“LAPO ELKANN IS CRAZY…”
Gisbert L. Brunner was born in 1947 and has worked with every sort of precision timepiece, though mainly wristwatches, since the 1960s. He has now published more than 15 books on the subject. He is also in demand the world over as a public speaker.
The sunglasses and fashion label Italia Independent was founded in 2006 by the 37-year-old grandson of the Fiat patriarch, Gianni Agnelli.
It has produced two twin sets, in blue Texalium and grey Texalium, which are remarkable for more than just their unusual colour scheme.
At the official launch of the joint sets in Paris on June 24 2015 in Paris, I had the good fortune to speak to Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe as well as Messrs Biver and Elkann.
THE RED BULLETIN: How are you doing? And what do you think of your joint efforts in blue and grey with Italia Independent?
Ricardo Guadalupe: It’s wonderful for Hublot. It creates a new world for us.
But what world is that?
The world of lifestyle and design, meaning Hublot broadens its horizons. Lapo Elkann’s creativity, ideas and craziness – in the positive sense – definitely move us forward. All of that is very good for the brand.
Is this a one-off or does this joint venture have a future?
We’re just starting out on an exciting journey together. It’s started with the blue and grey Texalium watches but there’ll be more to come. I’m sure of that. Maybe on time for next year’s Baselworld.
What is it that makes Lapo Elkann so valuable to Hublot?
Firstly, his huge creativity and his unconventional way of thinking which could really push the sometimes blinkered watch industry forward. There’s no greater testament to how creative Lapo is than the appearance of the Fiat 500. He’s brought a breath of fresh air to the auto industry.
When you talk about working together, does that only concern Big Bang or could it also apply to Classic Fusion?
It could be both. It could be a woman’s watch too. Let’s wait and see!
Is Lapo a regular Italian in your view or an extraordinary one?
Lapo is a very special. He’s exceptional. He’s created his own unique style and is constantly working to develop it. That fits in perfectly with Hublot.
How are the Italia Independent sets selling?
We’re just starting deliveries. Demand is huge so they’ll sell out very quickly.
When might we see the next sets of watches and sunglasses for those who’ve missed out?
…probably the next Baselworld.