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The Luxury-Service Group
A scion of the Italian Binda Group dynasty, best known for making
Breil watches, Carlo Crocco left the company in 1976 to strike out on
his own and create a new watch company. Moving to Switzerland he
formed MDM Geneve and set about designing a watch that he named
the Hublot after the French word for "porthole". The watch that he
created featured the first natural rubber strap in the history of
watchmaking. It took 3 years of research to create the strap. Despite
failing to attract a single potential customer on the first day of its debut
at the 1980 Basel Watch Fair, the watch quickly proved to be a
commercial success with sales in excess of $2m in its first year.
 The Jean-Claude Biver era
Carlo Crocco, preoccupied by his own design work and many activities
for the Hand-in-Hand Foundation, a charity helping deprived children
all around the world, set out to look for the man who could oversee his
watchmaking business. In late 2003, Jean-Claude Biver, then
president of Swatch Group's Omega division, met Carlo Crocco, and in
May 2004, Biver assumed duties as CEO, becoming a board member
and minority shareholder in Hublot Watches.
Upon his arrival, Biver set about creating a new flagship collection that
was unveiled in Basel in April 2005, with the Hublot "Big Bang"
chronograph. It was an immediate success and orders increased
threefold in one year. A few months later, in November 2005, the Big
Bang chronograph was awarded internationally, receiving the "2005
Design Prize" in the "Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix", the "Sports
Watch Prize" at the "Watch of the Year" ceremony in Japan, and the
Middle Eastern Prize for the "Best Oversized Watch" at the Editors
Choice "Watch of the Year" in Bahrain. Following the arrival of Biver
in 2004, the brand's sales hit 24 million Swiss francs and by the end of
2006, sales were bordering on the 100 million Swiss franc mark.
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