At the start of the New Year, many watchmaking companies are presenting their novelties, and Hublot is no exception. Apart from new exciting models that are unveiled or are scheduled to be introduced this spring, the brand from Geneva has also announced changes in the company management. The former CEO of the company, legendary Jean Claude Biver, has stepped down from the position. His old job will now be the preoccupation of Ricardo Guadalupe who was prior brand’s managing director.
The changes at the management are certainly not a big shock or a drastic change in Hublot’s business strategy. Guadalupe, who joined the brand in 2005, and Biver have not only been cooperating for two decades, they are also close personal friends. Jean Claude Biver will, however, not be leaving Hublot for good quite yet, since he will now perform the duties of the company’s board chairman, and will still be heavily involved in the development of business strategy and new watches. He will likewise be the official spokesperson of the Swiss brand. Biver is celebrated as one of resourceful businessmen in the industry who was able to save the entire Swiss watchmaking from problems it faced after competing with much cheaper watches with quartz movements. His solution to the problem was the restriction of the supply, in spite of a very large demand which brought to the higher exclusivity of the products. Commenting on his departure from the position he had performed since 2004, Mr. Biver explained: “There is a time for learning, a time for doing, a time for handing over, and a time for moving on. I’ve happily made it safe and sound to the hand-over stage”. He also expressed his satisfaction for being replaced by his friend and colleague he enjoyed working with, and for being able to remain in Hublot’s team.
The Second Generation of Hublot and Maradona Watches
The start of 2012, Hublot joined forces with its ambassador, one of the world’s best soccer players in history, Diego Armando Maradona. Together, they organized a charity event which raised one million RMB for the special program to aid children in China. This event in Shangai was also an opportunity to flaunt two new watches that were designed for the soccer legend. The timepieces in question are the second incarnation of the limited edition that came as a product of their collaboration, named the King Power Maradona. Commenting on the collaboration, the iconic sportsman said: “More than a partnership, I feel to be the part of the Hublot family. I met authentic and fantastic people who became my friends. The thing that drew me to Hublot was also their charity efforts. I’m very involved in my community, giving kids opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise get.”
Two versions of the new watch are heavily influenced by the sport that made the Argentinean famous. The dials feature number ten (which was his jersey number), as well as Maradona’s signature. Novelties include two central chronograph hands which contribute to improved legibility. The first hand shows seconds, while the second, specially designed for soccer enthusiasts and coaches, indicates the elapsed time out of 45 minutes (soccer games consist of two halves that last 45 minutes).
As previously noted, there will be two variations of the timepiece: one with a micro-blasted ceramic case (with Ref. no. 716.CI.1129.RX.DMA11) and the variation with an 18K King Gold case (Ref. no. 716.OM.1129.RX.DMA12). Both of them are 48 mm wide and have case backs that match the material of the cases. Another mutual characteristic is sapphire crystal with glare-proof treatment on both sides. The ceramic watch has a micro-blasted ceramic with a black rubber moulding bezel, while the other one includes the same bezel with a satin finish. The dials are made of sapphire and skeletonized. They both feature satin-finished hands with white SuperLuminova treatment for better visibility (the ceramic version has ruthenium coated hands, while the gold one appropriately includes matching gold plated hands).
The skeleton dials offer glimpses to the self-winding HUB4245 chronograph movements with the central 45 minutes counters. The automatic mechanical mechanism that is comprised of 249 components has 26 jewels, and runs on the frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 vph). It is supplied with a power reserve that lasts for 42 hours. The black rubber straps with white stripes are fastened with clasps that match the material of the case. Both of the versions are limited editions. The ceramic timepiece is made in 500 copies, while the gold variation edition consists of 200 pieces.
Unico Enriched with GMT Complication
However, the list of Hublot’s newcomers for 2012 is far from over. The list of novelties continues with Hublot King Power Unico GMT timepiece. The in-house Unico mechanism was enriched with a GMT feature that was also designed and produced by the brand. It involves a set of 4 discs made of aluminum which are used to indicate time in four different time zones. Four disks are controlled, set at the two o’clock position, and they enable effortless and immediate display of time in one of 14 available cities. This is enabled by the mechanical self-winding caliber HUB 1220 movement with a power reserve of 72 hours.
It is housed in a 48 mm wide case. Just like Maradona’s watch, there are two types of cases: micro-blasted black ceramic and satin-brushed 18K King Gold. The black ceramic bezel with rubber moulding is engraved with city names which are also present on the skeletonized matte black dial. The face is protected with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal and the watch includes water resistance to 100 m. The band is made of black rubber and it closes with either titanium or 18K King Gold clasp, depending on the chosen case.
The Toughest Kind of Gold and Snake Jewelry for Ladies
The next newcomer is Magic Gold Big Bang which will be presented at Baselworld 2012. This timepiece was constructed from special material that was developed in cooperation with Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne. This material is an alloy of 24 karat gold with modern high tech materials. As the result, Hublot got a new type of 18 K gold that features impressive toughness and scratch resistance which rates near 1000 on the Vickers scale of hardness. Apart from the use of new materials, there are still not too many details about this model.
For the end, we saved a brand new Big Bang Chronograph Boa Bang timepiece which will be presented in four versions, two with steel cases, and two with 18 K red gold cases (each of them with a rather large diameter for a women’s watch – 41 mm). As their names suggest, these timepieces mimic the patterns of snake skin on their straps, bezels and dials. There are two brown and two green versions, each in both case materials. To achieve the shimmer that resembles boa’s skin, Hublot used precious stones and minerals. The green versions are made with tsavorites, sapphires and tourmalines, while the brown variations utilize andalusites and quartz in various shades. The dials of all these chronographs include eight diamonds that are used as hour markers. All of the models have rubber and jean straps and are run by mechanical self-winding HUB 4300 chrono movements.