The year 2020 marks an anniversary milestone for Hublot as the brand turns 40 in its pursuit of high-end watchmaking art.
The birth of Hublot in 1980 came from founder Carlo Crocco’s idea to combine Italian aesthetics and style with Swiss craftsmanship. The brand’s first-ever watch was named Hublot, the French word for the portholes of yachts often found on the Mediterranean Sea. Hublot soon became a hot item among fashion lovers thanks to its unprecedented combination of gold case and rubber straps. For his watch to come into existence, Carlo Crocco spent three years researching natural rubber’s exceptional qualities in order to craft a strap that perfectly fit the wrist and provided long-lasting comfort.
The year 2004 was another turning point in Hublot’s transformation as Jean-Claude Biver, a legend in the watchmaking industry, became the company’s chairman. With a strategic vision and ability to inspire others, he pushed Hublot to pursue the “Art of Fusion.” A year later, in 2005, Hublot introduced a new collection, Big Bang, that has remained the brand’s signature to this day. Big Bang Chronograph possesses a five-layer sandwich case with a combination of materials such as titanium, carbon and ceramic to form a strong and sporty whole. It took no time for Big Bang to win Best Design at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève awards in 2005, the highest honor in the high-end watchmaking industry. Its birth also laid the foundation for Hublot’s creativity in later models.
The brand’s impressive successes and bold development plans convinced LVMH, the world’s top luxury brand, to invest in it, thereby opening a new chapter in Hublot’s history. With the addition of such resources, Hublot quickly expanded with the construction of the second manufacture in Nyon, Switzerland. LVMH also acquired one of the best workshops at the time and merged it with Hublot for indepth research in complex mechanical creations.
Apart from mechanical aspects, the application of advanced technologies in the development of new materials is Hublot’s top priority in the watchmaking industry, exemplified by the introduction of Magic Gold. Hublot’s research team combined 75% pure gold with 25% ceramic to create Magic Gold, whose hardness reaches approximately 1,000 Vickers, more resilient than steel and two times harder than normal 18k gold. Magic Gold was truly a “Big Bang” in the watchmaking industry as it was the first scratch-proof gold ever produced.
Waves of creations have followed, including the noteworthy Red Ceramic Magic timepiece. Its creation amazed watch enthusiasts as they witnessed ceramic with such a brilliant color for the first time.
Another gem among Hublot’s achievements in creating new materials is its crafting and mass production of sapphire. Sapphire is one of the most enticing as well as one of the hardest materials to work with because of its hardness and brittleness, often resulting in numerous failures in processing. Because of its high price and risky nature, the majority of brands shy away from it. However, Hublot invested in research to master skills in crafting sapphire, thereby achieving breakthroughs in giving colors to this type of gem.
Hublot combines raw sapphire with other materials such as iron to create blue sapphire and chromium to create red sapphire. The brand’s most recent achievement in this field is the creation of emeraldgreen SAXEM (Sapphire Aluminum Oxide and rare Earth Mineral) by combining aluminum oxide and rare earth elements.
The world of Hublot is also associated with historic moments as it became the first watchmaking brand to accompany football, the king of sports, in events including the European Championship 2008, FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League. Hublot is the official watch of football clubs such as Juventus and Chelsea, while legendary athletes have become Hublot ambassadors, including all-time football great Pelé, French football superstar Kylian Mbappé and the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt.