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Fx in Rome: visit of the new Hublot boutique

foversta
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One can be surprised by this frenzy of openings of boutiques in Rome. Indeed, just like Panerai, Hublot opened its boutique in the eternal city a few weeks ago in a prestigious location, at the 79 Piazza di Spagna. This is the fourth Hublot boutique in Italy and it reflects a change in brands' behavior towards Rome. Indeed, for a long time, they considered that the city was a preferred destination for mass tourism and that finally few potential customers would have wished to buy an expensive watch during their stays. This perception has changed and it is based on a reality: high-end hotels are developing and Rome also benefits from a degraded image of Paris to attract more wealthy tourists.

 

The Hublot shop is located on the site of the former Santoni boutique. And as with Panerai, the architects managed to optimize the surface to make the space available both inviting and comfortable. The shop is all in length, with the main sales table at the bottom while a counter and a coffee table occupy the sides. The showcases are displayed all along the boutique which allows to present a very wide selection of Hublot novelties and it is an important point, more than with any other brand. Indeed, Hublot works more with the succession of limited editions than around a permanent collection. In this context, these limited editions must be quickly visible and available in the different boutiques. The boutique in Rome is no exception to the rule and it was offering during my visit a significant part of the latest novelties. I propose you to discover the watches I've seen.

The boutique is organized in length. It is obviously decorated according to the latest architectural principles of the brand:


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The animation of Piazza di Spagna is perceptible from the boutique:

 
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The overview of the boutique:
 
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One of my favorite novelties from Hublot is the Classic Fusion Chronograph Garage Italia. One can find the logo too imposing but I find on the contrary that it gives character to the watch. The dominant blue is accentuated by the sky blue ceramic bezel that I find very attractive and perfect for the summer. A beautiful aesthetic success in my opinion.

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Hublot insists a lot on the Big Bang collection but in the end, many recent limited series were created from the Classic Fusion line. This is also the case with the Classic Fusion Chronograph Juventus, which takes advantage of the famous football club's white and black colors. This type of watch is obviously in a love&hate situation. If we are a fan of the club, we love it. And if not, we forget it immediately. I don't know if the boutique in Rome will sell a lot of copies of this watch to local customers! I think I have the answer...

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The Aerofusion Chronograph 2019 Cricket World Cup symbolizes for me the intelligence of the Hublot management team in the deployment of the brand. The latter is positioned on areas abandoned by competitors and we must admit it, the entire industry. Remember the negative comments when Hublot signed the first partnerships in football. Hublot's approach was criticized because football was not enough "luxury" or "prestigious". The bottom line is that it has dusted off the image of the "old school" watchmaking offer and that it was a tremendous accelerator for Hublot's visibility in the world. Not to mention that the profile of the people in the stadiums was changing ... Cricket is a bit the same thing by being at the base forgotten by the high-end brands. Hublot takes this opportunity which allows it to address markets with strong potential of development such as India or Pakistan. What does it matter after all if I don't understand the rules of cricket ... Hublot is also visible and enjoys a privileged exposure to a population very relevant to its future growth. As for the watch, it is distinguished by its bracelet inspired by the cricket ball. It is therefore in line with the 2015 watch.

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If I was thrilled by the Classic Fusion Garage Italia Chronograph, I was much less seduced by the Big Bang Unico Teak Italia Independent Titanium. I didn't like the bezel nor the strap. They are however interesting from the point of view of their textures and visual renderings. They fit well in the spirit of Lapo Elkann's brand. But I found the overall result weird and the size of the watch doesn't help in this particular situation.

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The Big Bang Unico Golf Blue Carbon has the same diameter (45mm) but it is much more interesting. The blend of carbon fiber and Texalium is successful and it defines a pleasant and dynamic technical atmosphere without falling into excess. The watch is intentionally complicated but the functions are well integrated. One of the most convincing Hublot watches from the technical point of view.

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The partnership with Sang Bleu is fertile. It is now a whole line of watches that is developed around and based on this particular display. The Big Bang Unico Sang Bleu Ceramic White is not my favorite (I much prefer the Ceramic Blue) but it is nonetheless attractive. The display contributes a lot to this success and demonstrates the adaptability of the Big Bang.

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I find the same approach with Richard Orlinski. There are now several watches presented in this context and the Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski Red Ceramic is one of the most successful. I prefer bright colors than dark colors for Hublot x Orlinski watches because they allow to better appreciate the angular construction of the cases. The Red Ceramic is a good proof.

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This selection allowed me to appreciate once again the diversity of Hublot's offer. Hublot goes from the classic watches to the most audacious and surprising pieces and above all is able to approach totally different universes and so, very quickly. It is this adaptability and agility that makes Hublot successful. The mark must thus be analyzed under a distinct prism than with the other brands.

I would like to thank Andrea, the boutique manager and his team, for their warm welcome. Given its location, you will not be able to miss the Hublot boutique if you are in Piazza di Spagna! So do not hesitate to make the few steps that separate it from the fountain Barcaccia to visit it!

Fx

Comments:
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cazalea August 18th, 2019-07:03
What a great report! I confess that I generally like Hublot, not that I’ve ever owned one but more from meeting J-C Biver and catching his enthusiasm. You have brought me up to date on their new models, and I appreciate it. I’m going to research that golf watch. Cheers, Cazal... 
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foversta August 18th, 2019-07:46
Thanks a lot for your kind words, I appreciate them.  
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