Hublot in South Africa – Part 1 – Bryanston Jewellers/Nicolway
A few of you that follow this blog may have noticed a slight absence of posts for a while. With apologies. There were some reasons for this, but nevertheless we are back. Yes, we have missed you too, and writing about some of our favourite brands in the world, and what they mean to us.
We begin this blog by introducing a new group we have come across. Bryanston jewellers. In our search for incredible brands and service, especially promising nearly 4 years ago to blog on watches and pens, finally we have a team that is willing to help us share with you the joy of the Brand.
Enter Bryanston Jewellers in the Nicolway Mall, Bryanston. The store is run by a small team, owned by Imran Ravat. Before we start, I think it`s always key to know who you are dealing with, especially in the sphere of luxury goods. So, a quick look into the history of the family that started Bryanston Jewellers and how they got to where they are now. We will then dive into the Brands they carry, and for this blog, lightly touch on Hublot, just the surface, before coming up to view other brands that are going to be highlighted on our site.
For anyone that knows a thing or two about watches, Hublot is a brand that has really risen in prominence over the past few years. We go into this detail more in future blogs, highlighting some of our favourite models in this lux brand`s stable.
Small Shiny Beginnings
Like most family owned business, especially for people of previous disadvantaged history in SA, the idea of starting up a jewellery business was a daunting one. Initially from the Vaal area, known as Ravat & sons, the jewellery business came from very humble beginnings in areas such as Welkom, Vanderbijl Park and Vereeniging. If you are reading our blog from overseas, and quick google search will highlight some of the challenges had by Black owned business in areas that were controlled by former Afrikaans business people. And yet, even in the middle of Welkom, an area restricted banning Indians (Muslim’s included) the family business still managed to have impact in all the areas they opened. Even ownership of land was an issue, with the lease for property that had to be held in the name of a white person, who then “owned” the stores Mr Ravat and his sons would operate from.
For any store owned by family, Owner Imran remembers working weekends and school holidays, to assist his family in selling. This is where the passion for luxury goods and service started. All this later included looking after the 3 stores with their expansion and travelling many miles between the 3 areas and while ensuring service and stock met their client`s needs & expectation. Even in the days of old, and before the New Dispensation of Nelson Mandela`s release, and later his ascension to the dawn of the New South Africa, Mr Ravat and his sons ensured they secured business. This included major corporate and consumer clientele of all races, who needed to ensure they had gifts and long service awards that met high expectations of their peers. Having a person of colour selling luxury goods to procurement in major corporates today is still a challenge, imagine how hard it was in 1980! Here below is an incredible tribute to Nelson Mandela from the Hublot Brand –
Fast forward to today, and for the past few years, operating in the new Nicolway store, the same dedicated focus remains on long term relationships and in bringing in brands that inspire. Mr Ravat makes it very clear, that they know their customers, they service them with humility and the maintain to carry on Swiss brands, that have integrity built into their DNA.
After years of negotiation for distribution rights and armed with a New Brand name and consolidation of their stores, the Ravat family focussed on what was next! Hublot, have been making a huge splash in the Baselworld and blogger/watch site communities worldwide. Massive innovation from Jean Claude Biver (pictured below -image from IW interview), who managed the brand from the 90`s and later sold to luxury group LVMH, led this brand from nothing to something!
Little sites like our own, have been known to influence the outliers that need to separate themselves from the herd. Hublot is just such a brand! The primary focus for them is using Fusion of different materials and elements, to innovate beyond most brands. Working with academia and advanced metallurgy specialist`s, focussing on strength and function not just for the sake of it, but also to ensure that the wearer is guaranteed performance, whether playing Soccer, Tennis, Cycling or just at a board meeting. Hublot brings luxury, to categories other brands have never dared to tread.
If you have a TV and managed to watch a single FIFA 2018 Russia world cup match, you would see the massive efforts Hublot have gone to ensure that every game has their name stamped on it. Where other brands would be too highbrowed for Soccer, Hublot has made their mark. In our view, Hublot creates luxury for people who never had it before. The guys and girls who worked on, focussed on their dream and made their wealth on their own. That is the character of the Hublot wearer in our opinion. The watches we have below will each have their individual blog, but for now, the partnership with Ferrari, also another brand greatly loved by entrepreneurs, comes to the fore.
For the F1 fanatics, you will see Hublot and Ferrari working very closely to product pieces of art, that also have incredible functionality. To understand their mechanical achievements, which we will delve into in future blogs, see the video below to see our favourite innovation to date.
Big thanks to the team at Bryanston Jewellers in Nicolway. They are 1 of only 2 suppliers in South Africa who are authorised to sell the Hublot Brand. They also cover some major brands of the swiss manufacture hubs, which you can explore here:
Massive thank you to Imran Ravat for opening his store and their collection of Hublot watches for sale. Also, thanks to our new partners at Scuderia South Africa, Chanelle and Caroline, for giving some peek into the world of Ferrari, directly opposite the Nicolway Mall.
We will soon collaborate on some projects and give some of you readers incredible chances to share in our content and later events based on the brands we love. Thank you to all of you for your continued support. If you have never seen a Hublot and live in Johannesburg, get to Nicolway!
Even if you can`t buy a watch like this right now, it`s best to keep your mind focussed on your goals and achievements by having a small peek into what exactly that manifested outcome looks like. You have the dream to achieve what you can, we are the team who will share in that vision!