The new Hublot Express was officially unveiled this evening, in time for the start of the winter season on 25 November 2016. The opening ceremony of the six-seater chairlift from Gant to Blauherd culminated in a maiden voyage and an artistic light show which produced a superb display featuring juggling LEDs and cleverly choreographed effects.
This summer, the Gant–Blauherd gondola lift, which had acquired cult status in the years since it was first opened in 1971, was replaced by a state-of-the-art six-seater chairlift. The new lift boasts the latest technical equipment and can carry up to 1800 passengers an hour at a speed of 5 metres per second. The new Zermatt Bergbahnen lift will relieve pressure at the bottleneck at Gant and improve the connection between the Sunnegga-Rothorn and Gornergrat ski areas. The powder-coated chairs with real leather seats will ensure passengers enjoy a comfortable ride.
The opening ceremony was very well attended, and the invited guests were given the opportunity to discover the advantages of the modern lift for themselves with an exclusive trip on the Hublot Express. Markus Hasler, CEO of Zermatt Bergbahnen, commented on the new lift: “The detachable chairlift from Garaventa meets our high requirements for safety and comfort, as well as being ideal in terms of ease of operation and maintenance. We consciously avoided high-cost features such as heated seats in this new lift as they do not constitute an advantage on a day-to-day basis. Nothing can alter the fact that in poor weather visitors will migrate to less exposed slopes anyway. Sometimes less really is more.”
The name Hublot Express is an acknowledgement of the watchmakers Hyblot, long-standing partners of Zermatt Bergbahnen. “Shared values are the basis for a successful partnership,” says Hasler. “Zermatt Bergbahnen AG and Hublot both strive to provide their customers with exceptional, innovative services and solutions.”
Asked about the partnership with Zermatt Bergbahnen, Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot, replies: “Claiming a place as your own means respecting its history, what makes it special, its signature and its identity. With its Chalet Boutique, the two exclusive numbered ‘Big Bang Zermatt’ models and with the Hublot Express, Hublot makes a notable climb to the foot of the Matterhorn.
valley station - 2'226 m ü. M.
mountain station - 2'604 m.ü. M.
elevation difference - 378 m
cable length - 1'968 m
cabel diameter - 45 mm
capacity - 1'800 personen/h
speed - 5 m/sec
duration of ride - 3.5 min
number of chairs - 36
number of towers - 8
manufacturer - Garaventa