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Under the Magnifying Glass: Hublot

In an industry whose power houses are defined by centuries of tradition, it’s rare to see a watch house break out of the box… and succeed. For more than three decades, Hublot, with its unorthodox but breathtaking designs, has proven it is a worthy contender in watchmaking.

 

hublot luxury watch
The “Red Dot” Bang in Hublonium, a material by Hublot containing magnesium and aluminium.

 

What’s In A Name?

Hublot has always touted around the phrase “The Art of Fusion,” but what exactly does that mean? To understand these words is to understand what Hublot, as a brand, stands for: Literally combining—fusing—traditional materials and techniques with the latest that modern technology has to offer. This philosophy has led them to avant garde designs and unique watches, including the incredibly light “Mag Bang” watch, which features their signature rubber strap alongside their very own manufactured material: Hublonium.

 

 

hublot luxury watch
The Classic Fusion Tourbillon King Gold, one of their most recent models incorporating gold and rubber, made in collaboration with artist Richard Orlinski.

 

In the Beginning

The brand’s story began in 1980 with Carlo Crocco designing a watch that can be worn during water activities named “Hublot.” French for “porthole,” the aesthetic of the very first Hublot watch mimics the small, round windows in ships. While this look was not new, it sported an innovative rubber strap combined with gold that made Hublot’s take a novel one. With the rubber strap being both waterproof and comfortable, it gave its wearers the chance to take their watches to the beach, and secured Hublot’s place as an innovator of note.

But in the watch industry, a watch house has to keep innovating in order to be kept in the loop. The rubber strap was easily recreated by other watch companies and Hublot had to come up with something new once more.

 

 

hublot luxury watch
Chairman Jean-Claude Biver (left) & CEO Ricardo Guadalupe (right) 

 

A New Age

With Jean-Claude Biver’s naming as the CEO of Hublot in 2004—working with the current CEO, Ricardo Guadalupe—the company was pushed to branch out from their rubber and gold combination and hone in on other materials. They also made it their ambitious goal to shift the brand from producing almost 90% quartz watches to 90% mechanical watches. The very next year, Hublot came out with the first Big Bang chronograph watch, which was awarded “Best Design of the Year” at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie event in Geneva. That was the inception of this iconic collection, with innovative takes on the original coming out year after year, one of them being another award-winning watch: the diamond-studded One Million $ Big Bang watch.

The comfort and presence it provided on the wrist made it popular among athletes. Hublot partnered with different teams across various sports, from football to basketball to skiing, with notable collaborations being those with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. Hublot also established a partnership with Ferrari, as well as became Official Watchmaker of Formula 1, and Official Time Keeper of two different FIFA World Cups.

 

hublot luxury watch

Constant Innovation

Despite this success, Hublot did not rest on its laurels. The brand branched out with the “Tribute to Antikythera” watch, limited to 4 pieces and, interestingly enough, not available for sale. It is a replication, in terms of function, of the ancient but complicated horological device found in the wreck near Antikythera Island. Later, they released the more consumer-friendly, seven-complication “Antikythera SunMoon” watch, in a limited run of 20 pieces. Hublot has made many other remarkable watches they put in their haute horlogerie MP Collection such as the “Key of Time” watch and the “LaFerrari” watch.

They also began collaborating with artists from different backgrounds, from tattoo artists and actors to scuptors and musicians, introducing to the world watches that were both fresh and unique. A few of their notable collaborations were with the estate of Bruce Lee; athletes Usain Bolt, Eli Manning, and Floyd Mayweather; musician Nicky Jam; and artistic collective Sang Bleu. Hublot has not been shy about coming out with flashy luxury watches that embody contemporary glitz and glamour.

The brand has also worked with several associations in order to give back to its community, some of which are the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy; the MDM Foundation, which provides care for orphans in India; and Best Buddies, which creates opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities internationally.

 

hublot luxury watch

Marking A Milestone

It has been a little over 10 years since Hublot first came to Philippines shores, only a few years after Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe first made the watch house a name renowned across watch aficionados and collectors worldwide, and there is much for fans of the brand to be excited about.

This year promises many exciting releases from the manufacture: One of their newest timepieces is the Big Bang Paraíba, whose namesake is the Brazilian state where the extremely rare, eponymous Paraíba tourmaline was discovered 30 years ago, whose dazzling hue is credited to the unique combination of copper and manganese found in the previous stone. Paired with a signature rubber or a a matching leather strap, it stays true to the brand’s ideals of melding top-notch watchmaking skill with courageous aesthetics.

And with new model releases and innovations being released or in the pipeline, all adherent to the brand’s spirit of innovation and its drive to perfect the art of fusion, we see no end in sight for Hublot’s unique take on horology.

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