Life really does begin at forty: Unveiling the new Hublot Boutique Ginza
Unveiling the new Hublot Boutique Ginza. This one is for the ex-architect in me. Don’t get me wrong, I love watches. I think they are fantastic pieces of tangible memories that may not be necessary for the body but sure are for the soul. But there is a part of me that on occasions misses being an architect. After all, those gruelling years of architecture and design study are bound to have an impact, even though they happened what feels like a lifetime ago.
So when Hublot announced its new store in Tokyo, I was intrigued. And when I saw the pictures, I was impressed.
40 is the new 20
“Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research,” said the famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl G. Jung.
He could very well have been talking about another well known Swiss name, the luxury watchmaker, Hublot.
This quote fits a brand that has come to be known for its material and technological innovativeness through research and creativity. And if the current trend of their fame and watch offerings is any sign to go by, as they turn 40, we have only witnessed the tip of the iceberg. At the cusp of legendary status, Hublot sure is embodying its own philosophy to “Be First, Different and Unique”.
Anniversary celebrations are an interesting concept, especially in the watch world. Brands mark all sorts of anniversaries, such as the TAG Heuer Monaco 50th Anniversary from last year. But today we looking at a slightly different kind of anniversary. It’s the occasion of Hublot turning 40.
To mark this milestone, the Maison has opened its largest flagship boutique to date at the prestigious Chuo-dori Street in Tokyo, the new Hublot Boutique Ginza. This follows the trend of opening up boutiques at the epicentres of luxury globally, with past examples including Place Vendome in Paris, Rue du Rhône in Geneva, 5th Avenue in New York City, New Bond Street in London, and Heritage in Hong Kong.
The Architectural Design Codes
Dynamic façades while not new, are still in their infancy as a concept. Just the blatant idea that a building’s façade or wall will not be static, not be a dull monolithic block but a machine of its own, breathing, responsive, smart, is mind-boggling in itself. Dynamic façades, also called responsive façades essentially change in response to the surrounding environment, especially for maximising their performance like energy consumption. Sometimes, they exist purely for visual appeal.
In the world of architecture, almost nothing matches the appeal of creating fully responsive environments. Then you look at what’s been created by architects in the recent years, examples ranging from the Kiefer Technic Showroom in Austria to the Brisbane Domestic Terminal Carpark in Australia, you get an understanding that anything is possible.
The External Design
So in a world as eclectic and creative as this where blending of materials and ideas is a byword, now enters Hublot’s latest boutique. Nicknamed the “Hublot tower” thanks to its 56-meter height, it’s yet another example of the use of a dynamic façade in a building.
An idiosyncratic and artistic rendering of Hublot philosophies is this façade where laminated glass panels are scattered with mirrored pieces that exhibit different sights: it reflects sunlight to create a beautiful glitter during the daytime, and at nighttime a luxurious glow appears to emanate from within.
Offering stylish, luxurious and open spaces, the new Hublot Boutique Ginza is also an example of the brand’s philosophy of ‘The Art of Fusion’.
The Internal Design
The new boutique is split into three immersive floors, offering an unparalleled space of 330 square meters. Expressing the ‘Art of Fusion’, these floors feature pop artworks depicting Hublot timepieces and movements on the walls, stretching from floor to ceiling.
The watch collection will be displayed on the ground floor, the VIP experience room is on the second floor and the exhibition area on the third floor, all decorated in contemporary style with leather chairs, ebony tables, floors of marble or carpet, and an impressive staircase with sides made of zigzag laser-cut mirrored stainless steel.
As if this wasn’t enough, another highlight is the crystal chandelier installed on the vaulted ceiling reaching more than 9 metres high.
Watch Ya Gonna Do About It
I realise this article had nothing to do with a new watch release but it’s not often that new stores of such magnitude are unveiled. Standalone boutiques such as this provide watch enthusiasts and collectors alike with the opportunity to immerse themselves totally in the world of a particular brand without having the distraction of other brands such as one would find at Authorised Dealers. And new boutique openings also mean more exclusive, boutique only limited editions.
We’ll take Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe’s help to wrap this up: “We are honoured to celebrate the opening of our new flagship Boutique in Tokyo. In only 40 years, Hublot has seen many firsts and many successes, and today is again another milestone for our Maison. We have long had presence on the most prestigious streets in the world’s metropolises and from today in Japan too, our number one market. The “Hublot Tower” is a symbol of the fusion of modernity and tradition that we ardently pursue and uphold in all our actions.”