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THE HISTORY OF HUBLOT GENEVE

1980 : In 1980 Carlo Crocco created the Hublot watch featuring a gold case and natural rubber strap. For the first time in the history of watchmaking, a precious material - gold - was combined with rubber. The porthole-shaped watch case combining polished and brushed gold, the minimalist black dial, and the distinctive black natural rubber strap came to symbolise Hublot watches.
Members of royal families were immediately enthusiastic about Hublot, and were soon followed by numerous celebrities the world over. Car...

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Showing 1 - 32 of 105 items

THE HISTORY OF HUBLOT GENEVE

1980 : In 1980 Carlo Crocco created the Hublot watch featuring a gold case and natural rubber strap. For the first time in the history of watchmaking, a precious material - gold - was combined with rubber. The porthole-shaped watch case combining polished and brushed gold, the minimalist black dial, and the distinctive black natural rubber strap came to symbolise Hublot watches.
Members of royal families were immediately enthusiastic about Hublot, and were soon followed by numerous celebrities the world over. Carlo Crocco had taken a risk, but in just a few years Hublot watches joined the elite of leading watchmaking brands.

Three years of research were necessary to create the unique strap and to demonstrate the properties of natural rubber, which seems to regenerate when in contact with the skin. The two parts making up the strap are tailor-fitted at the time of purchase, and adapt instantly to the client's wrist, offering the wearer a unique level of comfort.

In the mid-90s, rubber became the focus of interest of the leading watchmaking brands, thus validating the choices that led to the creation of Hublot watches. As far as the brand is concerned, rubber is not a fashion phenomenon, but rather the embodiment of its philosophy and brand image from the beginning. Hublot was then one of the last independent, family-run watchmaking businesses offering a single-product concept. Its unbounded creative freedom has thus enabled it to preserve its personality and to widen its range, featuring complications or limited series.

Having become absorbed in his design work and many activities for the MDM Foundation - a charity helping deprived children around the world - Carlo Crocco set out to find the man who could take the helm of his watchmaking business.

2004 : At that time in late 2003, Jean-Claude Biver decided to take a year out to reflect and rest a little. But this man finds it difficult to do nothing! It was then that he met Carlo Crocco, and they immediately got on well. Thus, in May 2004, Jean-Claude Biver took up his position as CEO, becoming board member and minority shareholder in Hublot watches. He had many ideas for developing the brand.

Born in Luxembourg on 20th September 1949, his family moved to Switzerland when he was 10 years old. Freshly graduated, he arrived in Le Brassus. The Joux Valley, birthplace of fine watchmaking, was to have a major influence on the direction his life would take. Jean-Claude Biver has been involved in the watchmaking industry since 1975, first with Audemars Piguet, and then Omega. He got married locally in 1979. In 1982, with his friend Jacques Piguet, he took over the then dormant Blancpain brand. Ten years later the company was flourishing. In order to maintain the company, and enable its harmonious
development, the two partners decided to sell up.

Nicolas Hayek and the Swatch Group bought out Blancpain in 1992, but Jean-Claude Biver remained managing director with a
seat on the Swatch Group's executive committee until the end of 2003.

Under the leadership of its new CEO, Hublot revisited its founding principles: Jean-Claude Biver relaunched the "The Art of Fusion" concept - this meant the fusion of unusual materials such as gold and ceramic, tantalum and red gold, or even magnesium and titanium. This also applied to the fusion between the Swiss Watchmaking Tradition and 21st century
Watchmaking Art.

2005 : In less than a year, Jean-Claude Biver met the challenge of setting up a new collection. The "Big Bang" chronograph presented during Baselworld 2005 was a perfect illustration of the Fusion concept! It was an immediate success and orders increased three-fold compared to the previous year. A few months later, in November 2005, the Big Bang chronograph was already widely acclaimed and rewarded with several international prizes. The prestigious "2005 Design Prize" in the "Geneva Grand Prix d'Horlogerie" was one such notable achievement. It was followed by the "Sports Watch Prize" at the "Watch of the Year" ceremony held in Japan, and the prize for "Best Oversized Watch" of the Editor's Choice "Watch of the Year", in Bahrain - a fine tribute from the Middle East.

2006 : In 2006, Jean-Claude Biver launched Hublot TV, the first-ever television channel on Internet to be created by a luxury brand. The television team produces and broadcasts news about Hublot.

As time moved on, various models of the Big Bang have been developed, presenting watchmaking complications: Tourbillon, Big Date, Power Reserve Indicator and Split Seconds. The Fusion concept has been pushed to the limit in the quest for unusual materials and new alloys. The model comes in a choice of two sizes: 41 or 44 mm in diameter.

