Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot has begun its expansion into the burgeoning Vietnamese watch market, with the opening of its first standalone boutique in capital city Hanoi. The boutique is the first in the country, barring a previous pop-up store in Ho Chi Minh. When asked, Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe said that one of the considerations for opening the first store in Hanoi over Ho Chi Minh was the availability of a suitable location. The new Hublot boutique is housed in the historic Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, which is arguably the most luxurious and prestigious in the city, and is a historic Old Quarter icon in its own right. Its terrace brasserie is said to be the place to see and be seen in Hanoi, so if you ever feel a hankering for a Vietnamese drip coffee, this is the place to have it—and perhaps get a little shopping in. The hotel's Metropole wing, where the new Hublot boutique is located, is also home to the likes of Patek Philippe, Hermès and Richard Mille.
Hublot's Hanoi boutique is in collaboration with The Hour Glass S&S, a joint venture with the Vietnamese partner of The Hour Glass, Singapore's own luxury watch retailer. S&S are the first name initials of Sam Vu and Sassy Nguyen, the dynamic young couple that have swiftly built up their watch retail business based on their mutual passion for horology.
“It gives me great joy to unveil a new addition to our network of Hublot boutiques around the world here in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, a place that is rich in heritage, culture and history," says Guadalupe. "It is indeed a fitting and strategic location to showcase Hublot’s vision – combining traditional craftsmanship whilst striving for innovation. Hublot is pleased to have been partners with The Hour Glass for over 39 years and this burgeoning partnership will continue to strengthen as we conquer the South East Asian region together,” he adds.
The inauguration of the boutique took place with a bang–of the drums, that is. It marked the beginning of the rest of the musical festivities, which included a concert by Chinese piano virtuoso Lang Lang at the beautiful Hanoi Opera House. The concert was a celebration in more ways than one—it was one of Lang Lang's first since returning from a tendonitis injury in his left arm, which had kept him out of commission for a good year. And in typical Hublot fashion, the classical music concert was followed by an afterparty featuring thumping EDM music—the first time such music had ever been allowed in the Hanoi Opera House since its opening in 1911.