Who hasn’t heard of Hublot nowadays? With their aggressive marketing and exceptional watches, Hublot has quickly grown to be a well-known name in the watch world, often compared to the likes of Rolex and Breitling. But is Hublot actually a luxury watch brand?
Hublot isn’t officially seen as a luxury watch brand, as most of their watches have an outsourced movement. The movement being made in-house is a crucial factor in whether or not a watch is a luxury watch. Other than the movement, Hublot ticks most ‘luxury watch brand’ boxes.
But why isn’t Hublot considered to be a luxury watch? It seems to uphold pretty much every standard there is for a watch to be a luxury watch. In this article, we’ll explain exactly why Hublot is often not seen as a luxury watch brand.
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Is Hublot A Luxury Watch Brand?
Whether or not something is a luxury product is highly subjective. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. For some, it’s a luxury to even own a watch, and for others, a $2500 watch is just another for the collection.
But when it comes to luxury timepieces, there tend to be some guidelines set in place to determine their luxury status.
These guidelines have to do with the movement inside the watch, the materials used to make the watch, and how the brand has established itself in the luxury market. So let’s take a closer look!
The movement is often referred to as the heart of the watch. It’s undoubtedly the most important factor in determining whether or not a watch is a luxury watch. And it’s fairly simple to see why.
If Hublot does not make the movement (the heart) of your Hublot watch, then is that even a Hublot watch? Most would say; no, that’s not a Hublot.
That’s why it’s so important that the movement is made in-house, by the luxury brand itself. It’s one of the main reasons why a big and luxurious brand like TAG Heuer isn’t actually seen as a luxury watch brand.
And it’s also the main reason why Hublot is a bit of a debated topic, as not every Hublot watch has an in-house-made movement. Many Hublot watches contain a modified ETA movement. ETA is one of the largest movement manufacturers in the world, and they produce excellent quality, but that does mean that the movement isn’t made in-house.
Over the years, Hublot has started to make its own movement, but those are primarily found in their high-end tourbillon watches. These models can go for several thousands of dollars, so an in-house-made movement is to be expected.
There are also plans to create an in-house movement for the more affordable Hublot watches, but as of now, the entry-level Hublots contain a modified ETA movement.
For most people, it really doesn’t matter what movement the watch has. But it stings when you pay thousands of dollars for a watch that’s made with the same parts as a $100 watch.
In order to be a luxury product, the brand’s name must be synonymous with luxury products. And that’s an aspect where Hublot really shines. Despite being a relatively young watch brand, its aggressive marketing has quickly positioned them as a watch brand that’s seen as luxurious.
The Hublot name definitely commands respect, and that’s something that’s necessary for being a luxury watch brand. At least, that’s how most people view Hublot.
When you ask a watch enthusiast, they’ll probably say something along the lines that Hublot still needs to prove itself as a luxury watch brand. Hublot was founded in 1980, which is extremely young compared to other luxury watch brands.
Rolex dates back to 1905, Patek Philippe dates back to 1839, and Audemars Piguet dates back to 1875. These brands have a rich history of innovative watchmaking behind them. Something that Hublot lacks.
Which brings us to our last point; Hublot tends to innovate the exterior of their watches, but not so much the interior. We just covered how the movement, in most cases, is not made in-house, and that seems to be a common trend for Hublot watches.
The interior of their watches is barely innovated upon, but the exterior is. Just look at some of their watch models, like the Hublot LaFerrari. Hublot offers some of the most extravagant designs, constantly innovating with new models and by using different materials. But the inside, not so much.
And it’s the inside of a watch that’s so important to watch enthusiasts. By focussing primarily on the exterior of the watch, Hublot tends to fall more in line with the many fashion watch brands as opposed to the luxury watch brands.
Materials & Manufacturing Process
Another big factor in whether or not a watch is a luxury watch is the materials used to make the watch. You can’t just slap the luxury title on a cheaply-made plastic watch.
For luxury watch brands, it’s often expected that they include luxurious materials and precious metals. Things like gold, diamonds, and titanium are just a few examples of such materials.
Here’s a list of several of the luxurious materials that Hublot uses:
- Magic Gold: This is Hublot’s formulation of gold.
- Hublonium: A metal alloy made by Hublot (as the name suggests), made of aluminum and magnesium. It’s super scratch-resistant, lightweight, and durable.
- Ceramic: Hublot has mastered the use of ceramic in a watch, something that’s not an easy feat.
- Diamonds: Of course, Hublot incorporates diamonds in its high-end models.
Aside from these more common luxurious materials, Hublot prides itself on the fact that they use unique and rarely-seen materials as well. Hublot incorporates materials like rubber and even denim in their designs, giving their watches a unique look and feel.
Price Of The Watches
As much as people don’t like it, the price of the watch does, in fact, play a role in its luxury status. A high price creates a barrier to entry. And a barrier to entry creates scarcity, which, in turn, makes a product seem more luxurious.
In Hublot’s case, they definitely price their watches in the ‘luxury’ spectrum. An entry-level Hublot will cost you several thousand dollars (typically around $5000 or more), and the more high-end models can go for as much as a couple hundred thousand dollars.
There’s even a model that costs several million dollars. It’s pretty insane how high those prices can go, and it’s safe to say that price-wise, Hublot fits in the luxury spectrum.
Hublot Markets Towards ‘New Money’
This is a big point where Hublot differs from traditional Swiss luxury watch brands. We established how Hublot isn’t officially seen as a luxury brand by many, as it misses an in-house movement.
But Hublot tends to focus more on the ‘new rich’. They team up with popular sports teams, rappers, and influencers, all marketing outlets that the traditional Swiss luxury watch brands tend to avoid. By doing that, they essentially position themselves away from ‘traditional luxury’ towards ‘new luxury’.
And that essentially circles us back to this; it’s a bit of a debated topic whether or not Hublot is a luxury watch brand.
By normal standards, watch experts would probably say no; Hublot is not a luxury watch brand. But if you ask any random person on the street, they would probably say that Hublot is, in fact, a luxury watch brand.
Are Hublot Watches Worth It?
Although not quite luxury, a Hublot watch is an incredibly crafted piece of horology. Their designs are a bit ‘out there’ sometimes, but their watches are of exceptional quality.
Hublot watches go from the mid-thousands all the way up to several hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are even a couple of models that cost well over a million. Yes, a million for a watch.
But Hublot offers some fantastic timepieces if we’re speaking purely from a quality standpoint.
Whether they’re worth it or not is something you need to decide for yourself. Do you think spending several thousand dollars on a watch is worth it? That entirely depends on you.
Of course, you should never get yourself into financial trouble because you want to purchase a watch, so make sure you make a rational and thought-out decision. We wrote an article on how much you should spend on a watch, which you can find here if you’re interested!