Nyon is home to Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot and the Living in Nyon team, along with ten of our readers, were given exclusive access for a guided tour mostly reserved for clients or watchmakers within the industry.
Renowned for its innovative and cutting-edge designs, Hublot was founded in 1980 by Carlo Crocco. A relative newbie compared to the classic watch houses, the likes of Jaeger-LeCoultre, established in 1833 in the Vallée de Joux, or Patek Philippe in Geneva, 1839. The brand has quickly gained a reputation for creating some of the most visually stunning watches in the world. Perfecting their signature style modern blend while still keeping hold of the traditions and prestige associated with watchmaking.
It was a beautiful day in the sunshine and Eric Cart Lamy (Watchmaking Instructor at the Hublot École d’Horlogerie) was to be our fantastic and knowledgeable guide for the afternoon. First stop, the design department, where we learned the process of how Hublot’s team of designers and engineers work together to bring each design to life. Every person along the chain is crucial to the process and if one of the links are not working then the whole operation doesn’t work.
Hublot push the boundaries of what is possible in watch design with their use of unusual materials in their construction such as ceramic, titanium and carbon fiber. They were one of the first watchmakers to incorporate rubber straps as well as coloured ceramics into their designs that have since become a hallmark of the brand. The ceramics are made internally because they are usually only available in black or white. Hublot also worked with EPFL (Swiss Federal Institution of Technology in Lausanne) and financed research to make a 18-carat Magic Gold that was impossible to scratch.
“Be first, unique and different” – Hublot’s President Jean-Claude Biver
A quick outfit change into Hublot work coats so we looked like true watchmaking professionals!
Next, we were ushered into a room with a stunning backdrop of Lac Léman and Mont Blanc in the distance. We were now in an area full of highly skilled watchmakers where we witnessed the intricate and delicate art of watchmaking. Hublot have not automated any of their processes, everything is done manually because of the need to feel and touch the materials. This makes each and every piece unique. It was incredible to see.
For the finale, the watches! This is where we all really perked up, fawning over the watch pieces worth thousands and thousands of Francs. As the gloves went on in order to handle these pieces, the rapid fire of questions began (mainly, how much is this one worth? And this one? Can I hold it?)!
Amongst them was the LaFerrari Tourbillon and also the award winning Classic Fusion Cathedral Tourbillon Minute Repeater – a definite show stopper. A watch with an independent chiming mechanism striking different tones for hours, quarter hours, and minutes with two small hammers. So just by listening, you can tell the time. Lots of fun!
That concluded our tour and wonderful experience that any watch enthusiast, or not, would have enjoyed. Plus, I got to take away a fabulous sleek-black brochure that would look at home on any coffee table!
Join us for the next Living in Nyon event. This time we’re swapping out watches for beers at the Cap’taine Mousse Brewery in Nyon.
I can’t believe I got fired from the watch factory. After all the extra hours I put in.
Yesterday, I bought six watches. You could say I have a lot of time on my hands!
Seema & Mandy