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Ricardo Guadalupe, 47, was appointed CEO of Hublot on January 1, 2012. This appointment has made him the designated successor to Jean-Claude Biver, who in turn is now Chairman of the Hublot Board of Directors. It also represents the culmination of an entire career in the Swiss watch industry, and 20 years of loyal collaboration with Jean-Claude Biver, collaboration that has yielded exceptional results, such as the rebirth of Blancpain and the incipient development of Hublot, two brands that rival the biggest names in watchmaking.

RICARDO GUADALUPE – CEO DE HUBLOT

Ricardo Guadalupe, of Spanish origin, was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, on March 5, 1965, where he grew up, and carried out all his studies in this region known as the cradle of Swiss luxury watchmaking. After finishing his high school studies, already driven by the entrepreneurial spirit at that time, he decided to study at a Swiss Business School, before moving to California, United States, to take a course at the University of Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1988, at 22 years of age and with a university degree and a successful experience in the United States behind him, he decided to return to Switzerland to start his professional career. He chose the field of watchmaking, a passion that he had nurtured since his childhood in Neuchâtel.

His first steps were taken at Bulgari, as Head of Product. Already then Bulgari was a renowned company, but in terms of watchmaking it was just a small organization in Geneva. A dream opportunity to learn and address all aspects of the business: creation, design, production, acquisition, development of the distribution network, marketing … Together, these seven years allowed him to understand the product and the traditional aspect of the profession, and develop at the same time an aesthetic sensibility for design and creation, essential for the “Italian touch”. This allowed Ricardo Guadalupe to play a role in the development of the group’s future activities and its strategic move from Geneva to Neuchâtel.

In 1994, after a meeting with Jean-Claude Biver that would be decisive for his career, he encouraged him to join his Blancpain team. The brand had been acquired two years earlier by the Swatch Group. A rebuild process was required to restore functionality. The adventure promised to be exciting, and it represented a new opportunity for Ricardo Guadalupe to develop his entrepreneurial instincts. The experience was enriching, particularly in terms of technical knowledge about the movements, their creation, development and production. This is a key aspect of the profession. This was also the beginning of 20 years of loyal collaboration and friendship with Jean-Claude Biver. In 1997, he was appointed Director of International Sales and Marketing at Blancpain. In 2001, after eight years and more than 100 million in turnover, he left the company.

In 2001, armed with years of experience in diverse but complementary areas, and prepared to implement operating principles and high-performance work systems, he became an independent watchmaker consultant, and received an offer to develop Léonard watches. This represented the novel challenge of producing and positioning watch franchises in a new universe: fashion. He successfully launched and marketed several models in a highly competitive industry.

Three years later, in 2004, Jean-Claude Biver decided to take the reins of Hublot and called Ricardo Guadalupe to join him in this new challenge. The task at hand was extremely ambitious: in short, to revitalize the brand and launch a new development to go from a production of 90% quartz watches to 90% mechanical watches. He didn’t hesitate for a second. At that time, the brand created in 1980 had a small workforce of about 30 people and had a turnover of just 25 million Swiss francs. What happened next is well known: Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe combined their talents and experience to make Hublot a success.

In just one year, in April 2005, they accomplished the incredible feat of launching a revolutionary chronograph: the Big Bang, perfectly in tune with the brand’s “Art of Fusion” concept. The watch, which was unveiled at the BaselWorld 2005 Basel Fair and received the “Best Design of the Year” award at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix that same year, was an immediate success. The awards happened very quickly. Hublot received an injection of extraordinary dynamism, guaranteeing exceptional growth. Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe were the engines that drove the rebirth of the brand. Taking into account its achievements, we could even speak of “birth”: firstly, the economic growth of the company, with a turnover increase in four years from 25 million to more than 200 million Swiss francs in 2008, when the brand was acquired by LVMH. But there has also been physical growth, with the inauguration in November 2009 of a new high-tech factory on the shores of Lake Geneva in Nyon, an event attended by Bernard Arnault. 6,000 m² have been devoted to the art of watchmaking, the creation and production of movements such as the UNICO, a column-wheel chronograph, and major horological complications such as the tourbillon, the minute repeater, the Antikythera movement, the Key movement. of Time, the LaFerrari (world record with 50 days of power reserve), etc. Eager to stay at the forefront of research into new high-tech materials and preserve its cutting-edge expertise, Hublot set up a foundry to produce Magic gold, a scratch-resistant 18-karat gold released in late 2011. That same year , Hublot acquired the Swiss company Profusion, specialized in the manufacture of carbon fiber components. In 2013, Hublot also presented the world premiere of a watch made of bright red ceramic.

