Can you tell us the purpose of your visit to Lebanon? Hublot is in Lebanon to announce its new Ambassador and also its new partner, the company Tamer Brothers.
New partner, new ambassador, new shop? We finalized the location of the shop, the inauguration will be done in few months.
Who is your new ambassador? Ragheb Alama. We share the same values, and our collaboration was sealed through a charity association.
And why did you choose Ragheb Alama? Because he shares the same values as Hublot. Before being our ambassador, he was our client. Also because he is trans-generational, since thirty years he has been active in the field of music and he is still a leading character.
Can you give us an overview of Hublot? The brand was created in 1980. Hublot was the first to associate a gold watch with a rubber strap. It is the fusion of a noble material and a high-tech material that is rubber. In 2005, the watch was revived by president Jean-Claude Biver, who created the Big Bang. It is now the iconic model of Hublot. During the last ten years, Hublot has experienced success through prestigious partnerships. Hublot is the official Ferrari watch, the official timekeeper of the World Cup, among others. Its success is based on three pillars: a strong product, a marketing communication and good partners to represent us around the world. Today, these three areas are present in Lebanon, which is why we decided to revive the brand here. A strong brand in Lebanon will have a good positioning in the Middle East, Lebanon being the trendsetter in the Middle East.
What distinguishes Hublot from other brands, apart from the fusion of materials? In each of our creations, we aim to be pioneers, different, unique. This is what characterizes us.
And you were talking about cooperation with ambassadors and partnerships …Partnerships allow us to be linked with associations or famous brands. Ferrari, for example, is certainly the luxury car icon, sporty par excellence. By partnering with Ferrari, this allows us to do a luxury transfer. Its reputation allows us to show that we share the same values.
The Big Bang, the iconic watch of Hublot celebrates its ten years … The Big Bang, created in 2005 by Jean-Claude Biver, is the legacy of what Hublot has done since 1980. Hublot DNA is found in the Big Bang with the 6 screws on the bezel, the bezel ear, what we see on both sides, the end caps to keep the bracelet, criteria specific to Hublot.
In your opinion what makes a watch an icon? Many elements, the design at first. To become an icon, it must please. Then there is the distribution strategy. When the Big Bang came out, one should have waited more than six months to get one.
Why did you choose to celebrate with brands such prestigious models, what would you do then for the 20 years? Hublot created in 2008 the One Million Dollar Big Bang, which is part of the largest projects realized the first ten years. We wanted to celebrate this by taking our most iconic model, a model that is 100% factory made which is the Big Bang Unico, and by creating a version of Haute Joaillerie. We decided to do ten unique pieces for the ten years.
Do you have novelties at more affordable prices for the ten years? We have not made any celebration product, but we created several innovations, such as the Perpetual calendar, which is a watches complication, a watch that allows us to have an indication of the date without having to make any correction. In other words, it automatically switches from 30th to 1st or 28th to 1st. We have also created a very special alarm watch, Alarm Repeater, which sounds like a minute repeater. The sound quality is totally different, but the mechanism is built as a minute repeater that is the most complicated watches complications. We then created the first Big Bang Unico in magic gold, in 18ct Hublot gold which is scratchproof because mixed to ceramics.
You spoke of a new partnership. Why did you choose Tamer Brothers? The Tamer family is in the business for several generations. It is very important for us to work with a very well established family in Lebanon and who shares with us the same vision and love of the brand.
What is your relation with time? As Swiss watchmakers, we live with the time and we try to enjoy it. Some years ago, we have created an interesting watch complication, the key of time, which is very poetic. It helps you when you spend a good time with family or friends, to slow time of four hours. The display shows an hour for four hours. However the real complication in this watch lies in being able to keep time in memory, which is 100% mechanical.
In which year? The first was created in 2012 and we have just launched a skeleton version at Basel, as part of the ten years celebrations.
What was your first watch? A Swatch that I still have. I had then many others. Wearing a watch has always been very important to me.
You said that the watch was the first access to time. Today technology makes access to time easier, what is a watch for you? Today the watch is a statement, it is a reflection of the personality of the one who wears it. Above all, the watch is «Eternity in the Box», which can be transmitted across generations. In two hundred years, the Hublot watch or any mechanical watch will always be able to give time.
What is luxury for you? Luxury is something that is by definition superfluous. It is not a need, we can live without luxury. Interview conducted by MARIA NADIM.