Tag Archives: Jean-Claude Biver

BaselWorld 2016 Day 1: Wearable Technology

Do people really want to know more about cars and gadgets than watches? This raised the heat at dinner with an old friend, formerly of Chopard, at BaselWorld last night. It was Day Zero, otherwise known as Press Day, and it came to a nice close at our usual Thai restaurant at Basel, courtesy of Chopard Asia. More on this conversation later. First, we have news from Hublot to reveal with regards to the 10th anniversary of the All Black watch, and a little bit about gadgets, in the way of smart watches from both Bulgari and Hublot.

Watchmaking titan Jean-Claude Biver, President of the LVMH Watch Division, started talking about the Connected watch at the Hublot press conference, forgetting briefly that he was not at TAG Heuer (Biver is also CEO of TAG Heuer)! It was a lively moment but also gave Biver a moment to reflect on why Hublot would not make such a watch. “Hublot is about making yesterday eternal. One thousand years from now your Hublot watch will still work and we will still be able to service it. This is not true of (wearable) technology because technology will kill it.” Wise words to begin BaselWorld 2016 with. He had no issue though with Hublot integrating wearable tech into the strap, particularly because Hublot has a interchangeable strap feature that “even a child can use” as he put it.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black

Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black

Oh yes, the All Black watch… Simply put, it is a sapphire case much like the one shown in Geneva except here it has been transformed into a totally black watch. Take a look for yourself right here. Anyway, here is what the press release has to say about it:

“Transcending the materials used in its creation, the Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black is crafted from blocks of sapphire crystal – sapphire that has been coated with metal. Enhanced by black, this sapphire maintains its transparent properties in a subtle balancing act.

Transferring the expertise amassed from machining very hard materials such as Magic Gold, Hublot has developed its industrial mastery of an extremely complex material, one of the hardest, most scratch-resistant and transparent in existence – sapphire. This method of machining sapphire enables Hublot to render this material — which can only be cut by diamond — more accessible, transforming its status as something unique, only seen in private collections, by using it to create a limited edition of 500 pieces. By sculpting sapphire into the complex shape of its iconic Big Bang case, Hublot is achieving a double feat with the Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black.

Transparency combined with skeleton work allows the workings of the Unico manufacture movement to be laid bare. This complete visibility means that the column wheel positioned on the dial side is now no longer the only feature of the movement which can be seen. Even the strap combines transparency with the signature all black style.”

Moving on to Bulgari, the news is all about the new ultra-thin minute repeater and a new round Serpenti (which you do have to see to understand) but first, there was once more news on smart watches. Jean-Christophe Babin, Bulgari CEO, announced that the Italian firm was indeed moving on industrialize production of the Diagono Magnesium concept, a mechanical watch that is able to handle e-payment safely and securely. Basically this is an NFC-enabled watch that will integrate a microchip within the case, which it will share with a properly Swiss mechanical movement.

Bulgari Serpenti Incantati

Bulgari Serpenti Incantati

Well there is no watch yet to show but we do have images of the round Serpenti so take a look. Here is what the press release says about this very lovely timepiece, on the skeleton Tourbillon in particular.

“Serpenti Incantati gives a new lease on life to this animal symbol. After coiling around the wrist, the snake is now reinvented by wrapping itself for the very first time around the case of a round watch: the reptile literally twines itself around the watch dial, admirably framing an entirely skeleton-worked Manufacture tourbillon calibre. This airily graceful movement is a work of art: the mainplate and bridges are crafted in pink or white gold, the flanks are straight-grained, the rims and sinks are all chamfered and systematically polished. The steel parts are complemented by the kind of surface finishes cherished by Haute Horlogerie: circular graining and snailing set the finishing touches to this precious craftsmanship contributing to a spectacular result.”

As for that minute repeater, we will do another post on it soon. As for the conversation on cars and gadgets versus watches, well, I have a feeling that the gadget/watch dichotomy will loom large over the entire fair.



What Do The Top Watchmakers Think of Apple Watch?

jean claude biver caviar hublot

The Apple Watch looks “too feminine” and its design will not stand the test of time, luxury giant LVMH’s watch guru has told German media.

Jean-Claude Biver, who heads LVMH’s luxury-watch division, said Apple had made some fundamental mistakes designing the Apple Watch.


