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Hublot - Interview with Ricardo Guadalupe

Hublot Interview with Ricardo Guadalupe

We talk to Hublot’s CEO about another anniversary year with Ferrari and the perennial influence of Jean-Claude Biver.

Jean-Claude Biver sang your praises at your Baselworld press conference this year. What have you learned from your longstanding working relationship with him?
We have been working together for 25 years so when he says that he has been successful because of me, I would turn that on its head and say that I’ve been successful thanks to him! Meeting Jean-Claude Biver has allowed me to enjoy the career that I have had. He is my mentor and the partnership has worked very well because we are complementary to each other. If we were the same it wouldn’t work.

Interview with Ricardo Guadalupe

Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot, and Jean-Claude Biver © Hublot

He has a vision and ideas. I don’t mean by that that I don’t have any ideas myself, of course, but my strengths are in making these ideas a reality. When Jean-Claude arrived at Hublot with this great idea of the Art of Fusion, of mixing tradition and innovation to produce watches that were different, like the Big Bang, it allowed me to develop – relatively easily – a strategy. So it is this vision, that dates back to 2004, that has allowed Hublot to be so successful.

You have been in partnership with Ferrari for eight years already and have already celebrated the 70th anniversary of the brand two years ago. Now you are celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Scuderia Ferrari. What has this partnership brought to Hublot?
When we signed the agreement in 2011 we were very proud, because we had already been in negotiations since 2006, when Panerai became the partner, and perhaps we weren’t quite ready at the time. Hublot was much different in 2011 than it was in 2006 and we already had some important partnerships under our belt. The partnership with Ferrari allowed us to raise the perception of the brand to the same level of Ferrari and benefit from its prestige. This is a big help because Ferrari only partners with prestigious brands. We decided that we needed to work with Ferrari across the board in all its activities, from Formula 1 to cars, representation in the majority of Ferrari dealers around the world and presence at Ferrari events.

Interview with Ricardo Guadalupe

Big Bang Scuderia Ferrari 90th Anniversary models © Hublot

In terms of product, we obviously didn’t just want to put the prancing horse on a dial and leave it at that. We started with a Big Bang and increased the Ferrari elements incrementally, the second Big Bang had more of a Ferrari-themed design, for example. Then there was the La Ferrari, which was an incredible watch, and the Techframe two years ago. In that case we decided to do something very exclusive with a chronograph-tourbillon. We then decided to reinvent our Classic Fusion model. It was a bit more complicated to do this, but we worked together with Ferrari on it and the result is very successful.

Interview with Ricardo Guadalupe

Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph in carbon © Hublot

Is it really a Classic Fusion?
The Big Bang Ferrari isn’t really a true Big Bang, either, even though it is recognizable. I wanted to take the design of the Classic Fusion a step further and I thought we could make a first attempt with a very innovative piece in collaboration with Ferrari. This is a first major step in the development of the Classic Fusion and it may well open up possibilities for further evolutions.

Interview with Ricardo Guadalupe

Classic Fusion Ferrari GT models © Hublot

How was Baselworld for you this year?
We come here for trade meetings. All of our retailers come to Baselworld because there are all the LVMH group brands and some of the biggest names in watchmaking. Maybe with fewer brands it’s less interesting for the general public but for us it doesn’t really change much.

What about next year?
The date is a real problem because it is so late. We are already delivering the watches we presented in Geneva at the start of the year. Maybe we will do something before Baselworld next year in January or February. We are part of a group so we can do something together. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in Switzerland. It could be in Miami, Dubai or Hong Kong.

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 to develop particularly audacious timepieces – most of them with a highly-developed sporting aspect.

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