The 1980s were a remarkable time. Big shoulder pads and even bigger hair marked the era for it’s over-the-top take on literally everything. The music was synthesized, fashion statements featured MC Hammer’s Hammer pants and neon colored anything and side ponytails ruled the kingdom. Until finally the 1990s ushered in the grunge era. Suddenly the shoulder pads and hair were flattened. Hammer pants got much tighter and tapered at the ankles, we traded our neon crop-tops for plaid flannel shirts to tie around our waists. However, there’s one brand that has stood the test of time: Hublot. Created in 1980, these watches have guarded us throughout the years and have maintained a reputation of high society – a watch you wear just because. It doesn’t matter if you can tell time on it or not. Much like the entirety of the 80s, it’s simply a statement.
You might be thinking, How much could it cost for a watch to make a statement? Well, if you check out Google shopping results, the least expensive is the Hublot classic Fusion Titanium Watch at $4,195.
So, now you’re thinking (or I am, anyway), Whatever, you can get a knock off. No one can tell the difference. I’ll break it to you (and myself) now: you’re wrong. It’s impossible to knock off a Hublot. In 2009, the company unveiled a way to detect real and counterfeit watches using WISeKey, a security management company out of Geneva, Switzerland (the same place where the Hublot is made). The brand uses a smartcard system called WiseAuthentic to certify the product over servers and give customers access to private pages through Hublot’s website.
“In the watch industry we are seeing a significant increase in counterfeit goods. It was imperative for us as a company to find a way to not only protect our watches but also those who were purchasing them. WISeKey has a strong track record in security and authentication and when looking for a partner to help us in the fight against counterfeiting we knew WISekey was the right choice for us,” CEO Jean-Claude Biver said in a press release 2009.
While it may be possible to replicate the look, authenticating the item will not take place, which only adds more exclusivity to the fashion statement. In defense of the watch that’s basically just for looks, top-notch craftsmanship is also something Hublot makes sure is standard in all pieces. The watches were created with a porthole looking case around the face of the watch. This gave the early watches a maritime look. They also were the first to feature a rubber strap, which sounds cheap at first. Hublot (French for the word “porthole”) made sure that the fusion of rubber with precious metals like gold and silver was precise so that the class that oozes from the Hublot name would not be compromised. Soon enough, diver’s watches were added to the Hublot collection making the watches functionality and style, making the product ready for the runway and also day-to-day wear.
All of this is thanks to a man named Carlo Crocco. He started out at the jewelry and watch company Binda Group, founded in Milan, Italy in 1906. Binda was well known for their Breil watches at the time. Crocco left in pursuit of creating his own watch company. He pioneered using the rubber strap, which took 3 years of research to complete.
Taking a look at a Hublot timepiece, you can tell these are big watches. The fashion statement doesn’t just say something about you, the watch screams it. They stand out on your wrist and for the past 30 years, the watches have flown with the incoming and outgoing trends of the fashion/jewelry industry without changing much. This is a rare feat in the fashion world.