Hublot CEO: Double digit growth this year – Chinese consumers ranking 1st

Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe says that he expects the company to grow double digit, that is about 10-11 %, this year, well above the average luxury watch industry. Speaking to ComteamPUB+ he says that this year also the Chinese consumers will be the first big customer segment for this Swiss Luxury Watchmaker.

– This year will be very unique for Hublot. Our growth estimate is double digit that is 10-11 %, which is well above the 5-6 % average growth rate in the luxury watch industry this year. This year is also the first year for Chinese consumers to be ranked the number one. Our biggest growth is coming from the Greater China area, he says to ComteamPUB+.

Hublot, part of the LVMH Group (MC:FP),  is having 8 different brand stores in China and totally 18  in Greater China and the company is planning to open new stores globally so that the total stores would be around 100 in the next couple of years. This week the new opening is in Genf, Switzerland and in June they will open a new brand store in London, in the Old Bond Street.

-We want that our customers can experience the Hublot brand when they are travelling. So this is also important that the store locations are fitting our targets. We also want to demonstrate our strong brand, he explains.

Digital transformation in the focus

Digital transformation is in the focus of luxury watch industry nowadays. Companies are building different customer experiences in the internet with storytelling and strong social media channels. For example Hublot is having 2,9 million Instagram followers and in Facebook they are having 4,1 million followers.

-Digital transformation is shaping our industry. For example Hublot is having now 50 % of its advertising costs in digital channels compared to other media channels. And we are planning to build our own e-commerce platform in the couple of years. We want Hublot digital boutiques to offer a new Brand experience to our worldwide customers, he adds.

This e-commerce has been very difficult with the luxury watch industry because of the pricing and brand value. For example another Swiss luxury watch company, Richemont, has decided to buy back their luxury watches from external dealers. This has caused the company 200 million euros profit fall according to the Financial Times.

Mr Guadalupe sees the market differently and says that Hublot would not have to do the same thing than Richemond.

-We know our customers and we track the watches we sell. Hublot has no stock while our production is in line with the demand, he explains.

Hublot´s annual production is about 50.000 units, price range from 6000 – 50.000 euros each and the production site is in Nyon, Switzerland. The average price is 20 000 euros according to the company.

The first smartwatch, Hublot Big Bang Referee

During the BaselWorld2018 Hublot also launched its first smartwatch, operating with Android. This luxury smartwatch is part of the company partnerships with FIFA World Cup now in June in Russia.

-We are thrilled with the feedback from this watch, Hublot Big Bang Referee FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. This is really the first smartwatch for us and it is also seen as the first marketing tool for our FIFA partnership. We have invited about 1000 stakeholders in our FIFA events and we are looking forward for this big event, Mr Guadalupe comments.

The luxury smartwatch industry is very diversified. Apple Watch is the market dominant, but other luxury watchmakers like Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Tag Heuer are also in the markets with their smartwatches. In the LVMH Group, the development of the smartwatches, is being taken care of the internal development unit.This is also the way the Group can have efficient R&D expenditures. 

It is estimated that the global smartwatch sales would exceed 141 million units this year, while the estimates for the last year were 75 million units. In 2016 the sales were 38 million units.

Hublot was the first luxury brand to invest in football and has partnered with football for over 10 years and the company has different brand ambassadors like Pele, Usain Bolt, Dwyane Wade, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson and Lang Lang.

The company has worked with the luxury car manufacturer Ferrari for many years and according to Mr Guadalupe some kind of connected smartwatch with Ferrari might be one option in the future.. The autonomous, connected cars can have also new innovations for smartwatches.

-When we work with smartwatches, it is good to remember that it is totally different market compared to mechanical watches, which is our core business. But working with wearables we want to show the innovative, unique and piece of art work in our products, he says.

The launched Hublot Big Bang Referee smartwatch enable users to take part in the FIFA game by sending them notifications and live score updates.The company says they have produced 2000 units of this watch so far.

Hublot and sustainability

As part of the LVMH Group, Hublot has also developed tools to track for example the raw materials in the luxury watches. Sustainability is becoming more common and part of the luxury watch industry processes more.

-We use different raw materials like gold, diamonds and titanium in our products. Sustainability means for us that we track the sourcing of the materials as good as possible and want to expand that analysing and recycling also in the future, he explains.

Quality, passion and details

But what does the CEO do at home?

-I am a football fan and therefore it is a pleasure for me to work in collaboration with FIFA. This is a third World Cup for me. And when I am at home, I like to cook. Gastronomy is my hobby as well  You know: it is like watch making: quality, passion and details, he says.

© Päivi Härkönen, ComteamPUB+

Lifestyle Tech

Swiss Watch Industry´s export value 1,6 billion francs in January

 

 

The Swiss Watch Industry showed increase in its export value in January compared to year ago figures. According to the Swiss Watch Industry  the monthly value stood at 1,6  billion francs, up with 12,6 %.  This increase was highlighted by some analysts saying that this means that the two year decline in this luxury & watch industry now is making turn into a positive trend.

The biggest export countries were HongKong, China, USA, UK, Japan and Germany, totalling 847 million francs and with 14,1 % increase. The three biggest countries were HongKong (242 million francs, + 21,3%), China (176 million francs, +44,3%) and USA (163,1, -1,9%).

In the Stock Exchanges, for example the S&P Global Luxury Index is showing + 35,78 % annual increase, while for example the LVMH (MC:FP) share price has increased over 32 % and Kering (KER:FP) over 74 % annually. The Swiss Watch Group Swatch (UHR:SW) has increased over 21 % during the year.

Business

Tag Heuer and 20th Century Fox collaborate in Kingsman

KingsmanTagOneShe_Ref103_2TAG Heuer, part of LVMH Group (MC:FP), has announced a global partnership with MARV films and 20th Century Fox in the upcoming new film from acclaimed director Matthew Vaughn, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, in cinemas worldwide on September 22, 2017. TAG Heuer’s Connected Smart Watch is the Official Watch of The Kingsman.

In the new film, the Kingsman agents will all be fitted with TAG Heuer watches. According to the Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver,  Kingsman means explosions, action, laughter, and, of course, elegance.

Director Matthew Vaughn added: “For Kingsman: The Golden Circle, we needed a smart watch for our agents. We looked at the different options available, but none of them were elegant enough for a Kingsman. Then I saw an interview on Bloomberg TV with Jean-Claude Biver about his connected watch, and it became immediately obvious; the Kingsman agents would wear the TAG Heuer Connected.”

See the trailer for Kingsman: The Golden Circle:

Lifestyle Tech Travel

New luxury watches from Tag Heuer

The Swiss Luxury Watchmaker Tag Heuer has presented today several new models for the spring season.  For example company  is launching its famous Manufacture Chrone Tourbillon with a set of 68 diamonds.

This luxury Watch is made from titanium and its owner can have a several choices of different straps for example full-grain calfskin leather strap or a black ceramic strap. This Tourbillon has power reserve of 65 hours.

Company also announced two sports models “Arctic” and “Jungle” with different kind of colors for the trending military style.

But something retro as well: the Autavia, the legendary driver´s chronograph from the Sixties is making a comeback. The Watch is modern, but it still have the old values driving from the Sixties. A combination of Automobile and Aviation, this luxury Watch is celebrating its 55th anniversary. This Avant-garde luxury watch is available in stocks already today.

Tag Heuer presented new models during the BaselWorld2017, a trade fair for luxury watches and jewelleries. Company is part of the global French luxury goods group LVMH (MC:FP), which market cap is about 99,4 billion euros. Listed in Paris, the stock return has been  35 % a year.

Business Lifestyle