July 17, 2013
Swiss watchmaker Hublot is catering to a concentrated group of Ferrari owners with its new Big Bang Ferrari watch available exclusively at the Hublot Boutique Beverly Hills, CA.
Isolating the watch to a single location and grafting many Ferrari references onto it adds extra layers of exclusivity that may spur consumers to make the purchase. Partnerships such as this create occasions for unveiling new watches, since a new watch can accompany vehicles designed or events coordinated by the other party.
"Both brands embody the same values when it comes to producing exclusive 'machines,'" said Greg Simonian, president of the Hublot Boutique Beverly Hills, CA.
"Hublot and Ferrari are each committed to performance, exploring new materials and technology in order to advance their respective fields, contemporary design, and customer service," he said.
"And when you look at the cars that our top Hublot collectors drive, you'll see that many of them have already discovered for themselves that Hublot and Ferrari make a good match."
All in the family
The new Big Bang Ferrari Beverly Hills joins a cast of other Ferrari-inspired watches such as Ferrari's official watch and similar Big Bang Ferrari watches.
The watch references Ferrari with many of its features, likely playing to the passion Ferrari drivers have for their vehicles.
Big Bang Ferrari Beverly Hills watch
For example, the Ferrari alloy wheel rims inspired the design of the watch's column wheel. A Ferrari dashboard is recalled with the minute counter.
The automaker's signature horse is on the face of the watch at the nine. The Ferrari logo is engraved on the lower push button.
Hublot even points out that the watch's mechanisms resemble the powerful engine of a racing car.
Hublot's persistent use of Ferrari emblems/references on the watch may appeal to Ferrari drivers looking to cement their loyalty to the brand.
Hublot Beverly Hills Boutique
This partnership between Hublot and Ferrari has yielded other Big Bang watches since its inception last November such as the Big Bang Ferrari Titanium 45mm.
Big Bang Ferrari Magic Gold watch
The watch's exclusive location in Beverly Hills is likely intended to reach the highest concentration of Ferrari owners possible.
"I think the decision to limit the watch to the Beverly Hills location is a clever move that enhances the exclusivity of the new watch," said Ron Kurtz, president of the American Affluence Research Center, Atlanta.
"Beverly Hills has the right cachet and represents an important source market for such a product," he said.
"I’m sure customers and past Hublot clients living in another market will still have the opportunity to buy the watch."
A place for everything
Hublot has previously designed specific products for certain groups of consumers.
For example, Hublot is targeting Miami Heat fans by honoring the team’s victory over the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 National Basketball Association finals with timepieces.
The watches come as an extension of the brand’s already established partnership with the Miami Heat through its position as official timekeeper and its brand ambassador, Heat player Dwayne Wade. Linking up with eminent sport figures and teams is an effective way to tap into large segments of prospective consumers and borrow traits that will enhance the brand image (see story).
Similarly, Hublot is feting its new brand ambassador, soccer star Radamel Falcao, through a partnership with a United Nations charity to help impoverished families in Colombia.
The watchmaker and Mr. Falcao will be helping to generate additional aid for his hometown of Grand Lagoon of Santa Marta, Colombia, by donating a portion of the sales from each Classic Fusion Falcao watch to the families in that area. The watchmaker is likely to boost brand exposure in South America and Europe through Mr. Falcao and the charity efforts (see story).
Partnerships should strive to find a nexus where consumers from both parties can share interests.
"It is very appealing for someone who loves both products - Ferrari and Hublot - to have a very collectible timepiece that pays tribute to both brands," Mr. Simonian said.
"With one look at their wrist, they are always reminded of their favorite things," he said.
"They may have to leave their Ferrari with valet, but their Hublot Big Bang Ferrari watch will accompany them into any restaurant, club or meeting."
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York