Though it’s still a relatively young brand, Hublot has established a formidable reputation in luxury watchmaking by introducing a series of classic pieces that are boldly innovative in both design and materials.
The brand was founded in 1980 by Carlo Crocco, formerly of the Italian Binda Group and a keen sailor. Crocco was aiming for a watch that looked as good with formal wear as it did on deck. He had little affection for steel straps, and leather was naturally unsuitable for ocean-based pursuits, so he began looking at rubber. This was an unconventional material at the time, but it proved farsighted.
The first Hublot watch–its rubber strap and unique porthole-shaped case giving it a distinctive nautical appearance–was an instant success at Baselworld. And it had cross-cultural appeal, becoming popular not just with the boating world but also an international jet set crowd including European royalty. Today, Hublot watches can be found on the wrists of legendary sports stars such as Diego Maradona, Usain Bolt, and Alex Rodriguez, as well as entertainment figures including David Guetta and 50 Cent.
From the outset, Hublot was intent on redefining the concept of luxury watches. The brand blended traditional and modern aesthetics with ease, and became well-known for its adept fusion of materials such as tough carbon fibre, scratch-proof ceramics, and rubber, making the watches robust and durable—ideal for sports enthusiasts.
By the turn of the 21st century, Crocco’s attentions were elsewhere and the Hublot brand was in need of rejuvenation, so Jean-Claude Biver arrived at the perfect time. Having made his name at OMEGA, Biver was looking for a fresh challenge, and when Crocco handed him creative control of Hublot in 2004, he seized the opportunity. Biver didn’t take long to make his presence felt, and shortly afterwards Hublot unveiled the award-winning Big Bang at Baselworld. Given the watch’s seismic impact on the market and watchmaking in general, the name could scarcely have been more appropriate, and the Big Bang has had a clear influence on the trend for large watches that continues today.
After its acquisition in 2008 by the luxury good brand LVMH, Hublot introduced several more well-received models, including the Hublot King Power and the Hublot Classic Fusion, a stripped-down version of the Big Bang.
Below we discuss a few of the classic pre-owned Hublots to watch out for and the prices Hublot watches can command in the market.
First Released: 2005
Hublot Big Bang Price: $8,000- $9,000
Jean-Claude Biver’s original flash of genius remains as sporty and stylish today as when it was first unveiled at Baselworld in 2005. The 44mm stainless steel case houses an ETA Caliber 4100 movement, a ceramic bezel, and a woven carbon fiber dial. On the wrist, it feels substantial yet looks elegant, while the trademark rubber strap is both comfortable and waterproof. More expensive versions of the Big Bang with gold finishes are also available.
First Released: 2009
Hublot King Power Price: $11,000- $14,000
The Hublot King Power’s oversized case may seem a little daunting at first, but once on the wrist it quickly becomes clear that this is a lightweight and supremely comfortable watch. A sophisticated, clean design with a deep multi-level dial, the King Power has a UNICO movement designed in-house by Hublot.
First released: 2009
Hublot Classic Fusion Price: $8,000- $8,500
The Hublot Classic Fusion takes the Big Bang’s iconic design and slims it down, giving the watch a thinner profile and dial with fewer details. The case size varies between 42mm and 44mm, and you can also choose from either a carbon fiber or ceramic dial.
When it comes to Hublot, prices listed here assume the watch will have moderate wear and be in very good to excellent condition. The presence of original box and papers will also affect the value.
Carlo Crocco’s inspired leap into the unknown was a powerful statement of intent. Through Hublot’s skill and vision in fusing materials and styles, its reputation as a dynamic leader in luxury watchmaking is assured.