This past Year, Hublot announced its partnership with Chelsea Football Club from the English Premier League. Along with that statement, they also unveiled the Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Chelsea FC view, which was the first watch made in cooperation with Chelsea and also the official opinion of this club. Now, a year after, Hublot and Chelsea have teamed up for another watch, and here it is, the Hublot Big Bang Chelsea FC.Football (or football, if you’re American) is among the world’s most popular and watched sports. Because of this, soccer has become an important marketing device for Hublot. Hublot was also the official timekeeper of the 2014 World Cup and are the official timekeeper of the 2018 World Cup, which will take place a year in Russia.The brand new Hublot Big Bang Chelsea FC is based on the favorite 44mm Big Bang and includes a generous dash of blue, the official colour of Chelsea Football Club. It features a 44mm satin-finished stainless steel case and a glowing blue bezel made out of carbon fiber and Texalium. The bezel is held in place by Hublot’s different H-shaped screws, which can be made from polished titanium. The crowns and chronograph pushers are stainless steel and include black rubber inserts. At 3 o’clock you have the 30-minute counter to get the chronograph, and at 12 o’clock you have the 12-hour counter to get the chronograph.
Consensus amongst many industry insiders at Baselworld 2017 was that the stable of watch and jewellery names owned by LVMH – Bulgari, Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith – are doing well relative to their peers. That appears to have been borne out by the luxury group’s first quarter results for 2017, with Bulgari and TAG Heuer singled out for “market share gains”.
Quarterly revenue at the luxury powerhouse that owns Louis Vuitton (its Parisian art museum designed by Frank Gehry is pictured above) rose 13% at constant exchange rates, while its watch and jewellery division saw an 11% rise in sales. In more ordinary times that might seem a meagre figure, but times are tough for the luxury watch business.
In comparison, LVMH rival Richemont’s most recent quarter (until December 2016) was less impressive, perhaps explaining the management overhaul earlier this year. The Swiss group that owns watchmakers like IWC and Panerai saw group sales rise only 6%, helped by its jewellery business, with the watchmaking division seeing a dip of 2%.
That being said, the sales growth at LVMH comes off from a low base. Last year the group recorded revenue growth of just 6%, with the figure for the watch and jewellery division being 5%. It prudently notes in the announcement: “The trend currently observed cannot reasonably be extrapolated for the full year.”