In terms of marketing, the constancy and consistency of Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe are as remarkable as their need to disrupt preconceptions. “You have to go where the potential customers are.” This strategy made him the first to bring a luxury brand to the world of football. In 2008, Hublot became the “Official Timekeeper” of the Eurocup. In another historic milestone, in 2010 the brand became the “Official Watch” and “Official Timekeeper” of FIFA and the World Cup ™ (the next in Brazil in 2014), after being chosen as “Official Watch” and “ Official Timekeeper ”of Ferrari. Two masterstrokes that gave Hublot enormous visibility on the world market.

Hublot has also created an exclusive club of friends and ambassadors that goes beyond sports, all of them legends in their respective fields, and with whom the brand collaborates closely on various charitable projects: Usain Bolt, the fastest man on the planet, the Bayern Munich, Juventus Turin, Ajax Amsterdam and Paris Saint-Germain, to name just a few in the world of football, as well as Ayrton Senna’s family with the Ayrton Senna Institute, the prestigious Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, chaired by SAS Prince Albert II of Monaco, Dwyane Wade and the NBA champion team Miami Heat, Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA, Maria Riesch and Dario Cologna of the ski world, or Depeche Mode and Jay Z in the musical field. The brand also supports polo and golf through competitions, since: “The connection comes from sharing. By not sharing, we lose. At Hublot we have been fortunate, and it is our duty to share part of that success ”.

With Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe still at the helm, Hublot is also the first luxury brand to launch an online television service (Hublot TV), and it continues to explore revolutionary new interactive platforms. From a commercial point of view, the network of exclusive boutiques and authorized distributors has grown since 2007-2008 and currently has 750 points of sale and more than 70 exclusive boutiques in some of the most prestigious places in the world (Geneva, Place Vendôme from Paris, Madison Avenue in New York, Miami, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Cannes, Saint Tropez, London, Berlin, Munich, Moscow, Warsaw, Prague, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuala Lumpur , among other).

Anchored in the present and constantly evolving, at the forefront of new advances in technology and fundamental research of new materials, Hublot remains committed to traditional wisdom, creating watches that bear the mark of the most talented watchmakers. In this way, the brand represents the Art of Fusion between watchmaking culture and avant-garde technical development, between the past and the future … in the words of el Presidente de Hublot, Jean-Claude Biver, y del CEO, Ricardo Guadalupe: “no se trata de romper con el pasado, por el contrario, le rendimos tributo al conectarlo con el futuro”.

MARCO COSTA – FOUNDER & CEO OF BOCA DO LOBO
AN UNPREDICTABLE TALK WITH MARCO COSTA

CEO OF BOCA DO LOBO

SURPRISE EXPERIENCES AND SURPRISE EVERYONE. THIS IS THE PHILOSOPHY OF BOCA DO LOBO, ONE OF THE MOST EXCLUSIVE DESIGN BRANDS IN THE WORLD THAT WAS BORN TO BREAK THE MONOTONY. MARCO COSTA, THE CEO AND RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DESIGN, IS THE SPEAKER FOR THIS PHILOSOPHY.

After two years of being behind the scenes, the CEO and Head of Design of Boca do Lobo now talks about the history, the present and the future of the most passionate Portuguese design brand

1. DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE AS CEO OF THE BEST PORTUGUESE DESIGN COMPANY. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU AND WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN INSPIRATIONS.
It is a great responsibility for someone young like me to be CEO of one of the best design brands in the world, but I also see it as a challenge and at the same time I feel that I have a long road ahead that allows me to stimulate myself to do better every day. At the same time, I fully trust my team, we can always give what is not expected, always trying to do more and better.
My creative freedom is based on everything I see, on what surrounds me. At Boca do Lobo Design Studio we operate within the world of design, but we can be true artists in the way we work and think. Everyone says there is a cross between art and design and I couldn’t agree more. I really like doing new experiences, new materials, new techniques. More than an object to satisfy a need, we want to create pieces or objects of art that are part of people’s lives. People who buy Boca do Lobo are also buying an experience that can inspire generations.

2. BOCA DO LOBO, OVER THE LAST YEARS, HAS GRADUALLY CHANGED ITS LANGUAGE AND CULTURE. WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN THIS CHANGE?
There were no changes in our culture or language, there was an evolution. Over time we have lost our shyness and we realize that if there is a power of adaptation on our part, we can easily adapt to spaces and projects. The essence, the charisma and the audacity are there, but in a more versatile way.

