MILAN — In its third collaboration with Italia Independent, Hublot is launching an innovative new watch with storied Italian men's wear firm Rubinacci.Italia Independent founder Lapo Elkann was the link between the two houses. "I've had my suits made by Rubinacci since forever, so I thought, why not blend Hublot's innovative technology with the sartorial tradition of Rubinacci?" said Elkann on Tuesday, looking in good form at the brand's flagship on Milan's men's wear street Via Gesù, sitting in a sort of men’s-only club room, with a marble fireplace and fashion and art books.Elkann enthused about Rubinacci's vault in Naples, which stores archival fabrics that date as far back as the Thirties and which were used by Hublot on the bracelets and the dial of the Classic Fusion model. The watch, said Ricardo Guadalupe, chief executive officer of Hublot, "represents the fusion of three forms of expertise." The timepieces will be produced in a maximum of 100 pieces per kind of fabric and will retail at between 15,000 to 35,000 euros, or $16,000 to $37,156 at current exchange. They will be available in stores in May.Guadalupe emphasized how consumers are seeking "unique and particular" objects. "This is a new development for Hublot, which has invested a lot in technology, but this is about savoir faire, and the possibility to create something really different," said Guadalupe, crediting Elkann for the idea. "Hublot's innovation is incredible," said the young entrepreneur, who has long championed customization, also through his Garage Italia Customs project. "In luxury, personalization and made-to-measure are becoming increasingly important." Fabrics range from houndstooth and Prince of Wales to tweed."I would never have expected to see our fabrics on a watch dial," said Luca Rubinacci, grandson of Gennaro Rubinacci, who opened his tailoring shop in Naples in 1932.
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