Founded by Carlo Crocco, the first Hublot watch made its debut at Baselworld in 1980. The original Hublot watch sported a yellow gold porthole-shaped case — “hublot” is the French word for porthole — and a black rubber strap. It was the first watch ever that was presented on a rubber strap and it took three years of R&D to perfect the rubber material for wearing before it was unveiled. The Hublot watch soon took off and became the quintessential luxury sports watch for European royalty with the kings of Greece, Spain, Sweden and Prince of Monaco all opting to wear one. That innovative rubber strap from Hublot was quickly adopted by the luxury watch industry and today, almost every high-end watchmaker has at least one sports collection with a rubber strap.
Hublot revealed the Big Bang chronograph in 2005. The boldly designed luxury sports chronograph measuring 44mm was an instant hit and won a number of prizes that year including the “2005 Design Prize” at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix. The introduction of the Hublot Big Bang also reinforced the company’s philosophy of the “Art of Fusion” — mixing surprising combinations of materials for innovative timepieces. The first Big Bang was a fascinating arrangement of gold, steel, titanium, ceramic, Kevlar, and rubber that came together for an unforgettable look. The Big Bang became the brand’s signature collection and has immensely expanded to include plenty of sizes, materials, and styles for both men and women.
Hublot boasts in-house metallurgists who seek out to create the innovative materials to be later used on the brand’s watches. Some of the materials created by Hublot include the world’s first scratchproof gold, dubbed Magic Gold, made with a mixture of ceramic and liquid gold, as well as King Gold, a gold redder than traditional red gold made by mixing gold, copper, and platinum.
Around 2010, Hublot took the step towards becoming a true watch manufacturer by building their own in-house movements. The Hublot UNICO movements, which initially took about three years to develop, are the in-house built mechanical calibers that range from automatic chronograph movements to high complication calibers such as tourbillons and minute repeaters.
An instantaneously recognizable design and built with only the finest and most innovative materials, Hublot watches are some of the most sought-after luxury sports watches, and they come with a hefty price tag. However, in the secondary market, used Hublot Big Bang watches, secondhand Hublot King Power pieces, and pre-owned Hublot Classic Fusion models can be purchased for a fraction of the full retail cost.