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20th Anniversary
Hublot - Ricardo Guadalupe

Hublot Ricardo Guadalupe


In 1994, when Ricardo Guadalupe met Jean-Claude Biver, it turned out to be a life-changing encounter. Guadalupe joined Biver at Blancpain, a sleeping beauty bought out by the Swatch Group that needed to be rebuilt practically from scratch. Challenge accepted: in 2001, the Manufacture posted sales of over CHF 100 million. In 2004, Jean-Claude Biver moved on to head up Hublot. Mindful of the adage that you don’t change a winning team, Biver enlisted Ricardo Guadalupe once again to help him achieve the impossible: change output from being 90% quartz to 90% mechanical, and generate fresh business. At that time, Hublot’s revenues were just CHF 25 million. Then the pair launched the revolutionary Big Bang and the Art of Fusion concept. Four years on, in 2008, when Hublot was bought out by LVMH, turnover had increased to CHF 200 million.

Ricardo Guadalupe

Ricardo Guadalupe © Hublot

Ricardo Guadalupe then became CEO of Hublot, where he’s a happy boss – with a good track record and plenty of ideas. Hublot’s estimated annual turnover is now €600 million, and still on the rise. Ricardo Guadalupe is modest about his part in it all: “We’re fortunate enough to have very well-balanced markets.” But there’s more to it than that. The Manufacture’s positioning is unique; the brand is acclaimed for its pronounced creativity, a strategy made possible by having a Research and Development department that’s absolutely buzzing with activity. As a result, Hublot is often in the news – and often so in association with soccer. Back in 2006, Hublot was the first Manufacture to take an interest in football, becoming partners of the Swiss national side. Other, similar sponsorships followed before achieving the Holy Grail: the role of official timekeepers for the 2014 and 2018 World Cup tournaments in Brazil and Russia respectively. The brand is aLso timekeeper and official watch purveyor for several prestigious clubs, FIFA, and UEFA – for which Hublot has just produced a brand-new connected watch.

Together with Jean-Claude Biver, Ricardo Guadalupe formed a high-powered twosome – without which Blancpain and Hublot would have long ceased to shine in the watchmaking firmament.

*Written by Hervé Borne

*On the occasion of GMT Magazine and WorldTempus' 20th anniversary, we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with a 10% discount if you use the following code: WT2021.

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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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