Hublot celebrated last year the 10th anniversary of their iconic model : the Big Bang. A sport watch owned by a lot, dreamed by many and offered in a variety of colors, sizes, prices, limited editions, for men or women, with a quartz or mechanical movement, with or without complication and prices ranging from a few thousands to a few millions. We have asked 5 feminine-oriented questions to Ricardo Guadalupe …
The Swiss manufacture based in Nyon, has proven under the reign of Jean-Claude Biver (known CEO of the LVMH Division) and more recently with Ricardo Guadalupe as CEO that Hublot is part of the major watch brands of the market. Their unstoppable desire of innovation and creation keeping a close eye on the global vision of what the final consumer wants allowed them to reach a new audience : women. As a matter of fact, 25% of the Hublot sales are feminine timepieces. Having the outstanding Israeli model Bar Refaeli as brand ambassador and having won 2015 edition of the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie with their Big Band Broderie, it did not quite change the strategy of the brand in trying to seduce or aggressively communicate to the women market.
Considering the increase of watch developments dedicated to women that brands have decided to focus on for the past 18 months, why not Hublot ?
A man’s brand winning a feminine award – what is the position of women at Hublot?
After winning the GPHG last year for the Best Woman’s Watch with the Big Brand Broderie, it gave us a sort of legitimacy. We believe that to have growth drivers we need to find new possibilities. Women could be interesting for us, but considering that 25% of our sales are for women, we can imagine that it reaches 40% tomorrow. But first, we need to wonder: Are women buying their own watches ? Are men choosing for them ? Are they buying for them ? Do women know what they want to have on their wrist ? Which type of woman buys a Hublot ? We cannot decide to position the brand with a feminine strategy per-sé, because originally we are a watch brand making watches for men. Now, it’s our challenge to imagine pieces with a lean design and a feminine touch to seduce them. Actually, working with women internally does help !
Will you consider developing a watch 100% for her?
I think it is very complicated, you need to find the right angle! How many brands have tried to imagine, develop and launch feminine timepieces without every succeeding in doing so ? I would like to re-interpret the feminine watch through our iconic Hublot line of products in working with materials and colors instead of revisiting completely the design of the watch. We ought to keep our Big Bang DNA, very edgy that is far from being sexy and glamorous we’d imagine a woman to be. If you think about it, when you combine embroidery and a feminine color it works out perfectly !
What is your vision of the watchmaking industry in this economy?
In regards to Hublot, we are lucky not to suffer too much from the crisis. The reason is probably due to the fact that we are dynamic, creative, active and innovate in the products we offer. Today, Hublot is considered to be trendy ! But the truth is that we are trendy today, and can easily be out-of-fashion tomorrow. We want to be avant-garde, we need to anticipate on what the trend is going to be if not creating the new one !
Can the Big Bang be considered has-been?
No, it can’t. The Big Bang is our Oyster from Rolex. We’d rather have an iconic model we keep on making in newer versions that not having one. However, it’s very important to work on the model and think about future evolutions. Our two grounding models are the Big Bang and the Classic Fusion, which is a more delicate and discreet piece. Thinner, lighter and more classical. I believe in the evolution of a product only if we keep a close eye on what is happening in the world in terms of market economy, consumer’s demand, trends… For example, if you think about the Porsche Carrera 911 : the car is still trendy and very demanded. But from the 1970 model to the one you find today, there is a big difference ! Bottom line, if you want to make sure that your iconic model stays iconic, you need to bring something new and interesting to make sure that in the consumer’s mind he or she always thinks that the newest piece is better than the previous !
If you had to pick one piece for women?
The Big Bang Pop-Art without a doubt !