Recently I was privileged to be just one of three American journalists to travel to Nyon, Switzerland, for the opening of Hublot 2 – the second Hublot Manufacture to open its doors Ground was broken on this project just about a year and a half ago, and already the building is up and running.
On hand to celebrate the opening of the new building were not only Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe and Jean-Claude Biver, chairman of Hublot and president of the LVMH Group’s Watch Division, but also Hublot brand ambassadors model Bar Refaeli, soccer icon Pelé and entrepreneur Lapo Elkann.
The new manufacturing facility is about 25,000 square feet and doubles the brand’s production space. It is located adjacent to the first Hublot factory and there is a racetrack style bridge that crosses a railroad track and connects Hublot1 factory and Hublot 2.
The new facility brings all of the component manufacturing and finishing under this roof. Additionally, thanks to 17 CNC machines, case production and manufacture of screws also takes place here. Even carbon fiber cases, bezels and small components are now also brought under this roof, as have the electroplating department and the diamond setting artisans. The plan is to add about 100 employees to the staff already existing and to be ready to implement a watchmaking school.
The opening of the factory proves to be an important milestone for the brand, which has come a long way in the past decade, especially now that it has received strong investment infusions from LVMH that have enabled it to grow by leaps and bounds. Research and development is a key area for the brand, as Biver insists that Hublot will constantly develop new materials and new ideas to grow the brand.
“Hublot is not like any other brand,” says Biver. “It is unique. It is different. It is a brand that once you buy a watch, you need to buy another and another. You become addicted.”
We were able to spend some time with Biver during this trip, and with Guadalupe and we will bring you those complete interviews in the coming weeks. We are certain you will find them as enlightening as we did.
In addition to the factory opening, Hublot also showcased some of the new products from this year, which marks the 10th anniversary of the Hublot Big Bang. Among the three new commemorative models: Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold (with “One Click” strap attachment system); Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve Indicator Full Magic Gold; Big Bang Unico “10 Years” Haute Joaillerie. The Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve Indicator marks the first Tourbillon in the new generation Big Bang line. The watch features a beautiful skeleton movement and a practical power reserve indicator function on the dial side. It is crafted in Full Magic Gold — an unscratchable gold alloy developed and made in house. We will be bringing you a lot more on these special materials soon. Stay tuned.