Last year was a special year for Hublot. The brand, which under the flawless stewardship of Chairman Jean-Claude Biver and C.E.O. Ricardo Guadalupe has become one of the most powerful watch brands in the business, marked the 10-year anniversary of the Big Bang. To the uninitiated, watches (in lieu of cigarette advertising) have now created campaigns that define and contextualise the notion of what it is to own something miraculous. No one has managed to absorb the impact of the recession and turn it into an opportunity like Hublot did. The secret ingredients to their success have been a mix of what Biver refers to as “a fusion of tradition and future”. People may have been a bit confused as to what on Earth this meant, but questions were answered when the Big Bang was released, and since then it has been something of a phenomenon.
To celebrate, Hublot decided to create a design prize. On the panel of judges sat one of this magazine’s idols and a high priest of rakishness, Lapo Elkann. Lapo is of the dynasty of the man after whom this magazine is named, Gianni Agnelli. He was a perfect choice to judge such a design prize considering his particular nous in the design arena, and awarding young designers is just the kind of thing watch brands should take the lead in, especially innovative brands such as Hublot.
But this was not the only thing that Hublot celebrated last year. At the Palais de Tokyo during Paris Fashion Week, Elkann and Hublot announced a much larger collaboration — between Hublot and Elkann’s own hyper-stylish eyewear brand, Italia Independent. The collaboration manifested itself in the Big Bang Unico Italia Independent.