Hublot is rebellious, innovative and sadly, often misunderstood. It’s a brand, however, that I’ve come to love after getting over my cynicism but more importantly, through the lens of Japanese culture, come to appreciate the aesthetics which have allowed the brand to influence other Japanese designers. Under CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, AAA Hublot replica watches is perhaps one of the rarefied LVMH brands with underdog start-up energy as its Chief translates the commercial pragmatism required to push the brand into its next evolution.
At the concept stages of the CA cheap fake Hublot Classic Fusion Original watches, was there any discussion to go back all the way to do the MDM Geneve style of it?
Yes, but for me, there’s really one rule ‒ don’t repeat the past. It’s okay to be inspired by it but not to repeat it. The MDM Geneve was done in the ʼ80s and if you do it again in 2023, things have changed. Furthermore, there has also been an evolution in technology in machines and the materials. So why shouldn’t I use now ceramic? That didn’t exist at that time. For me, the brands that make an exact replica are making a mistake. Maybe I’m wrong but it’s my opinion.
Let’s address the elephant in the room – the Classic Fusion uses a stock movement and it’s expensive for that price. However, I feel in terms of design aesthetics, and given its reception in the Japanese market, it is definitely beautiful perfect replica watches. How do you react to criticism like this? Do you think it’s fair?
I don’t think it’s fair. Yes, we are using a Sellita movement but it’s a calibre we have worked on. The regulating organ is specific to Hublot, as is the finishing of the bridges. It’s true that it is not an exclusive base but we add value to the movement and at the end of the day, it’s a reliable, accurate movement; quality is very important but so is production. As you know, we make our own movements and as much as I would like to make our own movements for the Classic Fusion, I would also have to double my production numbers.
You have to build more manufactures and you can’t do that in the short term. The Classic Fusion provided the brand growth that we otherwise could not have if we were completely in-house. That said, I do agree in a way and that’s why we are building a new manufacture now and we are still working with Sellita on an evolution of the calibre that will be exclusive to Hublot. It would be a manufacture movement in partnership with Sellita. When I started in 2005, Hublot was still doing quartz top copy watches and to start creating mechanical movements takes five to eight years, so we decided to make an in-house chronograph first but we are also working on an automatic movement.
You talked about reliability and I think it’s very important because I found over the last 20 years or so, manufacture for the sake of being a manufacture became a marketing and sales thing. There were many in-house movements and they weren’t very reliable. Do you feel its snobbery? Have watch collectors somehow accidentally pushed manufacturers in that direction?
Yes, it’s a kind of snobbery for some brands because it’s a marketing tool. For us, I tried with the Unico movement and we’ve made a second version because we felt that the first was not good enough. The Unico 2 has a much more impressive level of quality and we had around only two per cent of returns under warranty, which is a level that we equal Rolex in terms of benchmarks. My objective is to be among the best five brands of the watch industry in terms of quality.
Was the integrated bracelet watch trend foreseeable? And given that you’re both a pioneer of having a rubber strap on luxury Swiss made replica watches, did you feel that with your own integrated version now, was it the right move for the brand and why?
I hope so [laughs]!
Is it authentic to the brand?
Well, if you look at the market, part of our identity is in the rubber strap but I think that we were at a level of maturity where we can offer a bracelet. I’ve tried to create a bracelet which has its own identity and that in the end; the Big Bang Integral will be recognised as 1:1 Hublot super clone watches, but of course, it takes time to really communicate that.
If you look at the market, at least 80% of wholesale replica watches are sold on bracelet, so there is a potential for us in the US. North America is maybe a 98% market of bracelets. I also want to acquire new consumers who will never try on a rubber strap but will try a Hublot on the bracelet, but it’s true that it’s a big challenge. It’s a risk that I have taken and I hope it will pay off. For the time being, our sales are quite okay but it can be five years, seven, eight years to really be accepted.
You’ve had successful collaborations with Orlinski and now Murakami. What are some of the factors that shaped your decision in partnering with them, or is it more of a gut instinct?
I think I’m always looking for creativity and innovation. Being a young brand, Hublot cannot make fake watches shop like a traditional brand so even a “basic” three hands watch must really come with an inspired design.
I see consumers are willing to buy China replica watches that are inspired by art and become a piece of art itself. For us, it also represents the Art of Fusion; it’s no longer just a Hublot but a sculpture of Orlinskiʼs that you put on your wrist. I think it brings something different to the table and the rewards of commercial success have been tremendous.
The idea of the courtesy watch in the plastic quartz Hublot Atelier model has been thought off by some collectors as the pioneer before the Moonswatch, so my question is: Do you plan to be rebellious and release a plastic version of the Classic Fusion that people can buy from you rather than from the market?
I love this! It’s a good comment. I donʼt know… I think it was a nice move specifically for Swatch for sure. For Omega I’m not so sure, but it has been successful.
Yeah, I thought about it, but the problem is that as soon as you get into the lower end of the market, you can damage also the image of the brand. That said, we’re thinking about redoing at least a new Atelier watch with a new design that will be available for after-sale service.
Just how are these watches getting onto the grey market?
We give these away sometimes. I made 1,000 pieces of the plastic Fusion for Brazil because snatch crime was a real problem in that territory and I gave all the invitees a model and some of the guys are reselling those 2023 fake watches for surprisingly high prices! I am still keeping mine but I don’t think we will do a commercial version. I won’t say never; check again with me in 10 years [laughs].
When you see zeitgeist moments like this and the coup in the World Cup where you enjoy a lot of TV air time, what do you think is the next evolution of marketing the brand?
Unlike tennis or golf, we own the football segment and we want to keep this positioning. After that, the idea is to create a universe of people. So the evolution would be to use art as a platform of communication, and also as a platform for the creation of replica watches site. We have gone into gastronomy recently. We’re in music and eventually we would go more into architectural design with partnerships with designers or architects.
What is the next evolution for the artists of fusion?
Verticalisation is next. We are building a new manufacture in May while retaining the equilibrium of in-house and outsourced movements. Materials are also important to us and we want to internalise more on ceramics, sapphire and carbon fibre. More integration with high-tech materials is really the next level.