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"A veritable fusion between the traditional and the cutting-edge"

Within the walls of Hublot’s vast manufacture, one can witness the most traditional of watchmaking crafts being employed alongside state-of-the-art manufacturing technology, a veritable fusion between the traditional and the cutting-edge.
Hublot’s in-house developed and manufactured Unico movement for example is hand-assembled from over 300 individual components. Typically, a watchmaker receives a kit with all the necessary pieces from the production ateliers and then assembles them in the batches of around 25 movements simultaneously.
While most of the movement’s parts are hand-assembled, Hublot also relies on technologically advanced automated and semi-automated high-tech method for certain tasks, such as setting the rubies into the plates and bridges as well as applying precise amount of lubricant oil.
Once the movements are complete, the final watches are hand-assembled by watchmakers based on function. The process begins by attaching the movement onto the dial, followed by fixing and aligning the hands onto it. A watchmaker then tests all the functions of the watch such as the chronograph and quick-date mechanism, while paying attention to the movement of the hands. The movement and dial are then intricately placed into the watch’s case, which would be pre-assembled by another dedicated watchmaker.
Once the external elements like the crown and pusher are set into place, the functions are tested once again to ensure smooth operation. The movement’s oscillating rotor is screwed into place, then the final case element, the case back, is screwed into place and the watch is ready to undergo testing for chronometric performance and water resistance.
Finally, the strap and buckle are screwed to the case, and the watch is sealed in an Argon gas-filled pouch to prevent oxidation and condensation; ready to make its way to a Hublot customer.
Quality control is carried out at every step during the watch assembly process. Each watchmaker is expected to verify the work of the previous watchmaker handling the piece and verify whether it conforms to Hublot’s strict quality standards. Should a problem arise at any point in the assembly line, the watch is sent back to the start of the production line to be disassembled, and the process starts all over again.
At the High Complications department, assembly works differently in a much more traditional manner. Given the sheer complexity of High Complications watches including the MP series, tourbillons and striking timepieces, such pieces are individually hand-assembled from start to finish by a single watchmaker, sometimes requiring up to three months to complete a single watch.
"A strap to a watch is like a pair of shoes to an outfit, the perfect complement to a look. Each Hublot watch comes on a perfectly matched strap that becomes an inherent part of the overall design."
A strap to a watch is like a pair of shoes to an outfit, the perfect complement to a look. Each Hublot watch comes on a perfectly matched strap that becomes an inherent part of the overall design.
Undoubtedly a staple element for Hublot, considered the originator of the rubber watch strap, Hublot produces a wide range of textures of its signature natural rubber straps across all collections, from smooth to structured and flat to three-dimensional. Going beyond the standard black rubber, Hublot offers the rubber strap in countless colors perfectly matching a watch’s color accents including the Kevlar inserts on the sides and giving the appearance that the strap goes right through the center portion of the case.
Combining the durability of rubber with the opulence of exotic leathers is the “gummy” alligator strap, which boasts the water-resistance and durability of natural rubber with the elegance and opulence of an alligator skin strap. Inlaid into the rubber, the alligator leather is given a rubberized surface and texture, making it seamlessly blend with the rubber in terms of looks and feel.
Hublot also incorporates other fabrics and materials onto the rubber strap, including high-tech fabrics such as flameproof Nomex® and even denim. Drawing inspiration from the worlds of its partners and ambassadors, Hublot creates entirely new designs and executions for such special series.
For those who prefer the feel of something more substantial, Hublot also offers metal and ceramic bracelets that perfectly integrate with a watch’s case and follows the mix of materials and surface treatments. Even for diamond-embellished pieces, Hublot offers the option of a matching steel or gold bracelet hand set with brilliant or baguette cut diamonds.

Technical specifications

- 42 mm
- Microblasted Black Ceramic
- Microblasted Black Ceramic
- With 6 H-shaped Titanium Screws
- Sapphire with Anti-reflective Treatment
- Sapphire Crystal
- Blue Rubber and Alligator Straps
- Black Ceramic and Black-plated Titanium Deployant Buckle Clasp
- HUB4700 
- Self-winding Skeleton
- Chronograph Movement
- 50 Hours
- 100m or 10 ATM

Who's who

“I’d known Jean-Claude for 20 years. When he took over Hublot, I offered to open a dedicated store in Paris. He came to see the premises. We talked together for barely 45 minutes before reaching an agreement.”
The relationship between Chronopassion and Hublot is built on mutual trust, spontaneity – and firm convictions about the projects with the greatest potential. As Lauren Adams would say, “there’s no point discussing what’s already been agreed.” It’s the perfect adage when it comes to the personalities of former Hublot CEO Hublot Jean-Claude Biver and Laurent Picciotto, the founder of Chronopassion.
Rather than simply being the story of a brand and its products, Hublot and Chronopassion is above all a story with a strongly personal touch. When Carlo Crocco created the Hublot watch with a gold case and a rubber strap in 1980, it was the first time in the history of watchmaking that a precious material, gold, had been used alongside rubber. In the mid-1990s, rubber became prized by many leading watchmaking brands, demonstrating that Hublot’s decision had been the right one. For the brand, rubber was anything but a fad – rather, it embodied its philosophy and became its hallmark.
Having headed up Hublot for fifteen years, Carlo Crocco became increasingly busy with work for his MDM Foundation, so he set out to find the right person to take the helm of the watchmaking firm. That was when he met Jean-Claude Biver, who had just left Blancpain. Biver put Hublot back on the road to recovery, becoming head of the company from May 2004 through to 2012. “Our paths crossed in 2006,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. “Jean-Claude had already brought the brand right up to date, with lines like Big Bang, Classic Fusion and King Power.
This was the beginning of the rebirth of Hublot. He drew plans, diagrams, rebuses and roadmaps for me. When he stepped down from his position as CEO in 2012, I realised that he had had his entire roadmap in mind right from the word go. Not only that, but that he had completed it – ahead of time.” The takeover of BNB Concept proved to be a key turning-point for the brand. The company had been subcontracting for Hublot since 2004, dealing with complication watches, particularly tourbillons. At a time when BNB was struggling financially, Hublot offered to buy out the firm. The brand thereby became a “manufacture”, enabling it to supply haute horlogerie models, notably a large number of tourbillons and Minute Repeaters, as well as more atypical pieces such as the Key of Time.
Together, Laurent Picciotto and Jean-Claude Biver forged a partnership rather than a commercial relationship. The two men created a number of custom series and set about laying the foundations of what was to become Hublotista, the community of Hublot owners. At the end of the day, they are still motivated by passion – and guided above all by instinct.
Journalist : Olivier Müller
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