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Tag: Art of Fusion Exhibit

Jean-Claude Biver Chairman of Hublot and President of the LVMH Watch Division

Jean-Claude Biver Chairman of Hublot and President of the LVMH Watch Division

Jean-Claude Biver is an institution in his own right in the watch industry.

He got his start in the world of horology in 1974, when he joined the sales department of Audemars Piguet. For most people, this was an inopportune time to be part of the mechanical watchmaking industry. Quartz had upended traditional watchmaking, and now almost all makers were either closing shop or scrambling to develop quartz movements of their own.

But as the world would eventually find out, Biver was the type of man who thrived on challenges.

Jean-Claude Biver at his desk

In 1979, Jean-Claude Biver became Omega’s youngest deputy director.  It was in his time here he began to develop his views of using traditional mechanical movements instead of converting to quartz to save Swiss watchmaking.

Biver got to test his ideas when he left Omega so that he and his friend Jacques Piguet could manage their newly purchased brand: Blancpain. The brand had ceased operations for over two decades, and the only thing it had was a name that Biver and Piguet could build on.

Piguet was in charge of the production of their timepieces and Biver was in charge of marketing, introducing the tagline, “Since 1735, there has never been a quartz Blancpain watch. And there never will be.”

While the world around them was focused on quartz, Biver and Piguet produced and sold mechanical complications such as moon phases and minute repeaters. They focused on the value and craftsmanship of traditional watchmaking and in less than two decades, they sold Blancpain to the Swatch Group for a profit.

Biver returned to Omega as a director of international marketing, and under his supervision they began one of their most memorable partnerships yet: Omega and James Bond.

After a string of improbable successes, Biver was asked to take the helm of Hublot, a small Italian brand that had introduced rubber straps on gold watches. The founder, Carlo Crocco, knew Biver from when he launched Blancpain in 1983, and was a Blancpain distributor in Spain and Italy.

Jean-Claude Biver
Biver entered Hublot as the CEO in 2004 and made changes he believed would bring success to the brand. One of which was to switch from producing mostly quartz movements, to creating mechanical movements. The next was to move from 38mm cases to larger and more modern 44mm cases.

With these changes, Hublot entered Baselworld 2005 with a big bang. Quite literally. It was at this year’s fair Biver introduced Hublot’s most successful line: Hublot Big Bang.

Much like the very first Hublot timepiece, the Hublot Big Bang resembled a porthole and married unusual materials.  It was a hit, and in November of the same year, it won the best design prize in the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve.

And that was just the beginning. Biver continued to bring forward the concept of “the art of fusion” in Hublot, resulting in some of the most unexpected collaborations and materials.

Jean-Claude Biver at Baselworld 2016 press con
In the watchmaking industry that spans hundreds of years, Hublot’s success has been an almost overnight phenomenon. And it is owed to the passion and dedication of the inimitable Jean-Claude Biver.

Although he has stepped down as an active executive of Hublot, Biver continues on as a non-executive president to look over the brand.  He also continues to tour the world, making sure more people gain deeper insight into the unconventional world of the Art of Fusion. His next stop? Metro Manila.

UPDATE | November 18, 2019: Details about Blancpain when Jean-Claude Biver bought it have been corrected. 

Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski

Hublot Loves Art

Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski

“The art of fusion” has been a guiding principle of Hublot, beginning with their first timepiece that featured a gold case and rubber strap. Since then, the watchmaker has released one daring watch after another, receiving design prizes along the way.

Hublot makes it a point to frequently collaborate with artists and designers from various fields who share the same visions and passions as they do. In 2015 the watch house established the Hublot Design Prize, an award which enables young artists and designers to garner the public’s attention by showcasing their boldness and creativity.

Discussing the importance of art, Jean-Claude Biver, chairman of Hublot’s board says, “Unlike technology, art never becomes obsolete. A painting by Matisse or Renoir may not be liked by the new generation, but it can never be obsolete.”

