Renowned Breil watchmaker Carlo Crocco struck out on his own in the 1970s and spent three years designing a piece that he named Hublot, which is the French word for a ship’s porthole. His masterpiece was the first steel watch that was paired with a natural rubber strap. This had not been done in the watchmaking industry before. Crocco presented the Hublot to the public in 1980 at the Basel Watch Fair. At first, it failed to attract much attention but soon developed a following among royal families and celebrities.
Jean-Claude Biver as CEO of Hublot
In 2004 the single concept brand appointed Jean-Claude Biver as CEO and minority shareholder. Biver was already a big name in watches having produced one success story after another at watch brands such as Audemars Piguet, Omega, and Blancpain. Building on Hublot’s existing reputation for combining unusual materials with their “art of fusion” concept he was the perfect man to breathe some life back into Hublot. In 2005 Biver unveiled the brand’s flagship collection, the Big Bang, which was a phenomenal success and remains one of its bestsellers today.
The Big Bang has been produced with several complication variations ranging from the chronograph to the tourbillon and is offered in three case sizes: 41mm, 44mm, and 47mm. Other Hublot collections were introduced thereafter and included the Classic Fusion collection which is more traditional, the Spirit of the Big Bang, and the MP collection which are extraordinary timepieces.
Hublot loves Sports, Art, Cars, Music and more!
Hublot has many partnerships in the domains of sport, art, automobiles, music, and more. It was the first luxury brand to get involved in soccer, starting with the sponsorship of the Swiss National team in 2006. No watch brand had sponsored soccer before, but it was a smart move as the players wore their Hublot Big Bang ASF all over the world, drawing attention to the Swiss watch brand. Even Diego Maradona wore one on each of wrists during the World Cup.
They went on to partner with the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA EURO, the Champions League, and the EUROPA League. Today many watch brands have followed suit by supporting football teams and it is rare that a team doesn’t have a watch sponsor.
Where most brands decorate their stores in the same style across the globe, each Hublot boutique reflects a design that is in keeping with its location. So in Verbier, there is a cozy Swiss chalet style and in Miami, the boutique is decorated with contemporary art in tune with Miami’s place in the art scene.
Hublot was acquired by the LVMH Group in 2008 and today is managed by CEO Ricardo Guadalupe. The manufacture is based in Nyon, Switzerland, and recently expanded into a second building.