3. THE COMMITMENT TO CRAFTSMANSHIP AND TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES IS ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL VALUES OF THE BRAND. HOW DO CRAFTSMANSHIP AND THE BOCA DO LOBO WORLD INTERFACE?
The Art of Designing and Manufacturing Exclusive Pieces is Boca do Lobo’s motorcycle of life, without that it was just another design brand. The wealth of manual arts finds here a new way of imposing and surviving, using contemporary style as a base but, at the same time, introducing Portuguese handicraft techniques. The link lies in the complementarity that both parties have been able to find in the relationship that unites them: on the one hand, we needed a uniqueness that only craftsmanship can give us and accompany us in what we want to create, on the other, we help these arts to be reborn … Each piece is unique, gold leaf doesn’t feel the same twice.

4. HOW CAN YOU KEEP THE BALANCE BETWEEN THE NEEDS OF THE MARKET AND THE UNIQUE DESIGN OF THE BRAND?
An emotional need began to exist regarding the uniqueness of a product at the time of purchase. Our public demands an experience with design, with respect to the exclusive world of luxury and art, and therefore our presence in the world, in the main international capitals, is a way of reaching more easily those who want to see us, feel us And touch on our pieces We make a difference and stay in the public mind because our products have a twist that only we can do.

5. BOCA DO LOBO IS PRESENTED WITH 5 COLLECTIONS. DO YOU THINK THERE IS ROOM FOR NEW TYPES OF PRODUCTS CREATED?
At the moment we have 5 collections, of which, without a doubt, the Limited Edition stands out, being the standard carrier of the best-selling books, such as the Diamond Sideboard or even the incomparable Pixel Cabinet. However, we must not forget the collections that are mainstays of the brand such as Soho and Coolors and even the main room that serves one of the most important areas of the house.
At the same time, it is important to mention Private Collection, which serves an extremely high luxury audience. Another category that could undoubtedly open new doors to the world of hotels and casinos is Play At Home Collection, whose main focus is the gaming tables.

6. THE FILM OF 50 SHADES OF GRAY WAS A GREAT MOMENT FOR THE BOCA DO LOBO. THEY FEEL THAT
IS THIS THE MAIN BRAND OF YOUR HISTORY? HOW DID THE ASSOCIATION WITH CINEMA ARISE?
I don’t think it was the main milestone in the history of Boca do Lobo, but without a doubt it was a great responsibility. It was an important step, it brought national and international notoriety, it was as a consequence of the recognition we have gained over time, and since that year more doors have been opened in the world of cinema and staging.
In fact, what happened was simple: Universal Pictures recognized that our pieces fell short of the more eccentric side of millionaire Mr. Gray and thought they would fit like a glove in his apartment. We agree et voilá.

7. PRESENCE IN THE DIGITAL WORLD IS ONE OF YOUR MAIN WEAPONS, JUST LOOK AT THE NUMBERS ON THE BRAND’S SOCIAL NETWORKS. HOW IS IT MANAGED TO CREATE THIS EMPIRE?
The secret is to get closer to people to inspire and surprise the best in the world industry, also disclosing our projects and pieces.
We have a passionate and dedicated team, willing to learn and be challenged every day, exploring strategies and actions to boost the brand. In fact, we have a strong presence in the world of the web, it is easy to perceive our notoriety through the many blogs, social networks and international magazines that we publish.
I think that the fact that we show our behind the scenes, without fear, also helps because it is part of our essence, our creative side and that makes all the difference.

8. WHAT IS THE INCOME TO REACH THE € 10M TARGET IN 2020?
We are in great growth and as our services improve we will create our own path to success… We have highly focused goals and the fact that we are a young team, we can easily be cross-cutting in an ever-changing world. The fact that we already have the loyalty of some clients who have been consolidated with personalized and personalized pieces is also a great step, the ‘happy clients’ strategy that we gather will give us the basis, year after year, to achieve our goals. It is a secret of the gods, but the results.

9. DO YOU FEEL THAT THE POSSIBLE EXPANSION OF THE BRAND TO OTHER BUSINESS AREAS WOULD RESULT IN GENERAL?
As for the businesses that could boost Boca do Lobo, we always think how to surprise and innovate and nothing better than an unlikely partner to do something unexpected and have a boom in every corner of the world.
Boca do Lobo is a brand that aims to elevate exclusive design, but we want to have sustained growth that gives us freedom so when we decide to take risks, we can do it. But at the same time, we must take into account the minimization of errors and shortcomings.

10. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS AS CEO.
Passionate, dedicated and… reserved.