Top Watch Collaborations Part 3: High End Watch Collabs
We tackled Seiko collabs in part 1 of this series, and affordable watch collabs in part 2. For the third part of our Top Watch Collaborations series, we focus on a selection of five high-end watch manufacturers. These elite watch brands created some memorable collabs which drove amazing results for the brands that were involved.
Without a doubt, the watches in this article aren't cheap. Brands like Patek Philippe come with a massive price tag – and the vast majority of people on Earth can't afford them.
That said, these watches represent the pinnacle of watchmaking – and they can just as easily be seen as works of art. Let's take a look at some of the most expensive watchmaking collabs out there!
High-End Watch Brand Collaborations
Casio G-Shock X HondaJet
In July 2020, Japanese manufacturers Casio Computer Co. Ltd. and Honda Aircraft Company announced a collaboration that saw the launch of a special edition timepiece within the Casio GravityMaster aviation watch series: the Casio G-Shock X HondaJet.
You can get design inspiration from anywhere. Source: G-Central
This special edition timepiece is not the most expensive G-Shock out there by any means, but is undoubtedly on the high end of the Casio G-Shock family nonetheless.
The final version of the actual HondaJet HA-420 flew for the first time in December of 2003 and went into production in 2015. Since then, it has been a successful addition to Honda's impressive line of aircrafts.
The HondaJet HA-420 is in its own class. Source: Wikipedia
The Casio GravityMaster ref GWR-B1000HJ was created following the design ideas of the ultralight executive-class private jet developed by Honda Aircraft Company in 2003, taking inspiration from its bright colors for the timepiece’s design.
Michimasa Fujino is the current President and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company and Managing Officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. He has an amazing professional curriculum. Fujino developed several cutting-edge technology innovations such as the Over-The-Wing Engine Mount concept, and was the brains behind the Hondajet.
The brains behind the design of the HondaJet and the watch it inspired. Source: PR News Wire
The GWR-B1000HJ had the personal touch of Honda’s Michimasa Fujino from its conception. Fujino created the first design sketches that later evolved to the actual Casio GWR-B1000HJ.
This timepiece is a unique watch and has some special design features. The first eye-catcher is an aircraft-shaped hand/indicator in the small dial located below the 12’clock mark.
A closer look at the watch. Source: Casio
The crown features an outstanding curved-knurl surface that resembles the engine fan blades of the HondaJet. Also, the button pipes located at the 2 and 4 o’clock markers have a mirror-shine finish similar to the HondaJet’s shiny engine cowling.
The HondaJet logo is visibly engraved in three different locations in the watch: the face of the main dial, on the top cover of the crown and on the wrist band.
The upper band also features the HondaJet aircraft’s flight performance in detail. Finally, the watch’s look and feel faithfully captures the latest HondaJet’s white and metallic finish, applying these same colors to the watch dial and logos.
Carbon Core Guard is a great protective technology for watches. Source: Casio
The GWR-B1000HJ’s design faithfully resembles most important aspects of the HondaJet aircraft. It also features Casio’s innovative shock-resistant Carbon Core Guard technology, taking its cue from the carbon fiber that is also present in the HondaJet fuselage.
Overall, it is an extremely attractive watch, and a perfect example of how a collaboration can create a striking timepiece that features innovative materials and design.
Gucci X Fnatic
Another high-end example of a hot collab is the project announced by Gucci and the Fnatic eSports gaming league last year. The Gucci X Fnatic limited edition dive watch is totally unique, and designed to appeal to eSports fans.
With thousands of eTeams participating in ever growing internationally recognized eSports leagues, the eGames market is attracting a lot of attention. Not surprisingly, major brands are looking for branding opportunities in the space.
Fnatic is a known name in the eSports industry. Source: Time and Tide Watches
Gucci's Timepieces division launched a limited-edition Gucci X Fnatic diver watch featuring the eSports team’s logo and red & black brand colors. In parallel, within Gucci’s handheld device App – already packed with games, there is a diving online game that goes along with this special edition Gucci X Fnatic watch.
The watch not only features the Fnatic logo and colors but also carries the Gucci logo on the crown, 12 o'clock marker, and engraved in the security clasp.
Fnatic is well-represented in Gucci's collab watch. Source: Fnatic
This piece has a stunning and original look, and is a limited edition. Gucci announced a limited production of only 100 pieces, and each piece to have an engraved serial number on the back of the case. With exclusivity now and the potential for value as a collectible later, it is easy to see why this collab was a success.
The Gucci X Fnatic diver watch has an appealing look, with a 40mm stainless steel case of and water resistance up to 660 feet.
The Super Luminova on hands and markers provides serious luminescence in the dark. The design team wanted it to resemble an illuminated mechanical keyboard gamers use, and they nailed it.
Patek Philippe X Virgil Abloh
If this was a list of the rarest watch collaborations, the top of the list by far is the ‘most limited’ of all limited edition watches ever manufactured, with only TWO pieces produced!
