From micro-components to a finished watch, every detail counts when assembling a Hublot watch.
Within the walls of Hublot’s vast manufacture, one can witness the most traditional of watchmaking crafts being employed alongside state-of-the-art manufacturing technology, a veritable fusion between the traditional and the cutting-edge.
Hublot’s in-house developed and manufactured Unico movement for example is hand-assembled from over 300 individual components. Typically, a watchmaker receives a kit with all the necessary pieces from the production ateliers and then assembles them in the batches of around 25 movements simultaneously.
While most of the movement’s parts are hand-assembled, Hublot also relies on technologically advanced automated and semi-automated high-tech method for certain tasks, such as setting the rubies into the plates and bridges as well as applying precise amount of lubricant oil.
Once the movements are complete, the final watches are hand-assembled by watchmakers based on function. The process begins by attaching the movement onto the dial, followed by fixing and aligning the hands onto it. A watchmaker then tests all the functions of the watch such as the chronograph and quick-date mechanism, while paying attention to the movement of the hands. The movement and dial are then intricately placed into the watch’s case, which would be pre-assembled by another dedicated watchmaker.
Once the external elements like the crown and pusher are set into place, the functions are tested once again to ensure smooth operation. The movement’s oscillating rotor is screwed into place, then the final case element, the case back, is screwed into place and the watch is ready to undergo testing for chronometric performance and water resistance.
Finally, the strap and buckle are screwed to the case, and the watch is sealed in an argon gas-filled pouch to prevent oxidation and condensation; ready to makes its way to a Hublot customer.
Quality control is carried out at every step during the watch assembly process. Each watchmaker is expected to verify the work of the previous watchmaker handling the piece and verify whether it conforms to Hublot’s strict quality standards. Should a problem arise at any point in the assembly line, the watch is sent back to the start of the production line to be disassembled, and the process starts all over again.
At the High Complications department, assembly works differently in a much more traditional manner. Given the sheer complexity of High Complications watches including the MP series, tourbillons and striking timepieces, such pieces are individually hand-assembled from start to finish by a single watchmaker, sometimes requiring up to three months to complete a single watch.