Hublot understands the power of a good partnership, and they don’t come much more powerful than the FIFA World Cup. The World Cup is one of the biggest events in the world. World Cup Brazil reached 3.2 billion viewers across the globe, with one billion alone tuning into the final. Russia looks set to be even bigger. And while many of those eyes will be on the ball, a good proportion will be paying attention to the wrists and Big Bang-shaped boards of the referees, as well as the clocks and countless other locations. But Hublot’s relationship with the beautiful game goes well beyond the World Cup, with some of the sport’s legends amongst the brand’s most significant ambassadors. They also sponsor some of the most famous teams and have numerous limited editions celebrating the game.
At the centre of Hublot’s status as Official Timekeeper of the FIFA World Cup is the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia — the brand’s first ever smart watch. And while this large 49mm titanium piece was offered as a limited edition of 2018 pieces (good luck trying to get one in Australia — apparently our allocation was snapped up very quickly indeed), with customisable dials and straps to show support for your team, it really comes into its own on the wrists of the referees. The key feature for the pros is the fact that the Wear OS device talks to Goal Line Technology, alerting the refs when the system registers a goal being scored. And while the World Cup marks a great debut for the Big Bang Referee, I suspect this won’t be the last we’ll see of Hublot’s sporty smart watch.
But Hublot and football is more than just smart systems like Goal Line Technology and smart watches. Football is all about big personalities, which is perfect for the larger-than-life brand. Those personalities were on show at this year’s Baselworld, where the brand held a ‘Match of Friendship’, which saw legends like Diego Maradona, José Mourinho and Robbie Keane, as well as talented ring-ins like Usain Bolt, play a friendly in the middle of Baselworld. In typical fashion, Maradona donned not one but two Hublots.
One telling omission from this year’s World Cup is Italy, a powerhouse football nation who managed, incredibly, not to qualify. But even though they might not be getting the World Cup love from Hublot, the brand does sponsor Juventus, one of the oldest (founded 1897) and most popular Italian teams and one of the great teams of European football.
Oh, and the Referee watch wasn’t Hublot’s first football-specific sports watch, there’s also the Big Bang Unico Chronograph Retrograde UEFA Euro 2016, a chrono with retrograde chronograph counters, with scales for extra time and added time.
Hublot and football. The love is real.
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