First of all, please could you tell us a little bit about how you started working with Hublot and your journey with the brand?
Yes, so actually I started to work with Hublot back in 2008. So 12 years ago. My journey is a little bit different because when I started to work at Hublot, I was hired to build and run the watch laboratory and quality departments, which is completely different to what I'm doing today. From my educational background, I'm an engineer in watchmaking, but I wanted to change and to do something different. And luckily the CEO gave me the opportunity to start on a very different side of the company, which is the commercial side.
So I started back in 2016 working with my brother, which he was a regional director for Middle East and Africa, and it was a transition period because when we knew that he was about to leave the company and since that I took over his position and I enlarged my role further because I'm also in charge of Latin America and Caribbean market too now.
On a personal note, which is your favorite, Hublot timepiece?
My favorite Hublot of all time is the King Power Unico and especially the King Power Unico all black. It's a model I've been working on because from my last role in the company I was working on the development of the Unico movements. So that's why this watch is very dear to me. It's the first model we've launched with the Unico movements.
As a brand, Hublot's quite young compared to other watch manufacturers, what do you think draws people to your brand over some of the older watch companies?
I would say ‘everything’ because what we're doing is completely different from the other brands. Hublot has a philosophy, which is ‘the art of fusion’. This philosophy is quite simple because we are not repeating what has been done before we are mastering the tradition and taking it into the future and that's what makes our Hublot watches, so that's quite simple.
And would you say the materials you choose is part of that, because I know it's quite unique kind of the process behind that?
Yeah, of course. So actually it's still part of our ‘art fusion’ concept. When the brand was launched by Mr. Crocco back in 1980, he had the idea to have the strap in rubber, which was something that was not done before in the watch industry. And when Mr. Beaver and Mr. Guadalupe took over the brand back in 2004 they really wanted to develop this idea of the fusion of material and especially the art fusion. So Hublot, back since 2004 is very well known for using unusual materials that are not used in any other watch brands. So we are trying to innovate always and especially I would say one of our biggest innovations was the ‘magic gold’ that we launched in 2011 which is an unscratchable gold. And actually that's a material that it's very unique because since 4,000 or 5,000 years there were no innovation in gold alloy and we disrupt it completely this bringing a new type of alloy of gold.
It’s Hublot’s 40th anniversary next year, is there anything that fans can look forward to for the event?
Of course, definitely, we will be revealing more closer to the time. But something that will make next year a little bit special too is Basel is following directly SIHH end of April, beginning of May. So for us it was quite important to present a part of our collection like we're doing during SIHH but not being part of the SIHH. So it was important for us to present a part of our collection in January. So we are coming in Dubai, all four brands of the group, Hublot, TAG Heuer, Bvlgari and Zenith to present our collection and inviting our clients and press from all around the world to do this watches presentation. And then we'll also participate of course to Basel at the beginning of May. And the idea is to launch the collection that is going to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the brand in Basel.
Why do you think Hublot resonates so much with the Middle Eastern audience?
I would say by checking the figures and to whom we are selling the watches, Hublot is a brand that is quite popular with young people. We are selling watches in Middle East from an average of age 20 to 40, this is our peak market like almost 75% of our watches is sold to this group on average. And this generation, in this market, is quite into innovation so that's why they particularly like the product and compared to other regions in the world. Just to give you another example, since I'm handling Latin America, in Latin America, it's the opposite. We are very strong selling watches from 40 to 60 years old. So that's quite different of course I believe that our marketing strategy here in the region is helping a lot to push the brand and to put Hublot at the forefront of young minds and that's why we have also quite a lot of success here.
So you mentioned it's mainly 20 to 40 year olds. So, obviously some of the people coming to this brand are new to watch collecting. What advice would you give to people who are new to watch collecting when picking a timepiece?
Actually we don't sell watches at Hublot. It's kind of funny, but we are selling an experience, we are selling a lifestyle. So really when someone is buying a Hublot, they are not only buying a watch actually, they are buying everything around the watch and that's one of our strengths, because of course the buyer likes the design of the watch, the model of the watch, but when a client purchases a Hublot they are entering inside a big family and we are close to our clients. Just to give you an example, we have launched a few years ago, a platform that is called Hublotista. It's a watch club, a Hublot watch club that is handled directly by the brand.
And if the client purchases watch, he can register into the platform, the Hublotista platform. And just by registering, first of all he's getting one-year extra warranty, which is a big plus. And second of all, he is part of this Hublotista platform which is sharing news in advance, new product launches in advance, they can participate in some special events, they can be invited to some events and we are taking care of them from flights to accommodation, to the event. So, this is really important for us because as I said before, it's kind of a lifestyle.
What qualities do you think the Hublot man and the Hublot woman have?
First of all, they have taste, which is very important. But no, as I said, they like our products, they like our brand identity. For outsiders, people are seeing that we're doing quite a lot of limited edition, but actually it's not the case. We're doing approximately 15% of limited edition. But by doing these limited editions, it's allowing us to catch and attract some clients that didn't think about buying a Hublot watch before. But since we have launched - for example, we recently launched a new Classic Fusion Chelsea Edition. When you have one of the strongest fans of Chelsea and he has the money power to purchase the watch, he will definitely purchase the watch.
So this is something that is very important to us. And our two main pillars in terms of communication are football and Ferraris. Those are our strongest pillars in terms of marketing and communication. And we have a huge number of lines in the Ferrari collection and Ferrari is also something very attractive and very appealing to people all around the world. So it's a big push for us as well and a very, very strong partnership.
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