The last few years have seen a series of significant updates across Hublot’s distinctive design codes, with new collections such as the Spirit of Big Bang and the Square Bang. CEO Mr. Ricardo Guadalupe, who has helmed the brand since his legendary predecessor, Mr. Jean- Claude Biver, stepped down in 2012, fills us in on what’s in store for Hublot as it takes on the next phase of fusion in watchmaking. In particular, Mr. Guadalupe has upped the pace of technological development, with emphasis on technical advancements in movements as well as the mastery of vibrant colors and unconventional shapes for watch cases.
Mr. Biver famously said, “More watchmaking, more mastery, more innovation, more audacity, more fusion!” What role does the Hublot manufacture play in realizing Mr. Biver’s statement?
The DNA of Hublot is rooted in the “Art of Fusion” and the brand is built on innovation and audacity — it’s a part of everything we do here at Hublot. Carlo Crocco was the first to combine gold with rubber, Biver brought the “Art of Fusion” to Hublot and played an important part in the creation of the now iconic Big Bang. Today, Hublot is pushing the limits of innovation even further by developing incredible movements, colors, materials and designs. Our collaborations with key figures in culture, art, music, design and sports, combined with our savoir faire, make Hublot’s watches truly unique and different.
During the recent visit to the Hublot manufacture, we observed the intricacies required to make colored ceramic cases. What could be next in the exploration of ceramics?
Hublot was the first to achieve vivid color ceramics, meaning colors that are bright and have not faded or darkened due to the process of firing up ceramics. We first mastered the primary colors: red, blue, yellow. We extended this savoir faire to our collections, Big Bang and Spirit of Big Bang. Next, we will see how we can extend this savoir faire across our collections and master new colors.
Classic Fusion and Big Bang are, at their hearts, round watches. Could you tell us about the disruptive and unconventional “Shaped” collections with Spirit of Big Bang and Square Bang?
The square shape is something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s one of the most unconventional and difficult shapes to master. The Square Bang Unico is bold, it’s unique and takes the iconic codes of the Big Bang and makes it unmistakably Hublot.
Hublot’s vibrant colored sapphire watches stand out in the trend of bright colored timepieces. How complex are these translucent colored sapphire cases to manufacture?
At Hublot, we were the first to industrialize the process of creating colored sapphire. Our in- house R&D department allowed us to find the right process through different tests to perfect this material. The most difficult part is ensuring the color is homogenous throughout the watch. For example, if we look at the case, it needs to be made from a perfectly even block with no imperfections. This takes many years of research and tests to achieve the level that Hublot has today.
After four decades, how does the concept of the “Art of Fusion” exemplify Hublot’s future?
The “Art of Fusion” is excellence in pushing the boundaries of material and design. It’s also the combination of our manufacture’s savoir faire with the worlds of our ambassadors. Together, we create watches that are different and unique. This audacity and our origins are the guiding principles that exemplify Hublot.