The Swiss watch brand Hublot was born in 1980 as a result of the vision of founder Carlo Crocco. After significant cooling of its popularity in the 1980’s, Hublot has experienced a real rebirth in the last several years, chiefly because of the “Big Bang” watch revolution, which redefined Hublot’s aesthetic with bold new combinations of materials. This concept was brought to bear by the tirelessly creative Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver, who is known to many watchophiles as the mastermind behind Blancpain’s incredible revival in the 1980’s.
Now, luxury group powerhouse LVMH has stepped up and acquired Hublot. This is significant in many ways: it means that the already hugely popular Hublot brand gains the immense capital and strong leadership of LVMH to push it to the ultimate height. With LVMH behind it, Hublot can be assured of its survival and success long into the future. Technical development can proceed fruitfully, which can result in new complications and watches, which is sure to fuel the fame of Hublot even more among luxury consumers and connoisseurs. On the reverse side, LVMH gains a wonderful addition to its already formidable portfolio of high-end brands, whose Watch & Jewelry division is made up of such horological stars as TAG Heuer and Zenith.
Philippe Pascal, Chief Executive Officer of LVMH’s Watches & Jewelry business group had this to say: “Hublot is a strategic and very complementary acquisition. Its high-end positioning, selective distribution, financial performance and growth potential make Hublot a ‘rising star’. Hublot will strengthen our Watches & Jewelry business group which, over the last three years, has been growing strongly. We are very happy that Jean-Claude Biver will, along with the management team of Hublot, continue on this remarkable journey and contribute his considerable expertise to our development in this promising sector.”
But what about Hublot’s famed creativity? Will it be stifled under corporate stewardship? While time will be the judge, I think this negative scenario is highly unlikely – rather, I expect that LVMH, knowing what they have acquired, will guide Hublot to greater heights of watchmaking fame. Evidence of this is the enthusiastic endorsement of Carlo Crocco himself, who for years has proudly guarded his independent brand. Both Carlo Crocco and Jean-Claude Biver – the ultimate stewards of the Hublot message – have expressed great satisfaction with Hublot’s long term prospects under the stewardship of LVMH.