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Tattoo art gives luxury watches a rebellious edge

Body-ink artists put their unique stamps on new timepieces by Hublot and RJ-Romain Jerome.

Romain Jerome for web

In the rarefied world of luxury watches, there are classic brands that can always be counted on to deliver tasteful, timeless timepieces that  barring a silicon balance spring or a case made from some high-tech composite or other — look almost identical to their counterparts from a century ago. Then, you have brands like RJ-Romain Jerome and Hublot, which seem to have made it their mission to create daring designs that send purists into paroxysms of disapproval.

Tattoo artists are apparently the latest accomplices for the rule-breakers in the latter group: RJ-Romain Jerome has just unveiled the Tattoo-DNA by French tattooist Xoil, while Hublot recently announced its partnership with Maxime Buchi, founder of Sang Bleu London Tattoo Studio. For the 44mm Tattoo-DNA, Xoil’s most obvious contribution is the inked leather strap, but the body-ink artist also influenced the watch’s design in other ways: The hands are shaped like tattoo needles, while the semi-circular enamel dial was inspired by the vintage watch dials that Xoil collects. As for Hublot, the brand promises that their collaborative timepiece will “see the light of day in April”. Watch this space.

Maxime Buchi (left), founder of Sang Bleu London Tattoo Studio, with Hublot chairman Jean-Claude Biver.
Maxime Buchi (left), founder of Sang Bleu London Tattoo Studio, with Hublot chairman Jean-Claude Biver.