This watch has no sex appeal. It’s too feminine and looks too much like the smartwatches already on the market,” Biver said in an interview with daily Die Welt.

“To be totally honest, it looks like it was designed by a student in their first trimester,” added Biver who heads up ,  and

Apple Watch

Biver predicted the much-anticipated device, with its square face and curved edges, would soon be outdated.

Luxury always has something timeless, it’s rare and conveys prestige,” he was quoted as saying, adding that the same could not be said for Apple Watch, which is expected to be bought by millions of customers and will likely be beyond repair in a few years’ time.

Biver is not the first watch chief to be dismissive of Apple’s efforts. Swatch CEO Nick Hayek earlier told Swiss media that the world’s biggest watch group was “not nervous” about Apple’s foray into the market.

Apple Watch, which comes in several colours and links to the iPhone, will start at $349 when it is released early next year.

Bernie Ecclestone

Bruised and battered Bernie Ecclestone in Hublot ad

Bernie Ecclestone

On November 25th, 2010, Bernie Ecclestone was mugged and his Hublot watch stolen from his wrist.

The 80-year-old, attacked a week ago, sent the snap to Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot, with the note: “See what people will do for a Hublot”.

Since the two share a certain sense of humor, they soon agreed to turn the incident into an advert.
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Hublot becomes Official Watchmaker of FIFA

Hublot has become the official timekeeper for the next two editions of the Fifa World Cup.

The Swiss watchmaker will sponsor the tournaments in South Africa this year and in Brazil in 2014, with its logo appearing on referees’ boards when they show substitutions and stoppage time.

It will also provide a limited edition official watch range for each tournament, and has signed legendary Argentina coach Diego Maradona as a brand ambassador.
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Watchmakers go back to basics

Luxury watchmakers are going back to basics with classic designs, as industry players at the world’s biggest watch fair in Switzerland warned Wednesday that the “years of extravagance” were over.

While the industry is reporting a glimmer of recovery, watchmakers gathering in the Swiss city of Basel also noted that recovery was fragile and that the mood among consumers was far from the heady pre-crisis years.

“After several months of economic upturn, there are some positive signs,” said Jacques Duchene, head of the organising committee for the Baselworld fair which officially kicks off on Thursday.

Companies such as Hublot and the giant Swatch have declared that the sales have been “exceptional” so far this year.

Hublot chief Jean-Claude Biver said that January was “the best in history, just like February would be and probably March.”

However, Duchene also warned: “We should not be overly confident, because the global economic situation is still highly precarious.”
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Hublot becomes official F1 watch supplier


Hublot and Formula 1 have announced their partnership with Hublot becoming the official watchmaker for Formula 1.

The start of the multi-year deal for Hublot will be marked with the brand-new F1 King model watch, a limited edition of the company’s King Power model.

Maintaining the popular large case sizing which has become synonymous with Hublot, the F1 King comes in a matte black aesthetic with ceramic case and subtle nods to F1 set against the background of the watch’s face.

The Hublot F1 King will be released in a limited run of 500 watches with each watch numbered between 01/500 to 500/500.
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“Hublot Tower Clock” unveiled in Manchester

On August 28th, Jean-Claude Biver unveiled in front of the Old Trafford stadium the biggest clock ever built by Hublot.

It was specially created for the reigning English champions, and, at a height of 10 metres, designed to take pride of place in front of the legendary stadium.

The clock was unveiled in the presence of Sir Alex Ferguson and the Manchester United players.
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Hublot Black Caviar Bang

The latest addition to the million-dollar watch club is Hublot’s limited-edition Black Caviar Bang based on their highly acclaimed Big Bang model.

It features an 18k white gold case and a clasp that features hundreds of precision-cut black diamonds.

The watch’s total of 34.5 carats is made up of 322 diamonds on the case, 179 on the bezel and another 30 on the clasp.
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LVMH acquires the Swiss watchmaker Hublot

LVMH, the world’s leading luxury group, announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire the Hublot group, a top of the range watchmaker enjoying very strong growth.

LVMH will acquire Hublot from Mr Carlo Crocco, who founded the group in 1980, and a company controlled by Mr Jean-Claude Biver, who has managed Hublot since 2004.
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