Hublot Launches with Superstar Pianist Lang Lang
With four perfectly timed snips, a charcoal grey and white ribbon tumbled onto the steps of the 15th Hublot store to open in North America. Vancouver’s ‘Luxury Zone’ has a new tenant and this LVMH-owned timepiece brand captured one of the few commercial spaces available in what is considered to be the most coveted shopping district this side of the Champs Elysees.
Situated on between De Beers and National Bank, Hublot’s modern steel and glass facade exudes elegance and timeliness.
Those bearing scissors were Aya Primbetova and Oleg Minchenko, Vice President and CEO of De Beers Diamond Jewellers Canada respectively, Hublot North America President Jean-François Sberro, and UMG recording artist Lang Lang.
The official launch was highly anticipated as Hublot quietly opened the doors of this 2,800 square-foot, two-story boutique this past July, and managed to keep a relatively low profile until now. Sberro confided, “We opened in Vancouver as we had a great feeling about the city and our brand, and when we met with the ideal location on Alberni Street the decision was made for us.”
The afternoon began with a press conference, held in the second-floor private lounge, and introduced attendees to Jean-François Sberro, and special guest, brand ambassador international pianist and beloved personality Lang Lang who was in the city for an evening performance with the esteemed Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
In the lounge, it was elbow-to-elbow as guests jostled in to hear and live-stream the soft-spoken Lang Lang speak of his relationship with the brand and how he believes Hublot “is the most beautiful and unique watch brand in the world.”
Lang Lang is not alone in his sentiment. Hublot ambassadors themselves are unique. Many great names have aligned themselves with this classic company. Legendary sports figures Pelé and Usain Bolt, golfers Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose, fashion superstar Bar Refaeli, and sports teams Chelsea FC, SL Benfica, and the Dallas Cowboys, all lend their names and reputations to this innovative and bold brand.
Chinese musical hero and astute showman Lang Lang has performed with leading orchestras from around the world and is known for creative and legendary collaborations with rock powerhouses Metallica to iconic jazz man Herbie Hancock and ‘the King of Opera’ Placido Domingo. To Hublot, Lang Lang represents excellence in his industry and continues to be an influential envoy for the arts with a pioneering spirit which makes him the perfect ambassador.
After the press conference and ribbon cutting, media guests joined VIPs on the main floor of the boutique where a cocktail reception was in full swing with flutes of Champagne and canapés.
Not to be overshadowed by the presence of Lang Lang, the newest addition to the Hublot family, the limited-edition Classic Fusion Chronograph Canada was unveiled and unbeknownst to all; it had been on the wrist of Lang Lang the whole time!
Limited to a run of 30, the watch features red detailing on the bezel, dial, and alligator straps in honour of Canada’s national colours and flag, while the case back features the iconic, Canadian Maple Leaf engraved on polished ceramic. It is presented in a custom maple wood box and will be sold exclusively in the Hublot Vancouver Boutique.
Suzette Hernandez, Brand Manager at Hublot, graciously offered the Classic Fusion piece for photographs and many guests took the opportunity to have their photographs taken outside the boutique, showcasing the watches red band against the red Ferrari’s parked curbside.
Aficionado’s of haute horlogerie have been drawn to Hublot’s luxury timepieces for over 35 years. The Swiss luxury brand was founded by Carlo Crocco in 1980 and acquired by LVMH in 1998. which range in price from an entry-level piece at a little under $10,000 to the Hublot Million Dollar Black Caviar Bang which run in excess of $1 million or ‘The Hublot’ which requires 14 months of work by 17 experts, 1200 pieces of diamond totalling 140 karats, and will set the purchaser back a cool $5 million.
(This article was originally published in Vancouver Boulevard Chinese/English Magazine).