Hublot and Richard Orlinski

Richard Orlinski is a top-selling French contemporary artist represented by more than 90 galleries around the world. Orlinski is an advocate of art’s democratization which is why his works revolve around everyday subjects and are presented in public spaces. His sculptures feature bright colors and diamond-cut like facets, which take inspiration from pop art and industrial materials. It was their shared enthusiasm for innovation as well total design freedom that led Orlinski to collaborate with Hublot.

Richard Orlinski with red Kong statue

 
Fusing the world of watchmaking and sculpture, Orlinski incorporates precious metals with his artistic style. As seen in the Orlinski Classic Fusion 40mm in King Gold and in Titanium Pavé, the watches display a faceted case and dial that plays around with light and shade, similar to the French artist’s sculptures.

 

Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski King Gold soldierHublot Classic Fusion Orlinski Titanium Pave soldier

 
The same thing goes with the Aerofusion Chronograph 45mm in King Gold Jewellery and in Titanium Pavé. Once again, Orlinski’s characteristic folds are present but this time presented with an open-worked dial.
 
Orlinski Classic Aerofusion Chronograph King Gold Jewellery soldierOrlinski Classic Aerofusion Chronograph Titanium Pave soldier

Hublot and Sang Bleu

Maxime Plescia-Büchi is a renowned Swiss tattoo artist and the founder of Sang Bleu, a multi-disciplinary company that encompasses a tattoo studio, magazine, clothing brand, and creative agency. Plescia-Büchi works mainly with black ink and uses architectural motifs along with ancient iconography.

Maxime Plescia-Büchi

 
Upon describing his collaboration with Hublot, Plescia-Büchi calls it a match made in heaven. He firmly believes that they are the epitome of the highest level of technical and creative innovation in their respective fields.

Plescia-Büchi designed the Sang Bleu models with the intent to showcase how the world of tattooing can be fused with the world of watchmaking. He does this through unifying precious materials symmetry and strong geometric lines as seen in the Sang Bleu One Click 39mm in King Gold Pave and in King Gold Blue.

Sang Bleu One Click King Gold Blue soldierSang Bleu One Click King Gold

Hublot and Lang Lang

World famous Chinese pianist Lang Lang is highly regarded by critics and musicians like Metallica, Pharell Williams, and Herbie Hancock. He has performed with the top orchestras in Europe, China, and the United States, and for people of influence, such as Pope Francis, 4 U.S. Presidents, and monarchs from other nations.

Lang Lang wearing the Hublot Classic Fusion Ceramic Ultra-Thin Lang Lang

 
A big fan of Hublot, Lang Lang has collaborated with the brand to create two timepieces: the Classic Fusion 45mm Ceramic Ultra-Thin Lang Lang and the Classic Fusion Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater Carbon Lang Lang. Both models display Lang Lang’s initials at 12 o’clock, his signature at 3 o’clock, and musical notes placed on the watch.

Hublot Lang Lang Classic Fusion
Classic Fusion Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater Carbon Lang Lang

 
Hublot Lang Lang Classic Fusion
Classic Fusion 45mm Ceramic Ultra-Thin Lang Lang

Hublot and Shepard Fairey

Born in South Carolina, Shepard Fairey is an American contemporary street artist popularly known for his Barack Obama “Hope” poster made during the 2008 U.S. Presidential elections. He also does graphic design and illustrations, which inspired Fairey to create OBEY clothing. Some of his other works are on display at the Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and in other galleries around the United States.

Shepard Fairey

 
Fairey’s decision to collaborate with Hublot was because he resonated with their craftsmanship and refined execution. Together they created special versions of the Big Bang Meca-10.  These display Fairey’s star gear logo at 3 o’clock, and a tribal, floral pattern created by the artist himself on the case and strap.

Big Bang Meca-10 Shepard Fairey

Hublot and Marc Ferrero

Marc Ferrero is a French contemporary painter and one of the leading proponents of the Storytelling Art movement. His body of work revolves around pop art, the repetition of imagery, different cultures and fictional characters. In partnership with Hublot, they unveiled the Big Bang One Click Marc Ferrero.