In terms of revenue, the figures speak for themselves. When Jean-Claude Biver arrived in 2004, the brand's turnover was 24 million Swiss francs. By the end of 2006, sales had already quadrupled, approaching the 100 million Swiss franc mark, a target which had been set for 2008!

2007 : In 2007, a new "diver" Big Bang was launched - this was the third version in terms of its size: the Big Bang King was given an oversized case measuring 48 mm, but which adapts remarkably well to slender and large wrists alike!

Throughout the year 2007, Hublot and its CEO Jean-Claude Biver were awarded numerous prizes.
In terms of awards, at the beginning of 2007, Jean-Claude Biver was named "Best watchmaking manager" and "Best communicator" in a survey of watchmaking journalists carried out by the magazine Business Montres. At the end of 2007, he obtained 5th place in the "Entrepreneur of the Year" awards organised by Handleszeitung, a Swiss economic weekly publication - a classification established by 100 economics journalists.

February 2007 : Hublot opened its first single-brand shop in Paris, in the rue Saint-Honoré. The second shop was opened the following summer, in the Hotel Byblos in Saint-Tropez.

For Hublot, October 2007 rhymed with innovation and independence: the watchmaker presented its first watch entirely manufactured in-house. The Mag Bang was designed and developed in a new light alloy made mainly of aluminium and magnesium (Ag5 alloy). This material was used to manufacture the movement and case of this new model.

In Autumn 2007, Hublot again received recognition from the watchmaking world and the public. The Big Bang won the "Best Watch" prize of the "Design Awards 2007" organised by Wallpaper magazine. The One million $ Big Bang, a masterpiece with an invisible setting that conceals the material to only reveal the diamonds, was awarded the "Prize for the Jewel Watch" at the "Geneva Grand Prix d'Horlogerie 2007". In the Middle-East, during the "Middle East Watches, Jewellery & Pens Award 2007" in Bahrain, the Mag Bang was awarded the prize "Best Technological Innovation". Then in Bucharest, Romania, the Ceramic Gold Big Bang was crowned "Best Watch" by the Caesar magazine.

December 2007: To continue Hublot's expansion, the building of a new plant was undertaken.

In parallel with the Big Bang collection, the brand continues to manufacture the watches known as "Classic", which around 30 percent of clients prefer. The total number of items produced was 24,000 in 2007.

Hublot has experienced spectacular growth since the arrival of Jean-Claude Biver. The turnover for the end of 2007 was over 150 million Swiss francs. As for human resources, their number has nearly doubled and now stands at 80 employees. . The watchmaker was beginning to lack space in its current workshop. The installation of the company in the new plant took place in the first quarter of 2009. Hublot continues to develop internationally with the creation of various branches.

2008 : The beginning of 2008 saw the launch of the first Big Bang designed with women in mind: 38 mm diameter with a set bezel, but without a chronograph. Then the new Big Bang "Classic Fusion" was presented at Baselworld 2008: an evolution of the Big Bang towards more traditional, stylish and sporty attractiveness. This 45 mm model does not feature a chronograph and is therefore thinner. Winning all the attention, this watch was one of the star products of that edition of Baselworld, at which Hublot sales reached an all-time high.

24th April 2008 : A turning point in the life of the watchmaking house then took place: Carlo Crocco sold Hublot to LVMH, the world-leading French luxury goods group. Hublot, which is experiencing a strong development as a top-end watchmaking brand, completes perfectly the watch portfolio of the LMHV group. Jean-Claude Biver, CEO and Ricardo Guadalupe, Director, have kept their respective positions within the company in order to contribute to the expansion of the group's watchmaking sector.

Autumn 2008 : The Big Bang Purple Carat was awarded no fewer than three prizes, the fusion of gold and amethyst immediately attracting attention. It was awarded second prize in the category "Ladies Watch" at the 6th Nuit de l'Horlogerie in Geneva. It also received a prize in the category "Ladies Watch" at the "Jewellery and pens Awards" in Bahrain. As for the "Revue des Montres" in Paris, it awarded it the prize of "Ladies Chronograph". The gold-ceramic Aerobang was awarded the Grand Prix du public in the category "Gentlemen's Watch" at the Nuit de l'Horlogerie in Geneva.

Jean-Claude Biver was elected CEO of the Year 2008 at the "Jewellery and pens Awards" in Bahrain, and Leader of the Year 2008 by the Swiss PME magazine.

2009 : The year 2009 began in the same vein for Jean-Claude Biver, who was elected "Man of the Year" by the magazines Orologi da Polso, Revue des montres, GMT, and Business Montres.

During "Fusionweek 2009", Hublot presented a brand new collection called King Power. Ever faithful to its philosophy, the watchmaker goes a step further. This 48 mm timepiece is more powerful and more refined. Its dial is composed of several levels, the bezel features rubber moulding, and the screws are raised.