The Art of Watchmaking: Q&A with Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe

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When it comes to high-end watch design, no one does it better than Hublot.

Led by CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, this Swiss leader in luxury timepieces is always setting standards in style and innovation; and this week was certainly no exception. Kicking off Art Basel in style (as only Hublot would), the opening reception of Cruz-Diez Bidimensional Research celebrated the launch of Classic Fusion Cruz Diez, a three-piece collaborative collection between Hublot and international kinetic pop artist, Carlos Cruz-Diez.

With only 100 pieces being made and sold worldwide – one in 18K King gold, one black ceramic and one Tourbillon – the last of which is priced at $210K, we were hooked. And to find out more about the venture, we took a moment to chat with the Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, himself, to talk watches, Carlos Cruz-Diez, and of course, all that is wonderful about Hublot:

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What made you want to collaborate with Carlos Cruz-Diez? “It’s a question of emotion. We are a brand that is doing a lot of different things, and we try always to be different, the first at something, or unique. In this case, I think that we met somebody who is making incredible art: Mr. Cruz-Diez. He had the idea of making a watch, and I said, ‘Why not? Let’s do it together.’ I think we found the best technical solution to really recreate the emotion in his art.”

Design aside, what does this collaboration bring to the table? “There is a new design, but in addition, there is this kinetic effect that, when the watch is moving, you can always see a different view of Mr. Cruz-Diez’ work. I think it’s a living piece of art.”

Tell us what it’s like to work with Mr. Cruz-Diez. “He came to our factory, and I went to his studios in Paris and in Panama. It was so motivating, because he already designed a watch many years ago, but he never found a brand hat could do what he wanted. We have been able to do what he wanted and he was really satisfied by the result.”

Why is this collection so special? “The collection is very limited – there’s a gold, a ceramic and a Tourbillon watch. Altogether, there are only 100 pieces available for sale worldwide. It’s rare, just like Mr. Cruz-Diez’ art.”

Which Classic Fusion Cruz Diez watch is your favorite? “They’re all beautiful, but the ceramic one is my personal favorite. Hublot is all about the ‘art of fusion.’ We invented a brand using new materials, and ceramic is part of it.”

What makes Hublot so special? “The philosophy of the brand, what we call ‘the art of fusion and watchmaking,’ makes us very different from any other brand. The other brands make nice watches, but they repeat the tradition. They repeat the past. We respect the past, but we use the technology of today to make watches that point us into the future. We’re using rubber, carbon fiber, ceramic and Hublot’s “magic gold,” a new alloy of gold that we’ve invented. So from this point of view, we are totally different.”

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