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Hublot Baselworld 2016 - Interview with Ricardo Guadalupe

Hublot Baselworld 2016 Interview with Ricardo Guadalupe

Hublot is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the All Black concept. An opportunity for WorldTempus to discuss the Swiss brand with its CEO Ricardo Guadalupe.

Hublot was once again present at Baselworld this year, and is currently celebrating the 10th anniversary of the All Black concept. An opportunity for WorldTempus to talk things over with Ricardo Guadalupe, the man at the helm of the Nyon-based watch company.

On what note did Hublot end the year 2015?
A magnificent one! 2015 was an exceptional year for us. We achieved a 14% increase in sales, and although the end of the year was calmer, the overall annual result was extremely positive. 

And does this year look equally promising?
We are launching into 2016 with a 3 to 4% sales growth objective and the start of the year is looking positive with regard to reaching this goal. So yes!

You are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the All Black concept. Tell us a little more about it.
With this All Black concept, we have succeeded in establishing black as a colour on a par with any other, and one that is widely appreciated and indeed iconic. We have also managed to introduce ceramic into high-end models. The successful combination of black and ceramic in our timepieces has proved that that we made the right choice of trends. 

Hublot All Black Concept

Other brands now also create all-black watches. What do you make of that?
Simply that they are now truly fashionable and that we were the first to offer them. The Hublot All Black models clearly sparked this particular trend!

How are you celebrating this 10th anniversary?
We are notably presenting the Big Bang Unico All Black Sapphire, which proves that black can be used even in transparent models and I must say that the result is pretty appealing. We are also planning to hold ten or so exhibitions around the world, including in Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, Paris and London.

Women are wearing more and more large-diameter watches, or even men’s watches. What percentage of your sales comes from ladies’ models?
The exact percentage is 27% and relates to our colourful, denim or diamond-set watches. That’s an excellent figure for a fairly sporty and masculine brand! But our ladies’ watches are luxury accessories, generally for women who already own more classic and traditional watches. 

Do you wish to increase this percentage?
Of course. It would be great to achieve a 60% men’s and 40% women’s ratio, without lowering the sales figures for men’s watches. We are therefore exploring feminine demands and trends so as to adapt our creations accordingly.

What is the geographical spread of your watches?
For Europe, our sales percentage is 35% and 25% for the United States, followed by Japan with over 10% and the Middle East with a similar figure. China is currently experiencing a 30% dip in sales and we hope that this will only be temporary. 

Personalising watches is all the rage at the moment. Are you also active in this field?
Definitely. We are regularly contacted by associations, companies, football clubs or private individuals asking us to provide personalised interpretations of certain models in series of one, 20 or even 100.  Whether simply a change of colour on an iconic model, a dedicated printed dial motif or a specific engraving, we are receiving an ever-growing number of requests for personalisation and we would like to give a special emphasis to this possibility. 

Hublot, like TAG Heuer, has a number of partnerships and ambassadors in the field of sports, culture, music and fashion. Tell us about this collaborative diversity.
We choose our partnerships based on fortuitous encounters, but always with people or companies with whom we share affinities and that are a good match. We are a rock’n’roll brand. We like exploring uncharted territories and that’s also where our strength lies. 

Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO Hublot, Baselworld

Your Manufacture has enjoyed a makeover in Nyon with the addition of a new building. Do you have a lot of factory visits?
Definitely. This building is also a symbol of the strength of our brand. It showcases a modern Manufacture with cutting-edge labs and technologies. We want to create a form of watchmaking resolutely geared towards the future and to demonstrate that the brand is truly modern. 

And what about Hublot’s capacity as far as the heart of a watch is concerned – namely the movement?
The goal would be to achieve a 75% share of Manufacture-made movements. This objective is feasible, but will undoubtedly take around five to eight years to meet.

 

 

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The brand

From the outset, Hublot has embodied design and innovation that differ markedly from the established watchmaking order. With the impetus provided by Jean-Claude Biver, by 2004 these values had already become the basis of a new DNA, leading the brand, which is currently headed by Ricardo Guadalupe - its CEO since 2012, to develop particularly audacious timepieces – most of them with a highly-developed sporting aspect.

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