Marc Ferrero

 
Heavily inspired by one of Ferrero’s iconic artworks, ‘Lipstick’, the dial celebrates the 21st century woman. Dominating the dial is a woman’s face with large sunglasses and a stick of lipstick placed by her mouth. The 39mm timepiece comes in red or turquoise.

Hublot Big Bang One Click Marc Ferrero Red Hublot Big Bang One Click Marc Ferrero Turquoise

 
Get to know more about Hublot and their relationship with art by visiting the Hublot booth at the upcoming Philippine Art Fair.

Classic Fusion Ferrari GT

An Iconic Duo

When Hublot and Ferrari announced their partnership in 2011, they made it clear that theirs would not be just a case of co-branding events and timepieces, but an intertwining of their activities.

Hublot has since been the official timekeeper and watch for the carmaker’s events, and the two brands have collaborated to produce over 50 timepieces to date.

The first was the Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Magic Gold. The 45mm timepiece was the first from Hublot to bear the prancing horse, and was also the platform used to introduce the watchmaker’s new proprietary material: Magic Gold. A combination of boron carbide and gold, the patented material is currently the only 18K gold alloy to be entirely scratch resistant.

 

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Magic Gold
The Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Magic Gold is the timepiece that marked the beginning of Hublot and Ferrari’s successful relationship

In the year that followed, Ferrari unveiled the LaFerrari, the carmaker’s first hybrid vehicle and their “most ambitious project yet”. Soon after, Hublot revealed the MP-05 LaFerrari.

The unusually configured timepiece was designed to resemble the profile of the eponymous car. Its movement – stacked instead of spread horizontally – could pass as a miniature version of a car’s engine at first glance. Comprised of over 600 parts, it boasted a 50-day power reserve the likes of which had never been seen before.

 

Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari
The Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari has no dial. Time is indicated on the barrels located on the right side,
while the power reserve is indicated by the barrels on the left.

Four years later, in 2017, the partners commemorated the prancing horse’s 70th anniversary by launching the Techframe Ferrari 70 Years Tourbillon Chronograph. The limited-edition timepiece was designed by Flavio Manzoni, Ferrari’s head of design, and was made to look like the chassis of a GT Ferrari.  The movement that drove all its functions, the hand-wound HUB 6311, was developed entirely in-house by Hublot. The timepiece was well-received by watch enthusiasts and designers alike, and was awarded the prestigious iF Design Award in 2018.

 

Hublot Techframe Ferrari 70 Years Tourbillon Chronograpj
The Techframe Ferrari 70 Years Tourbillon Chronograph commemorated the 70th anniversary of Ferrari’s prancing horse.

This year, Hublot and Ferrari have expanded their joint portfolio with the Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT.  Inspired by the Grand Turismo spirit of “driving over long distances at high speeds in comfort and with style,” the timepiece is a departure from Hublot’s more angular aesthetic. The 45mm case – available in titanium, King Gold or 3D Carbon – gives the timepiece the illusion of concentric circles, and was made to resemble the dials on the Ferrari 1959 California and the air vents of the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso.

The timepiece was designed by the “Centro Stile Ferrari” (Ferrari’s internal design team) and outfitted with Hublot’s in-house UNICO chronograph movement. Awarded four patents, the movement drives the hours, minutes, seconds, date and flyback chronograph.

Sapphire crystal protects both sides of the movement, allowing a glimpse of the inner workings of the watch from the front and back.

 

Classic Fusion Ferrari GT
The new Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT comes in King Gold, Titanium and 3D Carbon.

The Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT is fastened to the wrist with rubber straps wrapped in Schedoni leather – a nod to the seats of the Maranello historical race cars.

What to expect from this iconic duo moving forward is difficult to predict, but Hublot and Ferrari fans can be sure that design and innovation will be at the forefront of their next project.

See some of the most memorable timepieces from Hublot at the Hublot Celebrating The Art of Fusion Exhibit on November 12 to 15 at the Greenbelt Fashion Walk.

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