default-output-block.skip-main
BoF Logo

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.

Hublot to Start Selling Watches With Smart Functions in Strap

Swiss watchmaker Hublot is working on a connected strap as owner LVMH steps up efforts to fend off competition from the likes of Fitbit and Apple.
Hublot store | Source: Shutterstock
By
  • Bloomberg

NYON, Switzerland — Swiss watchmaker Hublot is working on a connected strap as owner LVMH steps up efforts to fend off competition from the likes of Fitbit Inc. and Apple Inc.

Hublot is looking at including functions that relate to a wearer’s location as well links to exclusive information about soccer in the watchband, chief executive officer Ricardo Guadalupe said Thursday in an interview in Paris. It will not add technology inside watch cases as the timepieces would lose their “soul,” he said.

“Smart devices are really part of our world now,” Guadalupe said on the sidelines of a promotional soccer event on the eve of the 2016 European soccer tournament. “I think we will be ready for next year.”

Hublot follows sister brand TAG Heuer marrying Swiss craftsmanship with connected technology as Apple challenges watchmakers for a place on clients’ wrists. TAG Heuer started selling its own $1,500 smartwatch in November, and one month later said it aimed to boost production to 2,000 pieces a week from a previous 1,200. Swiss watch exports last year posted their first annual decline since 2009, weighed down by slumping demand in Asia and the arrival of the Apple Watch.

Montblanc, owned by Richemont, already sells a smart watchband called the e-Strap.

Hublot is still growing this year “but it’s a bit tougher,” Guadalupe said, adding he will cut production if sales deteriorate. “We believe in a difficult market that we should do better than our competitors.”

Asked which country he fancies winning the soccer tournament, the Swiss-born executive of Spanish descent went for France, the host nation and home of LVMH, whose full name is LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE. A win would be good for France’s image, which has been tarnished by the November terror attacks in Paris.

“It’s a strong market, but it’s a touristic market,” said Guadalupe. “If France could win, it would be great because there are some issues in this country.”

By Andrew Roberts and Corinne Gretler; editors: Matthew Boyle, Phil Serafino and Thomas Mulier.

© 2022 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions

More from News & Analysis
Fashion News, Analysis and Business Intelligence from the leading digital authority on the global fashion industry.

The 10 themes in The State of Fashion 2023, the authoritative annual report from The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company, highlight how businesses can deploy realistic yet bold strategies to drive growth, even amid challenging times.




Tim Blanks sits down with Ziad Ahmed, chief executive of JUV Consulting and Stephanie Simon, the former head of community at Clubhouse to reflect on VOICES.


view more

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.
CONNECT WITH US ON
How to Build a Profitable DTC Brand
© 2023 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions and Privacy policy.
How to Build a Profitable DTC Brand