When looking at watch brands, and gauging their success, I often find myself resorting to the same old boring criteria. How old is the watch brand, what impact did they have in history, and what does their current lineup look like? What can be forgotten along the line though is that watch brands are at the end of the day a business, and as such, the most successful might just be Hublot.
The watch that started it all, the very first Hublot
It all started at the 1980 Baselworld, where Carlo Crocco introduced the first Hublot watch. With a gold case, a quartz movement, and a silicon strap it was unlike anything people had ever seen before, and that was reflected in the sales which amounted to 2 million in its first year.
Arguably an even more important date though was 2004, because that is when Jean-Claude Biver arrived. Wasting no time, Biver got straight to work and unveiled at his first Baselworld working for Hublot the Big Bang, a new top of the line chronograph which with its disruptive design hit the reserved watch industry like a cannon ball.
The man who elevated Hublot to become one of the biggest watch brands in the world, Jean Claude Biver
Orders three-folded in the next year and the Big Bang received “2005 Design Prize” in the “Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix”, the “Sports Watch Prize” at the “Watch of the Year” ceremony in Japan, and the Middle Eastern Prize for the “Best Oversized Watch” at the Editor’s Choice “Watch of the Year” in Bahrain. More important than critical acclaim though was the reception from the public. To say they loved it would be an understatement, as the Big Bang became for many young collectors their grail watch.
Biver demonstrated that he could replicate his previous success at brands like Audemars Piguet, Omega, and Blancpain. His aggressive marketing approach focusing on celebrity endorsements established itself as a universal path to growth.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather, sporting a Saphire LaFerrari and a Custom 1.1$ Diamond Encrusted Hublot
I firmly believe Hublot makes a good case for being the best contemporary watch brand out there. They left a genuine impact on the industry, think about it, oversized watches, rubber bracelets, and celebrity endorsements are now everywhere, but Hublot started them all. What really cements this view though is that unlike so many other brands who play it safe, Hublot continues to release exciting watches on a regular basis, developing new materials and creating the most creative collaborations.
What do you think, does Hublot deserve to be considered the best watch brand in the world?