Hublot, one of the leading luxury watch makers in Switzerland, is targeting China markets even more. The company, part of the LVMH (LVMH) Group, market cap 186 billion euros, and its Watch division, said the same thing already a year ago, but the target is still the same. According to the CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot is aiming to become one of the leading watch brands in China and Greater China.
– We are focusing on China and Greater China markets. Our aim is to be one of the leading watch brands in China and Greater China, Mr Guadalupe said in the ComteamPUB+ interview on Thursday.
The company has not revealed the export figures, but according to Swiss Watch Industry information the China, Hong Kong and Singapore markets totalled nearly 30 % of the overall Swiss watch exports. In May the export totalled over 2 billion Swiss francs, growth 11,4 %. The biggest growth was in the premium & luxury watches, which are priced over 3000 francs.
The company is expecting a very strong growth for this year. The double-digit growth is said to continue “over the end of the year” according to Mr Guadalupe.
China is seen one of the fastest growing luxury markets in the future. In 2018 the Chinese consumers spent about 115 billion dollars on luxury items, which is one third of the global spending. And this is expected to growth in the future also so that by 2025 40 % of the world’s spending on luxury goods would be by Chinese consumers (McKinsey). So, it is not a surprise that Mr Guadalupe is talking about China.
Is luxury becoming more common?
This question is about the luxury spending and how the luxury markets are expected to develop in the future. But Mr Guadalupe has a point.
-Absolutely not for the real luxury, he says.
And he is referring for the real thing. Real luxury has always its prestige and value among its users. And this is also part of the demand for the vintage or retro luxury items in the markets at the moment.
For example financial markets are expecting the US company RealReal to be listed in New York. The company is an online marketplace for luxury products and according to the company info the trading of the shares are expected to start today, not yesterday as earlier estimated. The company raised 300 million dollars, at 20 dollars each, above the 17-19 dollars range earlier estimated. Sustainable, circular luxury is also entering the main markets.
Hublot and “Art of Fusion”
The clear sustainable standing point for Hublot is the materials. The company has been innovative and finding new ways to integrate different materials in the watch production over years. It is part of the company ideology of the Art of Fusion – the way the tradition of high-quality Swiss craftsmanship and innovation can be combined.
The material lists include magic gold, carbon, rubber, aluminium, ceramic, king gold, palladium, platinum, stainless steel, tantalum, titanium, tungsten, zirconium, osmium and aluminium. Hublot can say that it has clearly been the innovator in this area in the Swiss watch industry.
The company says that it is now also working with sustainable bags while the banning of plastic bags is already a trend in Europe.
Collaboration with Ferrari and FIFA
– The collaboration with Ferrari and our involvement in FIFA World Cup are our two main partnerships, Guadalupe says.
– This year we have two collaborations with Ferrari. The Classic Fusion Ferrari GT, which is an elegant and contemporary piece that draws inspiration from the “Gran Turismo” universe. And the Big Band Scuderia Ferrari 90 ans. This is a model that reflects the rich history and heritage of Scuderia Ferrari, he continues.
Japanese food and sea
But what does Mr Guadalupe do for the summer time? Japanese food and sea.
– Food can be compared to the watch industry in a certain way for their attention to quality, time and details. I like to spend my holidays in the Mediterranean, at Mykonos or Ibiza. Holidays is for me synonymous with relaxing, sport and good food, he concludes.
Hublot, which was founded in Switzerland in 1980, has made the journey with innovation and unique products. Watches like Big Bang have paved the way to new flagship collections like Classic Fusion and Spirit of Big Bang.
Picture: Hublot classic watches from BaselWorld 2017-2019