L’Officiel Arabia speaks exclusively with Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe

Fresh off the back of LVMH watch week in Dubai, L’Officiel Arabia sat down with Ricardo Guadalupe to learn more about Hublot’s plans for 2020 and beyond.
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So first of all, congratulations on the re-opening of the boutique here. Is there anything unique that you have in the pipeline specifically for the Middle East?

Our boutique in The Dubai Mall is our number one boutique in the world, which is fantastic. They have incredible results. 

We have some specific models dedicated to the Middle East and the UAE in particular. We have created an incredible piece called The Vision with the Arabic numbers and for the first time a mechanical movement that goes backwards. 

The boutique, of course, is a flagship for the region, and also we have the full assortment of what Hublot is offering, specifically in terms of limited edition pieces.

More broadly, can you tell us a little bit about your key plans for Hublot in 2020?

So Hublot is going to be 40 years old in 2020, so it is still a young brand. But it’s a special occasion and we are going to commemorate those 40 years with a unique presentation at Baselworld, where we will celebrate our Art of Fusion, which of course is one of our core concepts.  

And the second big thing is football because Hublot has been the first luxury watch brand to go into football and this year we're going to have the Euro 2020, which is being held all over Europe. So we are going to activate these events in particular in the summer.

Is there anything specific you can tell us about that at the moment? Or is it under wraps...

We can say that we will present a new connected watch at Baselworld. In terms of football, all the referees at Euro 2020 will wear a Hublot and we will be looking at commercial partnerships, particularly in terms of that watch. 


"The Hublot woman is a woman that has achieved something in her life, and who has, of course, watch experience already."

Fantastic. And could you tell us a little bit about why LVMH watch week here in Dubai was important to you?

So, the most important thing is the date. It happened early in January, and January is important to us because we can kick off the year, and present certain novelties that we will be able to deliver before Baselworld which is later in the year. All that we presented in Dubai will be delivered already March, April, May and so on.

And why Dubai? Because before we had SIHH in Geneva, for the past 10 years. So we were doing that in Geneva. But of course, now they have merged with Baselworld, so it's going to be the end of April and beginning of May. So we said, let's find a place which is strategically interesting for everybody, comfortable for everybody, because you can come from Japan, from the US, and its more or less the same distance to Dubai, the city is also super well served by airlines. Usually, Dubai has the perfect weather for this type of event too, although we had some rain this year, but overall the week was a success. 

In terms of your process, what comes first to you guys? Do you find a new material and then decide to make a watch out of it? Or do you design a watch and then figure out what material should be used?

It depends. We have a lot of research and development going on in different fields. We have the field of design, so we work on design, we have the field of materials, so we work on new materials and sometimes a material becomes a design. For example, when we came up with the red ceramic, the watch changed totally because it's red. When I come with sapphire, the watch changes totally because of the material. So the material brings also an evolution in the design.

We work on the movement. What we want is the movement as part of the design, which is totally new. We want the movement to be seen, to be part of the design of the watch. The MECA-10 movement, for instance, is an example of being part of the design. 

"Our boutique in The Dubai Mall is our number one boutique in the world, which is fantastic. They have incredible results."

Interesting - so Hublot is traditionally seen perhaps more of a men's watch or at least perceived that way. What sort of woman wears Hublot? Who is the Hublot woman?

The Hublot woman is a woman that has achieved something in her life, and who has, of course, watch experience already. She went through other brands and at a certain point she wanted something different and Hublot was the answer. She wants something particular, through colours, for example. We have done a lot of coloured watches, pop art watches, embroidery, embroidery materials. We are doing one now with pink sapphire, for instance, blue sapphire.

Do you have anything in particular planned for your women's division in the next six months?

To support the woman watches, we want to create a team of women's achievers. So today we have a series of women that achieved something in their particular sport. We have Alex Morgan, she's a football player because we're in football as well. An American football player, very known, beautiful and she has been world champion twice with the USA. We have Dina Asher-Smith in athleticism, she's an English athlete that will be in Tokyo at the Olympics this year.

We have incredible tennis players from around the world like Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, and Elina Svitolina too. We don't want just to take a beautiful model to represent Hublot. We want women that have achieved something in their careers.

And finally on a more personal note, what's your favourite watch, and why? 

It's the Big Bang All Black from 2006 because All Black was a totally revolutionary concept that Hublot came up with a watch where you don't see the time anymore. You can see and not see. Showing that the evolution of our industry is to make watches for what they represent, and the ‘time’ aspect is not as important nowadays because of the technologies that we have, like the phones, like the time you find it on your computer, everywhere. Before, the watch in the 1950s or 1930s, it was super important to get the time because it was one of the only ways to access that information. So that's why this concept of All Black was really incredible, it has an eye on the future while remaining true to who we are as a brand. 

Great, thank you very much.

Thank you.


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