The Hublot Sledge
Today in Lausanne, Jean-Claude Biver, Hublot CEO, and Pierre Keller, Director of ECAL, the University of Art and Design, Lausanne, Switzerland, came together for the grand unveiling of the "Hublot Sledge", an exclusive design concept, and a limited edition series of 10 pieces.
Following on from the Hublot skis (developed with the Grison-based company Zai) and the Hublot All Black Bike (developed with bicycle manufacturer BMC), the Hublot Sledge unites these "sporting heavyweights", genuine jewels of technology and design, just like Hublot watches.
Faithful to the "Art of fusion" philosophy so dear to the brand, the Hublot Sledge is a feat of cutting-edge technology, combining ash wood for the structure, hand-sewn leather for the seat, carbon fibre for the handles and steel for the runners. In line with the "Engineered Craft" principle, these 4 materials have all been hand-worked by artisans at the peak of their craft. The prototype was created in partnership with Graf, a company from Thurgovie, based on the "Roedel" competition model.
The result is a beautiful object which not only boasts an incomparable design, but is also fast, stable, manoeuvrable and robust, and would be equally at home on the snow-covered slopes as on display in a handsome chalet.
The Hublot Sledge is the fruit of a collaboration between Hublot and ECAL, the Lausanne University of Art and Design, as part of the MAS-Luxe course (Masters in Luxury Design and Industry) for which Hublot has been one of the main sponsors since its inauguration. This one-year programme, created by Pierre Keller in 2008 and led by Augustin Scott de Martinville, offers design tuition in partnership with companies from the luxury sector. This particular piece of work was created by Philippe-Albert Lefebvre, an MAS-Luxe student from Quebec who studied in 2009/2010, based on an original concept by Arno Mathies, a Swiss student studying for the MAS-Luxe in 2008/2009, and who now studies at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London.
Jean-Claude Biver, Hublot’s CEO, said he was "delighted at the creation of this sledge developed with ECAL which, in addition to its remarkable, innovative design, also offers the high levels of performance and robustness an exceptional piece of sports equipment requires!".
Pierre Keller, the director of ECAL, said: "By marrying the high precision so dear to Hublot with Graf’s expertise and ECAL’s creativity, we were able to obtain a totally unique design object."
The Hublot Sledge will be officially on display to mark the Alpine World Ski Championships in Garmisch Partenkirchen for which Hublot is the Official Timekeeper. It’s a safe bet that Bode Miller and Maria Riesch, the champions who are also the brand’s ambassadors, will take it out for a test run. Warning: safety helmet strongly recommended!