03/12/2015
 3 minutes

Legendary Watch Brands: Hublot

By Christopher Beccan
Hublot King Power, Ref. 701.OE.0128.GR
Hublot King Power, Ref. 701.OE.0128.GR

Hublot have a very interesting history, albeit not as long as some of their peers. Nonetheless, you could say they’ve achieved big things in a relatively short period of time. In 1980 one Carlo Crocco, born into an Italian family of watchmakers, established his own company, MDM Geneva. He had one goal: create a watch that would be popular and sought after all over world. He aimed to design a timepiece that would be sporty yet still have a fashionable and elegant edge to it. Carlo ignored the trends at the time and created a beautiful modern wristwatch, made from conscientiously chosen materials that would make it an everyday watch, that would excel in any situation.

Hublot Big Bang
Hublot Big Bang Chronograph

Mr. Crocco believed that the key to success is simplicity and based the design of the Hublot wristwatch on the porthole of a ship, hence the name Hublot, which is French for “Porthole”. The case would sport twelve titanium screws, which held the lunette in place but also doubled up as hour markers. The rubber strap used caught the attention of other watch brands during that time also. These materials combined created a watch that not only stood out but also possessed originality and would go down as a classic.

As predicted, the Hublot timepiece rapidly garnered success throughout the world. The likes of Royalty as well as celebrities worldwide, became fond of the Hublot watch brand. Upon this simplistic idea, Carlo Crocco had started an independent family watch brand, following a mono-product concept, always maintaining its independence and personality. Of course, having such a linear product meant that limited series collections were introduced, with a variety of dials, engravings, precious metals and stones, created by highly talented craftsmen.

After much success, Carlo Crocco decided it was time to look for a suitable replacement to take over at the helm of Hublot, as his multiple activities for the Foundation MDM kept him busy the majority of the time. He turned to a man who had made his mark on the Swiss watchmaking industry, a man that under the guidance of a friend – Jacques Piguet – learned as much as he could during his years at Audemars Piguet, which would stand him in good stead to build up the renewed watch brand you see today that is Blancpain. That man, of course, was none other than Jean-Claude Biver. Grocco knew JCB was the right man for the job, and in 2004, he took up the post of CEO and board member of Hublot.

Today, Hublot are part of the group that is LVMH and under the guidance of CEO Ricardo Guadalupe. Hublot still create some of the most interesting and original timepieces on the market. Using a wide range of materials and technologies, you’ve got timepieces like the Classic Fusion that displays the brands DNA but then makes use of materials like titanium or ceramic for the case. The Big Bang makes use of these same materials but then incorporates a complication with an openworked dial. Yet it is still an unmistakable Hublot. As mentioned before Carlo Crocco had a sole aim to design a simple timepiece that was versatile. This very same philosophy is what Hublot is still embarking on today.

Hublot Classic Fusion
Hublot Classic FusionImage: Auctionata

About the Author

Christopher Beccan

Christopher Beccan is the founder of the online magazine "Bexsonn," where he regularly writes about his two passions: extraordinary timepieces and whiskey. His work …

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