One of the youngest of prestige watchmakers, Swiss brand Hublot were started by an Italian man named Carlo Crocco in 1980. Crocco was born into a watchmaking tradition, with his uncle’s company, Binda, a popular brand. However, Crocco opted not to work for the company, and instead to go his own way. As well as leaving the family, Crocco deferred from a range of watchmaking traditions in his creation of Hublot, meaning the company from its very first days created highly unique and fascinating watches, complete with the technical precision which comes from Crocco’s family expertise in watchmaking.
Crocco’s first watch working on his own which reached world acclaim was called the Hublot, with the word meaning “porthole” in French. This watch had an instantly recognisable shape and design, as well as a signature rubber strap – completely unheard of at the time. Crocco invested obsessively in finding the right strap for this watch, one which would not fade, wear or crack, and to deliver the perfect mix of functionality and comfort. The rubber he used eventually was specially formulated for Crocco’s “Hublot” watch, and contained a mix of steel, rubber, and an especially potent vanilla to avoid the odour which can be associated with a rubber strap.
Hublot watches first appeared at the prestigious Baselworld show in 1980. Whilst it was not picked up wholly by the watchmaking community at this point, the watch was favoured by various members of European royalty, and had found its ultra-high end niche. Hublot designs even in these very prototype days were sporty yet smart, as well as comfortable and stylish. The modern look they featured were heralded as a breath of fresh air for the industry, and offered a modern new look for watch connoisseurs.
In 2004, Carlo Crocco took on a new CEO, Jean-Claude Biver, who had worked with a range of watch brands, but was struck by the ingenuity of the Hublot watch. Created with a simple design mirroring that of a ship, Biver felt that Hublot’s style represented something special. The way he saw it, the combination of something as functional as a port hole, to something as luxurious and ornamental as a high end watch was innovative, as well as that the gold and rubber design was truly ingenious. This partnership between Crocco and Biver proved instrumental in Hublot’s success, with Biver incremental in Hublot’s flagship range, the Big Bang Chronograph’s design. This watch, above all others, proved to be the success of this fairly new watch company.
From this point, Hublot gained a high profile rapidly, with sponsorship deals such as Formula 1, Ferrari, Manchester United Football Club and the FIFA World Cup 2010, amongst the most prestigious of these early links. Nowadays, Hublot boast over 50 Boutiques worldwide, and are well and truly a member of the watchmaking elite.
Hublot’s modern collection includes not only the Big Bang, but also the King Power, Classic Fusion, MP range, Tourbillion and more. The company’s designs constantly challenge new barriers, making the perfect choice for those favouring innovation, style and creativity in watchmaking.