Ricardo Guadalupe was appointed as CEO of Hublot on the 1st of January 2012. This appointment has made him Jean-Claude Biver‘s designated successor, with the latter now Chairman of the Board of Hublot. It also marks an entire career in the Swiss watch industry, and 20 years of loyal collaboration with Jean-Claude Biver, with exceptional results attributable to this duo, such as the renaissance of Blancpain and the burgeoning development of Hublot, two brands which rival the greatest names in watchmaking. It’s an honour to have Ricardo here with us today, so let’s get down to business.
Mr Guadalupe, good morning and thank you for giving us a bit of your time.
No problem, thank you too.
Thinking about the worldwide spread of your brand, can we say that Formula 1 is still the ideal platform for promotion of the Hublot?
Yes, for Hublot it is logical to get involved in high-class motorsport as long as we have a sporty line, as we do have with the Big Bang collection. And we obviously have some strong bonds with Formula 1 in terms of innovations or the design. For instance, we created the MP-05 LaFerrari watch in close collaboration with Flavio Manzoni, Design Director at Ferrari.
Moreover, Formula 1 is followed by a lot of solid “aficionados” all around the world. As we continuously focus on our customers, we elaborate our partnerships in accordance with the interests of our clients to better suit their needs and their expectations.
Is there also an emotional component, a passion and interest for car racing?
Certainly, this is not just simply marketing actions. Motorsport is very inspiring, it is very interesting for our design team. For instance, our Big Bang Ferrari watches are inspired by the supercars and especially our Big Bang Ferrari Carbon which has a lot of elements taken from the car. It is really appreciated by the connoisseurs.
Moreover, from a more personal perspective, I am a racing car amateur so obviously this is also about passion!
For instance, we created the MP-05 LaFerrari watch in close collaboration with Flavio Manzoni, Design Director at Ferrari.
Do you get to enjoy the exclusivity and the experience of the Formula 1 paddock?
As the CEO of a Ferrari partner brand, I have the chance to be able to access the paddock of the various Grands Prix, so yes, this is always a pleasure to feel the atmosphere of a race and especially with Ferrari, which is one of the most iconic brands in the world.
How important for Hublot are the Formula 1 Grand Prix weekends?
When attending a Grand Prix, our guests have the chance to discover the incredible team spirit of the race. They are allowed to access the paddock, the paddock club, on the days before the race have a look from the pit lane. If we can arrange it, we give our guests access to a private moment with the drivers. This is a unique experience, and our company values that very much.
I have one person from my team who is dedicated to our partnership with Ferrari. There is a very strong relationship between the two brands, and after five years of working together, we know the team of Maranello pretty well and they know us too.
“Hublot’s strength resides in its very clear identity – the art of fusion – this unique ability to create timepieces which combine tradition and innovation”. There are remarkable similarities in this description with the ones of the Prancing Horse, aren’t there?
Yes, there are a lot of similarities in both brands. This year, we unveiled the MP-05 LaFerrari Sapphire which is an exceptional piece with its case made entirely of sapphire glass. This is an incredible work, more than 600 hours for the case! This is the same for Ferrari, they design their new cars in respect with the tradition by continuing to incorporate heritage elements. Our collaboration is about sharing our expertise and competences to create unique models.
Hublot is involved in football, tennis, sailing, winter sports, the NFL, NBA, and many more. Among these, the Formula 1 partnership seems to be the most demanding from the economic point of view.
That’s right. Ferrari is one of our biggest partner, along with the FIFA and the UEFA. From an economic point of view, this is a demanding partnership, both for the partnership itself and for the activities we organise with Ferrari because we have a lot of activation all year long.
Do you believe that Formula 1 will remain in your sponsorship plans for a long time?
As for sports, we have two pillars at Hublot: football and Formula 1. So our partnership with Ferrari will probably continue for a very long time.
Thank you for your answers Mr Guadalupe.
A pleasure, Piero.