We all know of Hublot’s penchant for the new, be it materials or technology and abiding by this flair, it unveiled its first ever smartwatch, at Baselworld 2018, the Big Bang Referee 2018 World Cup Russia™ Connected Watch.
The FIFA World Cup is the Holy Grail of emotions for football fans and came about because of “a specific need expressed by FIFA.” And what better stage that the World Cup to make this grand debut?!
The 49-mm titanium-cased tech device, has been specially designed for & worn by all of the 101 referees at the 2018 FIFA. The watch is obviously a limited edition of 2018 pieces and if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one, carries an approx $5,200 price tag!
The bezel is decorated with six H-shaped screws and is powered by INTEL Wear OS, the same Intel Atom Z34XX processor that powers 2017’s Tag Heuer Modular 45.
There’s a wide array of World Cup-themed softwares which brought together everything that inspires the passion of football lovers! There’s a series of “fan” dials in the colors of participating countries and notifications that announce matches 15 minutes before their kick-off, including yellow, red cards and player changes.
Obviously, the watch vibrates and reads “GOAL” whenever one is scored!!!
Hublot’s affiliation with FIFA goes back to 2014 (Hublot x Puma) but this time round, its got the status of “FIFA Official Watch” and “FIFA Official Timekeeper”. This innovation is also a notable change in Hublot’s strategy. Jean-Claude Biver (LVMH’S Head of Watchmaking) had made it clear in 2015 that, “For Hublot, ITS FORBIDDEN TO TOUCH SOMETHING LIKE A CONNECTED WATCH”. But Biver is also quick to spot an opportunity and a market and obviously, things have changed ever since.
The Big Bang Referee is Hublot’s first smart watch, making it both the least expensive way to buy a Hublot and at the same time the most expensive smart watch on the market today.
The market has changed drastically in the past 10 years (what with Apple now being the biggest smart watch maker), and seems like the premium segment of smart watches is but the obvious future. LVMH had already forayed into this arena last summer with their 42-mm android powered ‘Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon’.
The Big BANG is a strategic move by Hublot and the feat has been made possible thanks to extremely complex and technical procedures, the result of which is a cool but assertive watch.
For Hublot, the culmination of the efforts & the eventual ‘goal’ was to create and own a new market category, a category that we know will go beyond anything we see today. Smart phones, are no longer regarded as ‘just gadgets’. They are necessities, (there is an entire generation interacting with each other via a screen) but also status symbols (just look at the iPhone X).
Though it still needs to be seen who will take home the coveted trophy on Sunday, the BIG BANG has ushered in a new era for watch enthusiasts and connoisseurs and made absolutely clear that luxury x technology is the future of the industry.
The BIG BANG has been available in stores from 1 May.
(What do you think of this innovation & also, who will you be cheering for tomorrow ?
Let us know in the comments below.)