How To Buy: Hublot
Hublot’s CEO Ricardo Guadalupe makes his recommendations.
If you were a collector who had been bitten by the horological bug since the 1980s to early 2000s, Hublot is a brand that would have literally exploded in front of your eyes. Founded in 1980 by Carlo Crocco, an Italian businessman whom many watch industry veterans have hailed as one of the nicest guys in the trade, Hublot was, during its early days, a well-regarded young marque that enjoyed relative commercial success. Even so, it is nothing like the heavy-hitting juggernaut that it is now.
Rocked by the flashiest celebrities and well-loved in equal measure by watch connoisseurs, the high-wattage Hublot of today was effectively propelled by the legendary-but-now-retired marketing maven, Jean-Claude Biver. Biver, who took over from Crocco in the early-2000s, saw promise in the way Crocco paired Hublot’s metal cases with rubber straps, and riffed on the idea to crystallise the brand’s now-famous ‘Art Of Fusion’ motto. But instead of simply matching metal to rubber in the watches, Biver’s take on the art of fusion is far more expansive, innovative and imaginative.
Today, Hublot watches are known for incorporating wild material play, audacious complications and shock-and-awe aesthetics. From boldly coloured ceramic watches to fully transparent sapphire models, to steampunk-esque multiple axis-tourbillons with massive power reserve that run days on end, Hublot undoubtedly lives up to its claim as a master of melding cutting-edge technologies, materials and designs into its jaw-dropping creations. What makes all these even more impressive, is the fact that the brand has also, in a short space of time, built its own fully integrated R&D and production facilities to develop and roll out these far-out watches.
Here, Hublot’s CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, who has been leading the brand since 2012, talks us through five models that he personally recommends.
Big Bang Original Ceramic
"In 2005, we launched Big Bang Original Ceramic, which is our bestseller, alongside the Big Bang Unico 44mm. The Big Bang is synonymous with the Hublot brand. When it was launched, the watch grabbed the attention of the watch industry and drew a lot of focus to our brand. The watch expresses our knack for innovation, which we seek to show in all areas from aesthetics to materials to our movements."
Big Bang Integral Full Sapphire
"The Big Bang Integral Full Sapphire really pushed us to the technical limits. It took us a long time to develop this watch with full transparency. The movement was especially challenging. We worked on a design that ensured maximum transparency – we used three sapphire bridges – it was very difficult to precisely position the wheels in relation to each other. We had to add brass plugs (which contains the watchmaking rubies) glued to the sapphire bridges.
The production was quite a challenge as well. To use a new material (sapphire) is one thing, but to industrialise it is another. The same manufacturing processes and machines that we use for metals don’t apply. So, we took the time and effort to develop specific machines for various ultra-hard materials. Since 2016, we have succeeded in industrialising sapphire production for watch parts."
Big Bang One Click 33mm
"We have a fairly wide choice of women's watches. For the woman who wants a sporty watch, the Big Bang 41mm is ideal, and for a more classic option, I recommend the Classic Fusion in King Gold with a black dial. Finally, we have the Big Bang One Click, which comes in 39mm and 33mm cases. It is a very feminine and contemporary reference that includes our patented one-click system that allows the owner to easily to change the strap to a colour that reflects to her mood and look."
Big Bang Unico All Black
"I would say this watch best represents our spirit and DNA. Hublot was the first brand that dared to produce a watch that is totally in black. The All Black was an extreme concept that showed that a luxury watch’s purpose is not just to tell the time, but worn for what it represents."
Big Bang Meca-10
"A Hublot watch that is often overlooked by collectors and deserves more attention is the Big Bang Meca-10. This is a watch that captures the brand’s essence in all respects: it is conceived and made in our modern and fully integrated factory, and demonstrates the complete mastery we have of our industrial resources, from R&D to the creation of calibres, high-tech cases, and innovative materials."
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