t stop there. In a new twist on boutique-watchmaker co-branding (something that Tiffany made its own, back in the day), a rebranded and rejuvenated Watch Gallery launched the first of a long, successful line in limited editions, each picked out subtly with dial details in the retailer’s signature navy blue. From Hublot, to Bell & Ross, Zenith, then Hublot again, The Watch Gallery’s specially made brand collaborations have become something of a cult among loyal customers.
Which makes the latest – a particularly racy take on Hublot’s skeletonised Aerofusion chronograph – the biggest talking point of all. Those dial details are in blue no more; they’re panic-button red. No need to actually panic, of course – the result is teasingly alluring and dangerous, like a flash of Louboutin sole. Elsewhere, the black ceramic bezel, sleek titanium case and intricate techiness of that skeletonised dial all combine to devastating effect – the so-called “RED” could well be the watch Rachael wore in Blade Runner, chiming perfectly with her glacial composure and red lipstick.
The fact that Bucherer already has its own “Blue Editions” collaboration series could have something to do with this change of spectral tack, ahead of The Watch Gallery’s eventual re-brand. But digging a little deeper, it simply seems that Hublot’s particularly close relationship with The Watch Gallery was long due a switch-up, and why not?
“I can’t believe I am introducing our fourth Hublot limited edition,” says The Watch Gallery’s mastermind of brand collabs and buying director, Adrian Maronneau. “After three years using our watch gallery blue as a running theme, it was time to shake things up a bit; dare I say, add a bit of spice – something that Hublot is an absolute master of.”
As watch enthusiasts are well aware, Hublot is a master of many other things beside – from futuristic materials science to futuristic mechanical wizardry – so, combined with The Watch Gallery’s ever-stratospheric trajectory, a change in colour could be a mild tweak to a collaborative chemistry with so much more in store. Fingers crossed, at any rate.