The highly exclusive Patek Philippe X Virgil Abloh collaboration is seriously unique, and truly limited. Both units already have owners, so getting your hands on one will be almost impossible. The first one was kept by Virgil Abloh himself and the second was immediately purchased by Canadian rapper Drake.
Star-studded. Source: GQ
For those not acquainted with current world-class influencers, Virgil Abloh is a popular designer internationally recognized in the fashion world.
Abloh is primarily recognized for having created the Off-White clothing brand but is also the artistic director at Louis Vuitton’s menswear division. He is considered to be a force in luxury streetwear design, and even considered by some to be the trend's founder.
Drake is clearly a big fan of Virgil Abloh’s creations. This love is clearly shown in the lyrics of the ‘Life is Good’ track in Drake’s Future album, where a line says "Virgil got that Patek on my wrist goin' nuts."
A shame that only two pieces were made! Source: High Snobiety
The watch is fully encrusted with green emeralds, all held in a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726. The watch itself features a perpetual calendar, as well as a moonphase display. The case is blacked-out, which helps the massive amounts of bright green emeralds pop.
Unlike many watches that fall into the 'bust down' design category, this one is 100% from the factory, with zero aftermarket work. The result of the collab is incredible, and the watches will probably not change hands for many, many years to come.
Bulgari X Tadao Ando
Another remarkable high-end collaboration is the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando Limited Edition Ref. 103534. This is the third collaboration timepiece from Bulgari and famous Japanese minimalist architect Tadao Ando.
The first of the three was announced back in November 2019 featuring an all-titanium watch created exclusively for the Japanese domestic market.
The second collaboration between Bulgari and Tadao Ando was a 10-piece carbon tourbillon wrist watch that didn't have the impact of its predecessor but did get noticed. Currently, this third collaboration project from Ando X Bulgari is the one making waves.
You can sense the zen inspiration. Source: Horobox
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando Limited Edition timepiece inspires quiet contemplation. It is a state-of-the-art mechanical watch that is finished to an extreme level of quality. Tadao Ando is a Japanese self-taught architect, who is the winner of the 1995 Pritzker Prize among other world-class awards.
Ando has been responsible for the design in every watch of the series, and his skills shine both in watch design, and architecture. Bulgari launched this model April 2021, and it has been met with critical praise from the watchmaking community.
The watch has a 40mm case, and a three-hand movement. The 2021 edition features a case and bracelet made of matte black ceramic with an exquisite sandblasted texture.
The lacquered dial is a rich deep blue color which is created to reproduce the mystery of a night sky. A distinctive feature not present in its predecessors is a yellow gold crescent moon shape at the five o'clock position, which is meant to show a new moon on the dial.
A beautiful pattern. Source: Horobox
In Japanese culture, the mikasuki or slim crescent moon symbolizes the nature of passing time and the rebirth or recycle of all things in the cosmos.
The Bulgari X Tadao Ando is powered by a BVL 138 movement that can be seen operating behind the sapphire caseback. The caseback is also engraved with Ando's personal signature and the serial number of each unit. There were 160 pieces produced in total.
Richard Mille X Pharrell Williams
Our final high-end collaboration is insanely expensive and obviously exclusive. The million-dollar Richard Mille X Pharrell Williams wrist watch is a sight to behold. This is an incredibly expensive watch, priced at U$969,000, and its design is one of a kind.
The mind behind the hit song "Happy." Source: Watch Collecting Lifestyle
The Swiss high-end watch manufacturer Richard Mille partnered with American music composer, rapper, singer, song writer, record producer, fashion designer and influencer Pharrell Williams to create this stunning timepiece.
This collaboration between the watch manufacturer and the successful entrepreneur created an astonishingly beautiful timepiece, with a production of only 350 units.
Extraterrestrial design! Source: Hypebeast
The limited-edition watch, ref. RM 52-05 Tourbillon Pharrell Williams’s face resembles an astronaut standing on Mars staring at our planet Earth. The surface of Mars reflected over the astronaut’s helmet shield is decorated with red gold and the helmet itself has diamonds on the sides.
The scaffolding-shaped titanium hour and minute hands mimic a spaceship launch platform.
Overall, this is an amazing watch, which could be seen more as a wearable art piece.
Collaborations in the Seiko modding industry - Namoki X Program
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Seiko is one of the most popular watch brands for modding, but for too long, mod lovers had to stick to the parts available in the market.
With the addition of the Namoki X Program, modders can take great new ideas to the market with Namoki’s expertise and connections in the industry. The Namoki X Program is not only about producing unique customized mod parts, but also offering our support for marketing, sales, delivery and customer support.
We want to see the best ideas for Seiko mod parts become a reality, so take a look at the Namoki X Program. If you think your ideas for new mod parts can change the game, we are here to help you make it happen.
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If you want to get into the watch parts design game, we are here to help. Watch modding will only grow from here, and no matter if you are interested in creating skx007 mod parts, or any other kind of watch modification parts, talk to us.
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