On Tuesday, Hublot gathered 300 VIP guests, including ambassadors, friends of the brand and journalists in Nyon, Switzerland, to inaugurate the opening of Hublot 2, the brand’s second and largest manufacturing building.
The project, launched almost three years ago, is a response to the growing demand for Hublot watches around the world. To keep up with it, the brand has decided to add 8,000 m2 of manufacturing surface, which will house more than 100 new workstations and take the workforce of the company above 400 people.
According to Hublot the project represents an investment of 20 million Swiss francs, a staggering amount as questions are raised about the advance of smart watches both in the tech world and in the Swiss watch industry, and as demand for Swiss watches seems to be slowing down.
However, Mr. Jean-Claude Biver, Chairman of Hublot and President of the LVMH Group’s Watch Division, was quick to remind everyone that Hublot is currently putting up double-digit growth in the year 2015.
“We have a mission, and above all, we have a philosophy,” said Mr. Biver. “People who buy Hublot, they don’t buy watches to know the time,” he joked, referring to the all black models that are very trendy but difficult to read. “That’s the strength of Hublot. If you want soul on your wrist, only Hublot can give that to you.”
Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot and brand ambassadors Bar Refaeli, Lapo Elkann and Pelé joined him on stage. to celebrate the brand’s latest milestone, after a friendly penalty shoot-out with the King of football.
Mr. Guadalupe, who was present when Hublot opened its first manufacturing building, just 6 years ago, across the train tracks that currently run between it and Hublot 2, added some perspective to the immense occasion, not just for Hublot, but for the Swiss watch industry as a whole.
The Innovations, Research & Development department, whose activity is mainly focused on new materials and very complicated movements, will remain in H1 but enjoy extra space, while Hublot 2 will focus on making components for in-house movements as well as cases.
“We want to double the production of case, from 10,000 to 20,000, in carbon fiber, in ceramic, Magic Gold and other contemporary materials developed and made famous by the Art Of Fusion of Hublot.”
Hublot 2 will also serve as the new home for the after-sales service and part of the administrative department.
If you are not yet a client, “don’t buy a Hublot,” warned Mr. Biver, although his smile was saying otherwise, “Because we will be forced to start planning for another manufacture.”