The Calibre Complete Guide To Hublot
By Sarah Jayne Potter | 5 minute read
First showcased in Switzerland at the Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Show in 1980, Hublot is a luxury watchmaker credited for spearheading the “Art of Fusion”. It is the first brand to seamlessly combine gold and natural rubber in the same watch, incorporating tradition with new advances in technology and research into new materials.
Tucked away in the fairy-tale town of Nyon, on the edge of Lake Geneva, is Hublot’s headquarters. This is where the skilled watchmakers work tirelessly to ensure each component is precisely engineered to Hublot’s exacting standards. Here is where the entire range of talents work together in a fusion of crafts, to create watches that are second to none.
Despite having only been around for 40 years, the Swiss watchmaker is consistently ahead of the curve through its innovations and cutting-edge expertise. Guided by its philosophy, Hublot is a brand with a visionary future that is fused with key events of our times and represented by the finest ambassadors.
In this guide to Hublot we explore the story behind the brand, its iconic collections, and our buying team’s favourite timepieces.
The story of Hublot
Italian watch entrepreneur Carlo Crocco, is the original inventor of Hublot. Until 1976, he worked at family watch business Binda, based in the fashion capital of Italy, Milan. However, he soon decided to realise his own watchmaking dreams.
Crocco’s vision was to combine refined Italian design with Swiss craftsmanship. For three years, he conducted extensive research into the fusion of materials before launching the first luxury watch ever to feature a natural rubber strap at Baselworld in 1980, and it was met with instant commercial acclaim. The watch featured a distinctive porthole-shaped case, and with the word ‘porthole’ translating to ‘hublot’ in French, it had a natural synergy.
Hublot as we know it today has been re-invented by the marketing, managerial, and design genius of Jean Claude Biver. Biver took over as CEO in 2004 and quickly revitalised the company’s reputation for unique innovation. He brought decades of experience with him, including 3 years at world-renowned Omega, where he helped triple their sales.
Just one year after joining Hublot in 2005, Biver launched the flagship collection ‘Big Bang’ in Basel which proved a hit both commercially and critically, winning numerous awards. The impact of the launch was evident immediately and sales of Hublot watches increased threefold in just one year after they won the Best Design award at Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. This prestigious brand quickly became common language amongst watch enthusiasts and potential customers.
In 2006, Hublot was the first fine watchmaking brand to enter the footballing world with the Swiss National Team. Since then, Hublot has worked in close collaboration with FIFA as Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of the FIFA World Cup. More recently, the English Premier League announced its new partnership with Hublot as Official Timekeeper for the 2020/21 season, giving it a huge global audience.
Following its enormous success, luxury group Louis Vuitton, Moët, and Hennessey \(LVMH\), bought Hublot in 2008. This multinational corporation which is a world leader in luxury goods, invested huge amounts into Hublot, allowing Biver to achieve his dreams for the brand becoming a Manufacture.
To meet the huge increase in demand, Hublot inaugurated two buildings in Nyon, the first in 2009 and the second in 2015. These new facilities enabled the company to rapidly boost production capacity as well as host an array of professions, technologies and crafts.
Biver left Hublot in 2012 but the company has stayed true to his vector. Under current CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot has a network of boutiques and authorised retailers across the world, including in the greatest luxury metropolises, New York, Geneva, Tokyo, Zermatt, Paris, London, Dubai and Hong Kong.
First released in 2005 to worldwide acclaim is Hublot’s Big Bang chronograph. Biver chose the name “Big Bang” because it represented the beginning and was a common multi-language phrase.
These sleek but sporty timepieces, paired with the fusion of materials and the quintessential Hublot rubber strap, all blend together harmoniously to create the iconic Big Bang range. This collection typifies the ‘Art of Fusion’ philosophy that Hublot stands for.
The Big Bang chronograph has won multiple international design and horological awards such as, the 2005 Design Prize in the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix and the Sports Watch Prize at the Watch of the Year ceremony in Japan, to name but a few.
The Classic line was the first in watchmaking history to combine precious material, gold, with a modern approach to materials such as rubber. This bold but elegant creation provides the brand’s story with its DNA.
In 2010 Hublot introduced its most elegant and sophisticated collection to date, the Classic Fusion, an elegant variant and fusion of the Big Bang. This unique, strong and essential collection reinterprets classic sophistication with Hublot’s incomparable touch.
The timepieces include quartz calibres, as well as mechanical movements which encompass both automatic and hand-wound calibres. There are currently many models under the Classic Fusion label, all of which are effortlessly chic and feature the iconic H shaped screws.
Spirit of Big Bang
The Spirit, first introduced in 2014 is an evolution of the Big Bang. Sitting alongside the regular collection, it possesses all the familiar elements of the traditional Big Bang but in an exclusive barrel shape case form.
With their clever multi-layer construction, the case opens the door to countless combinations of materials, colours, and finishes. Designed to take you from the office to a social event with effortless ease, the Spirit of Big Bang provides reliable, fashionable, and highly functional timekeeping.
Our Buyer’s Highlights
“Our latest collaboration with Hublot is the perfect fusion of partnership, using our combined passion and skill for the finest Swiss horology, the latest WOSG Hublot Exclusive is the perfect addition to any collection“
“This year we saw Hublot rework its famous Meca-10 calibre that has a huge 10-day power reserve. A fusion of this calibre and the iconic Spirit of Big Bang design, this timepiece is contemporary and complex stand out piece“
“Even in its stripped back form, Hublot watches still use the formula that tests the boundaries between avant-garde and horology. Neither compromising form or function, this piece is perfectly understated and modern“
To ensure your Hublot watch stays in exquisite condition, take a look at the tips for taking care of your luxury timepiece, or find out more about our At Your Service collection.