Hublot Builds $8 million Watch Factory

Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot is building a new $8 million watch factory in Nyon, Switzerland, its home location, to replace its old one, which will be sold.

The new facility will be finished by the end of 2008, JCK was told by Jean-Claude Biver, chief executive officer of Hublot SA.

Production will increase 50 percent, from about 20,000 watches annually now to close to 30,000 pieces, says Biver. Much of that increase will be in the higher end timepieces. Hublot’s staff will almost double, from 65 people now to some 120 when it opens.

The new watchmaking facility is “better adapted to what we are going to do in future,” said Biver. “We need to develop a more vertical production concept, doing things from A to Z, especially in the upper end, where we want to be close to 100% independent.”

Biver is also thinking of adding jewelry to Hublot’s products, for both men and women, he told JCK.

Hublot has “heavily influenced jewelry with our rubber strap [first introduced in 1980]. A lot of jewelry has been created around rubber. So, we believe our brand could also explore this market, provided we stay faithful to our ‘fusion ‘ concept (i.e., linking traditional skills and concepts, with untraditional concepts and cutting edge technology).”

The jewelry wouldn’t come on the market until the end of this decade, in either 2009 or 2010.