A scion of the Italian Binda Group dynasty, best known for making Breil watches, Carlo Crocco left the company in 1976 to strike out on his own and create a new watch company. Moving to Switzerland he formed MDMGeneve and set about designing a watch that he named the Hublot after the French word for “porthole”.
Since its inception, Hublot has never been afraid to be different. Its distinctive designs and unique innovations set it apart from the more traditional watchmakers. Thanks to Jean-Claude Biver’s efforts in the 2000s, this maverick quality is now recognized as a key feature of Hublot watches.
Hublot was launched by Carlo Crocco in 1980, and this was the first time that gold and rubber were combined to make watches. Crocco wanted to design a timepiece that was adaptable, durable and stylish all at once and in 1980, the signature look of the Hublot was born.
These watches are well known for their porthole shape (the name ‘Hublot’ actually means ‘porthole’ in French), their combinations of polished and brushed gold, as well as for their minimalist black dial. Hublot was also the first watch to ever use a natural rubber strap.
The reason that a Hublot is so special is because of its design. The rubber of the bands complements and contrasts the dials of the watch face; the band is made to conform to any wearer’s wrist, making it both comfortable and weightless. It became the go-to watch for anyone who played a sport or worked with his or her hands. It was as if they were not wearing a watch at all.
Today, the brand’s headquarters is in Switzerland, and this is where the magic happens. Their watches are manufactured here, in rooms filled with both machinery and watchmakers’ benches. The watches get hands-on attention to detail and are assembled from scratch from the same place, their Swiss headquarters, where they are also finished and tested. No watch leaves without being thoroughly tested for quality and performance.
Another thing that makes Hublot uniquely special is their amazing customer service. No matter where Hublot owners are in the world they will always get excellent support and the company will go out of its way to please them. This is a well-known fact among luxury watch owners and one that resounds across the web, especially on several luxury watch lover sites and forums. Whether a client purchases a timepiece in a boutique or places an order by mail, the effect is always the same: Hublot is always dedicated to its customers.
Hublot manufacturers a number of special collections each year, and they hold the distinction of manufacturing the most expensive watch in the world, ‘The Five Million Dollar Watch.’
Many celebrities have joined forces with Hublot to come up with unique special editions, giving a notable edge to the watchmaker. Most recently, Shawn Carter (also known as Jay-z) joined the list and designed the Classic Fusion Shawn Carter with the Swiss company. One of the unique things about this special edition is that Carter actually designed the entire piece.
The timepiece has a dial that features a Maltese Cross symbol, Carter’s personal logo, as a cutout. Beneath this cutout, Hublot’s ultra-thin HUB1300 manually wound movement is partially seen. On the face, Shawn Carter’s name appears, but the typical Hublot logo is missing.
This particular model uses yellow gold and when fully wound, provides wearers with 90 hours of usage. The watches are available at both Barney’s and Hublot boutique stores.
Other special collections have included Formula 1 racing editions, as Hublot was an official sponsor of Formula 1. The Hublot F1 King Power watch was limited to a production of just 250 pieces and looks like what one would expect from a racing-inspired watch. The piece has rubber chronograph pushers, a bright red dial, and a hornback alligator strap. The watch looks, and is, durable and tough.
Recently, Hublot also teamed up with the Miami Heat’s Ray Allen to help fund diabetes research. The watchmakers unveiled three limited edition Ray Allen watches: the Ray Allen King Power, the Ray Allen Big Bang, and the Ray Allen Classic Fusion. All of the proceeds from the sale of the watches go to diabetes research.