With these two replica watches created in collaboration with, or in tribute to, contemporary and historical artists, watch manufacturers get highly personal in the time-honored tradition of using applying miniaturized artistic masterworks to their dial.
HUBLOT AND SHEPARD FAIREY
Even if you’ve never heard of Shepard Fairey, you’re familiar with his work — unless, of course, you slept through the entirety of the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign and the subsequent two terms of Barack Obama’s administration. The iconic Obama “HOPE” poster is by far the most renowned work by the L.A.-based street artist and graphic designer, whose “OBEY” project also inspired an entire clothing line. Hublot teamed with Fairey for the most recent release in its “Hublot Loves Art” series, the 45 mm fake Hublot Big Bang Meca-10 Shepard Fairey. The timepiece features the manually wound, skeletonized HUB1201 caliber, two years in development and boasting a 10-day power reserve, which made its debut in the first Meca-10 model in 2016. The Shepard Fairey edition, limited to 100 pieces each in Grey Décor and Blue Décor versions, features the artist’s Star Gear logo in the 3 o’clock aperture, which also reveals a red dot when the watch is nearing the end of its lengthy power reserve. The 45-mm case is made of carbon fiber with an upper layer of Texalium adorned with a tribal floral motif that mimics Fairey’s distinctive artistic style. Black composite resin is used for the bezel lugs and lateral inserts; polished H-shaped screws made of microblasted titanium with black PVD coating secure the bezel to the case. Fairey also provides the embossed design on the rubber-and-calf-leather straps. The price is $28,300.
TAG HEUER AND ALEC MONOPOLY
Street artist Alec Monopoly, the scarf-wearing, paint-can-wielding “Art Provocateur” whose takes both his pseudonym and his stylistic hallmark from the top-hatted tycoon character from the famous board game, has been working with TAG Heuer copy since 2016, applying his graffiti paints to the straps of special-edition watches and even designing a custom digital face for the TAG Heuer Connected Watch. The first timepiece with a physical dial designed by Monopoly (né Alec Andon) debuted in 2017 — the black rubber strap replica TAG Heuer Formula One Special Edition, which brings a miniature representation of one of Monopoly’s highly collectible canvases to the Swiss brand’s most accessible timepiece. Housed in a 41-mm brushed steel case with a polished black rotating bezel with 60-second scale, the watch sports a dial from which Mr. Monopoly (the character, not the artist), a top hat on his head and a scarf over the lower part of his face, peeks out from the dial’s center, surrounded by colorful graffiti. The artist’s “ALEC” logo is engraved on the solid caseback, under which beats a Swiss quartz movement. And even though the watch is limited to just 200 pieces, you don’t have to be one of the corporate fatcats lampooned in the artist’s work to purchase one: the Formula One Alec Monopoly Special Edition sells for just $1,250.