Talking Time

by BTM

Wed, 06 December 2023

Hublot’s Regional Director, David Tedeschi

The Swiss watchmaking brand Hublot has been synonymous with innovation since 1980. During the dazzling Jewellery Arabia 2023 exhibition, Kristian Harrison sat down for a chat with Hublot’s Regional Director of Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and Africa, David Tedeschi. He shared his insights on why the brand’s collections are coveted around the world, its presence in the Middle East and the company’s brand ambassadors.

Hublot needs no introduction to discerning watch-wearers around the world. This has been the result of the brand’s ground-breaking craftsmanship, attention to detail and its watches’ carefully-engineered movements. Once again, the brand’s eye-catching exhibit caught the watchful gaze of many a visitor at Jewellery Arabia, particularly the centrepiece of the display, the new fully-transparent Square Bang Unico Sapphire 42mm.

“Commercially wise, Jewellery Arabia is a big event for us as the second biggest trade exhibition in the region,” says Mr. Tedeschi. “Furthermore, Hublot is proud to be represented here since we have such a strong bond with our oldest partner in the region, Bahrain Jewellery Centre, who we first worked with in 1980. We have always been in their multi-brand store in Moda Mall and have opened our own boutique there.

One of Hublot’s major distinctions in Bahrain is that sales are split almost 50-50 between males and females, compared to just 35-40 percent to women in the GCC and even smaller in Europe and other parts of Asia.

“Bahrain is incredible in this regard,” he explains. “Every watch brand tries to attract the interest of women as watches tend to be a little bit of a man’s world. To see such equal figures really means that women appreciate the brand a lot in the region and shows that our strategy to run dedicated campaigns for women on a local and international level are succeeding.”

Another global trend is the increasing popularity of smartwatches and digital wristwear. When asked about the possible impact this may have on classical watchmakers like Hublot and how it retains interest amongst the younger generation, Mr. Tedeschi was remarkably unperturbed.

“At the end of the day, I don’t believe a smartwatch is a watch,” he says. “It’s more of a gadget. I actually wear an Apple Watch alongside my Hublot watch and I don’t use it to read time but rather to access functions on my wrist without needing my phone. For us it doesn’t change anything; we have both in our collection with normal mechanical watches and also some smartwatches, the first of which we launched in 2018 as the Referee Watch as we were the official timekeeper for the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

“I believe we still appeal strongly to younger people too as our approach is completely different. We’re not a conservative brand… we understand tradition but we are also young compared to many of our peers and that constant looking to the future helps us appeal to younger people.”

Another area which enables Hublot to generate worldwide appeal is with its numerous partnerships with prominent celebrities and sportspeople. Ambassadors include French football star Kylian Mbappé and Serbian tennis superstar Novak Djokovic.

“Hublot has always been involved in sport,” Mr. Tedeschi concludes. “We were the first watch brand that entered into football, for example, and these ambassadors help us to communicate our image to those who don’t know us. Younger people, even those under 18 years old will become our client in five, 10 or 15 years; it’s the right time to connect with them about Hublot’s presence. So really, it’s about connecting with the younger generation – future Hublot wearers.”