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A Swiss luxury watchmaker founded in 1980 by Italian Carlo Crocco. The company currently operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of France’s LVMH. In 1980, it also marked the birth of the ‘Fusion’ concept a few months after being founded.
A scion of the Italian Binda Group dynasty, best known for making Breil watches, Carlo Crocco left the company in 1976 to strike out on his own and create a new watch company. Moving to Switzerland he formed MDM Geneve and set about designing a watch that he named the Hublot after the French word for “porthole”. The watch that he created featured the first natural rubber strap in the history of watchmaking. It took 3 years of research to create the strap. Despite failing to attract a single potential customer on the first day of its debut at the 1980 Basel Watch Fair, the watch quickly proved to be a commercial success with sales in excess of $2m in its first year.
Carlo Crocco, preoccupied by his own design work and many activities for the Hand-in-Hand Foundation, a charity helping deprived children all around the world, set out to look for the man who could oversee his watchmaking business. In late 2003, Jean-Claude Biver, then president of Swatch Group’s Omega division, met Carlo Crocco, and in May 2004, Biver assumed duties as CEO, becoming a board member and minority shareholder in Hublot Watches.
In April 2008 it was announced that luxury goods group LVMH had acquired Hublot from founder Carlo Crocco for an undisclosed fee, adding to its existing portfolio of watch brands including TAG Heuer.