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Collaborations 2021 - “X” marks the spot: standout collabs in 2021

Collaborations 2021 “X” marks the spot: standout collabs in 2021

The countdown has begun to wave goodbye to 2021 and say hi to 2022. Before then, here’s a roundup of some of the many collaborations this year between watch brands and influential names in music, gaming, architecture and art

The countdown has begun to wave goodbye to 2021 and say hi to 2022. Before then, here’s a roundup of some of the many collaborations this year between watch brands and influential names in music, gaming, architecture and art.

Fashion houses were first to jump on collaborations. Now watchmakers are getting in on the action and teaming up with personalities from outside the world of micro-mechanics to expand their creative horizons in the form of limited editions that fuse both partners’ image and expertise. Here’s our selection of the standout collabs of 2021.

Bvlgari x Tadao Ando
The first co-creation by the Italian brand and the Japanese architect sold like hot cakes. For the second, limited to 160 pieces, Bvlgari and Tadao Ando are once again reaching for the stars - or rather the moon as, after representing time as a spiral, it’s now a crescent moon or “mikazuki” that occupies the dial of the Octo Finissimo unveiled during Watches and Wonders. This elegantly minimalist watch, in black ceramic with a lacquered blue dial, adds a poetic note to the march of time.

Collab' 2021

Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando © Bulgari

Zenith x Felipe Pantone
The story began in 2020 when Zenith offered the front of its Manufacture building as a canvas to the Argentinean-Spanish artist Felipe Pantone. A year later, the two embarked on a new collaboration, this time for a kinetic artwork that can be worn on the wrist. The Defy 21 Felipe Pantone benefits from the cutting-edge technologies of Zenith’s most advanced chronograph to date, in the form of an El Primero 21 movement that is accurate to 1/100th of a second thanks to an unbelievably high frequency of 360,000 vibrations an hour. For this version, the black ceramic case surrounds an openwork dial that reveals bridges in perfectly transitioning metallic rainbow shades. This unique creation is limited to 100 pieces.

Collab' 2021

Defy 21 Edition Felipe Pantone © Zenith

Hublot x DJ Snake
DJ Snake is no stranger to successful musical collabs, including Let Me Love You with Justin Bieber, Selfish Love with Selena Gomez and a string of hits with the likes of Kanye West, Diplo and Lil Jon. He added watchmaking to his playlist after becoming an ambassador for Hublot in 2018; a partnership sealed by a 100-piece limited edition Big Bang. The iridescent blues, oranges and violets on the 45mm titanium case change hue depending on the angle from which they are viewed and where the light is coming from. The French DJ has signed this Big Bang with bezel cutouts that he designed and with a world map in the case colours in reference to his travels around the globe, playing to packed dancefloors at venues worldwide.

Collab' 2021

Big Bang Commercial DJ Snake © Hublot

Baume & Mercier x Aurélien Giraud
Watchmaking and skater culture may seem poles apart to some but not to Baume & Mercier, which teamed up with the talented French skateboarder to produce the Baume Skate Aurélien Giraud Special Edition. The case is a perfect 42mm diameter circle cut out of skate decks that were either supplied by Aurélien or upcycled from production excesses. The dial is surfaced with authentic grip tape and rotates once in 12 hours for an out-of-the-box time display. An automatic movement does the flips and tricks inside this ultra-cool special edition.

Collab' 2021

Baume Skate Aurélien Giraud © Baume & Mercier

Audemars Piguet x Marvel
Catlike agility, an armoured suit, bulging muscles and superhero strength: Black Panther lends his look and his personality to the first collection from Audemars Piguet to be inspired by Marvel characters. The 42mm case in microblasted titanium of the Royal Oak Concept Black Panther Flying Tourbillon is surmounted by a black ceramic bezel. On the dial, a hand-painted 3D rendition of the superhero is poised to pounce. Which lucky collectors will get their claws on one of the 250 watches in this limited edition?

Collab' 2021

Royal Oak Concept Black Panther © Audemars Piguet

Roger Dubuis x Dr. Woo
What does watchmaking have in common with tattoo art? How about precision, technique and a skilled and steady hand, to start with? Roger Dubuis has translated this common ground into the Excalibur Dr. Woo Monotourbillon, created in collaboration with one of the most sought-after tattoo artists. For this eight-piece limited edition in EON GOLD, the signature star-shaped bridge is replaced by a sapphire crystal – unique to each watch - that Dr Woo has decorated with his vision of a rocket ship’s interstellar voyage. The baseplate and caseback are constellated with cosmic symbols while Dr. Woo’s spider symbol appears in eight different places. Maybe why this Excalibur is such a star of the web?

Collab' 2021

Excalibur Dr. Woo © Roger Dubuis

TAG Heuer x Nintendo
Calling all gamers! A certain moustachioed plumber has made his watchmaking debut. Kitted out in his favourite blue overalls and red cap, Super Mario is the star of the TAG Heuer Connected x Super Mario and he aims to get us moving! The diminutive hero runs, jumps, plays golf or tennis on the interactive dial of this limited edition, which is framed by a 45mm case. The wearer unlocks new animations by increasing their physical activity. A great incentive to get out there and get fit. 

Collab' 2021

Connected Watch Nintendo © TAG Heuer

Lecture 1 Comment(s)

3 January 2022
Jenson Kenj
I lI love the article! You should have put pricing and availability on all these watches

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