I’ve been thinking about this for some time now, but I am now officially opening this up for discussion. Since coming on to the scene in the 2005, Hublot’s Big Bang watches have ushered in a new and awesome era of FUSION. Knowing a winner when he sees one, Hublot President Jean-Claude Biver (to his credit) has ridden the Big Bang all the way to the top of the mountain. But I ask you – what direction can one who is at the top of a mountain go except down? I think it is time for Hublot to find a new – and bigger – mountain to climb.
Now don’t get me wrong – I am a HUGE fan of Hublot and Jean-Claude Biver, as you might have guessed from the significant attention they get here on First In Watches. And to be fair, I do think that Hublot Big Bang has and continues to be a very desirous watch right now. But…… I am concerned. I am concerned that Hublot has now effectively become one watch, and one watch only – the Big Bang. Not only that, but I also see that the appeal, the allure, the magic, of the Big Bang is at risk of fizzling due to the number of variations that Hublot continues to introduce. Seemingly every month a new “limited” or “special” edition Big Bang is released, but in reality these are nothing more than Big Bang’s with a new color scheme or with a special logo on the dial.
For example – over the past few years we’ve seen limited editions such as the Valentine’s Day Big Bang, the Bat Bang, the Solo Bang, Big Bang Wally, Big Bang Tuiga, the Smiling Children Big Bang, Big Bang Red Devil I and II, and the Aero Bang Morgan, and even the Bigger Bang! And what about Big Bangs in color schemes such as Big Purple Carat, Orange Carat, Cappuccino, Cappuccino Chocolate, All White, All Black Blue, Black Lemon, Earl Gray, Apple, Black Apple, and Tutti Frutti Hazlenut? If you thought these were Flavors of the Month at Baskin Robbins Ice Cream, I would forgive you.
Hublot Big Bang Cappucino Chocolate
My point here is that it is too much – it is getting tiring – and I think it is starting to dilute the credential of the Big Bang. Audemars Piguet found itself in a similar position several years ago with its Royal Oak Offshore watches – too many variations and one-off special editions – and some watch enthusiasts started to turn away. Thankfully for AP, it was diversified – offering a much broader lineup of watches than just the Royal Oak. Hublot is not in this position.
So, as noted, the Big Bang has proliferated and rightly so as JC Biver has taken a winner and maximized its value. But now I think the question is – What’s Next for Hublot? My sense right now is that at Baselworld 2010 most of the talk emanating from the Hublot stand will be all about Hublot’s first in-house movements (JC Biver has been discussing Hublot’s new Unico Calibers for many many months now, including in my post-Baselworld 2009 interview with him). This will of course be exciting news, but how about taking us beyond the Big Bang altogether, Mr. Biver?