1980 : In 1980 Carlo Crocco created the Hublot watch featuring a gold case and natural rubber strap. For the first time in the history of watchmaking, a precious material - gold - was combined with rubber. The porthole-shaped watch case combining polished and brushed gold, the minimalist black dial, and the distinctive black natural rubber strap came to symbolise Hublot watches.
Members of royal families were immediately enthusiastic about Hublot, and were soon followed by numerous celebrities the world over. Carlo Crocco had taken a risk, but in just a few years Hublot watches joined the elite of leading watchmaking brands.
Three years of research were necessary to create the unique strap and to demonstrate the properties of natural rubber, which seems to regenerate when in contact with the skin. The two parts making up the strap are tailor-fitted at the time of purchase, and adapt instantly to the client's wrist, offering the wearer a unique level of comfort.
In the mid-90s, rubber became the focus of interest of the leading watchmaking brands, thus validating the choices that led to the creation of Hublot watches. As far as the brand is concerned, rubber is not a fashion phenomenon, but rather the embodiment of its philosophy and brand image from the beginning. Hublot was then one of the last independent, family-run watchmaking businesses offering a single-product concept. Its unbounded creative freedom has thus enabled it to preserve its personality and to widen its range, featuring complications or limited series.
Having become absorbed in his design work and many activities for the MDM Foundation - a charity helping deprived children around the world - Carlo Crocco set out to find the man who could take the helm of his watchmaking business.
2004 : At that time in late 2003, Jean-Claude Biver decided to take a year out to reflect and rest a little. But this man finds it difficult to do nothing! It was then that he met Carlo Crocco, and they immediately got on well. Thus, in May 2004, Jean-Claude Biver took up his position as CEO, becoming board member and minority shareholder in Hublot watches. He had many ideas for developing the brand.
Born in Luxembourg on 20th September 1949, his family moved to Switzerland when he was 10 years old. Freshly graduated, he arrived in Le Brassus. The Joux Valley, birthplace of fine watchmaking, was to have a major influence on the direction his life would take. Jean-Claude Biver has been involved in the watchmaking industry since 1975, first with Audemars Piguet, and then Omega. He got married locally in 1979. In 1982, with his friend Jacques Piguet, he took over the then dormant Blancpain brand. Ten years later the company was flourishing. In order to maintain the company, and enable its harmonious
development, the two partners decided to sell up.
Nicolas Hayek and the Swatch Group bought out Blancpain in 1992, but Jean-Claude Biver remained managing director with a
seat on the Swatch Group's executive committee until the end of 2003.
Under the leadership of its new CEO, Hublot revisited its founding principles: Jean-Claude Biver relaunched the "The Art of Fusion" concept - this meant the fusion of unusual materials such as gold and ceramic, tantalum and red gold, or even magnesium and titanium. This also applied to the fusion between the Swiss Watchmaking Tradition and 21st century