HUBLOT: Fancy Watch in the Dark

The special features of Hublot watches include porthole-shaped watch case, simple style watch face and unique, black natural rubber watch band. These special features distinguish the watch itself from other traditional wrist watches and make it become the favorite among the royal family and the nobles. It is praised as “The Watch of Loyalty”.

In 1980s, the Italian man Carlo Crocco founded the brand Hublot in the small town Nyon, located next to Lac Léman in Switzerland. At that time, this watch brand seemed to be mismatched with other wrist watches and it sounded a bit better to be labelled as “special”.

The 80s had been the turbulent years for wrist watches. Due to the invention of quartz watches, many major watch-making factories were on the verge of being closed. But this undoubtedly provided Hublot with a great chance to expand its growth. The unique designs made the Hublot watches set foot in the market without any difficulties. It was said that the first collector of Hublot watches was a big shot: the King of Greece. He bought two Hublot wrist watches, one for himself and the other one for the Royal Family of Spain. 

Hublot is a French word, meaning the porthole for the lighting of a hull. This word has given designers an excellent inspiration. So now, most of the Hublot watches we see now contain thick metal watch cases. Such a strong sense of heavy metals make the Hublot watches become distinctive among all the Swiss watches. Also, rubber watch bands are another major feature of Hublot watches. In order to alleviate the allergies brought by the rubber watch bands, the Hublot watches used a large amount of balata after years of research and development. Such a technology broke the norms of Swiss wrist watches and had become chic in the market. The other traditional and luxurious watch brands also started to use this technology to make the watch bands. Despite the discontentment from many French classic watch sellers, the Hublot watches still dominated significant sales in the watch market due to its popularity among consumers.   

The variety the Hublot watches brought to consumers is the major feature. Carlo Crocco, the founder, advocates “Fusion”, which means a blend. Carlo is an Italian and so, he has been pursuing a blend of Italian style and Swiss perfect watch-making techniques. The variety of designs and the “fickle” CEO Jean-Claude Biver make the Hublot watches become even more distinguished.

Carlo Crocco spent three years to develop the premium black rubber watch bands with the mixture of precious metals. This brought a brand new trend to the Swiss watch-making industry because there were no manufacturers making use of rubber watch bands and precious metals to produce luxurious wrist watches. After the first surprise brought to the market, the Hublot watches had been inert in creativity, which was the comment made by the CEO Jean-Claude Biver.

In mid-90s, the major watch-makers had been obsessed with rubber watch bands. Natural rubber watch bands was never a unique selling point of the Hublot watches.  After the establishment for 20 years, the family-run watch brand had become stagnant. But Biver had changed everything.

In 2004, Biver became the CEO of the Hublot watches and in the meantime, he entered the board of directors and held some shares of the company. He is the legend in the Swiss watch industry. In 1981, Biver, in his 30s, and his friends spent more than 20,000 Swiss Francs to buy Blancpain, which had stopped the production of watches at that time and was a failure resulting from the rise of quartz watches. Biver insisted on using traditional production techniques with and this led to the rejuvenation of Blancpain watches. Eleven years later, Biver sold the Blancpain to the Swatch watch group at 60 million Swiss Francs. Ten years later, Biver boosted the sales of Omega watches by double.

Hublot watches do not have a history as long as Blancpain and Omega watches. But as for the fast-growing new brand, defining its market position precisely is very important. As a veteran salesman in saving Blancpain and Omega watches, Biver undoubtedly mastered the key. He targeted at the young entrepreneurs aged from 25-45 years old, avoiding competing with

those established luxurious watches of more than 100 years of history.

Compared to the past luxurious watch consumers, the consumers of Hublot watches are younger, more energetic, more creative and tend to fall for futuristic designs. They might take the established luxurious watches from their fathers and but still, they even hope to have their own watches. Biver once told CBN Weekly that Hublot watches are not the first luxurious watches the young entrepreneurs own but are the watches these entrepreneurs are willing to buy.     

Biver has set the strategies aiming at the market for young entrepreneurs. The strategies are re-define the designs. In 2005, Hublot watches promoted the series of wrist watches: Big Bang. “Big Bang” means the explosion in the universe and this represents the blend of precious metals and rubbers in Hublot watches. Such a blend seems to be the explosion in the universe. Big Bang not only keeps the original porthole-shaped designs and its blend of precious metals and rubber, but also reinforces the features of fusion by using Kevlar, a synthetic fiber, on both sides of the watch cases.  

 The innovative designs and the innovative blend of materials had made Big Bang a spotlight in the market. Besides winning the best design awards in Geneva in 2005, the growth in production orders also jumped threefold compared to the previous year. At the end of 2006, the sales of Hublot watches exceeded one hundred million Swiss Francs, which was five times more than that of 2004.   Despite the fast growth in sales of Hublot watches, Biver, however, became slow in its expansion in the market. He believed scarcity is of great worth and scarcity can be created. He carefully limited the supply of Hublot watches. If a series of watches is expected to be sold for 200 pieces, Hublot, however, just produces 120 pieces. This is linked to the strong desire by people for not having what they want. That is why Biver thinks it is necessary to keep people having a strong desire all the time.  The fast-growing Hublot watches group was purchased by LVWH in 2008 and Biver is still the CEO of the group.

**no guarantee about story is completely accurate and existed difference**