Former international cricket star Kevin Pietersen, who was hand-picked up by Hublot as the new brand ambassador this year, has taken the association to the next level. Pietersen — a prominent advocate for the welfare and conservation of endangered animals in South Africa — has taken up the cause of saving the endangered Rhinos in Africa and Asia, including India, along with Hublot.
Vishawatch caught up with Pietersen to know more about the initiative and the special limited edition watch that Hublot has created to support the same. In a chit-chat, he revealed the plans to visit India next month to film a documentary with National Geographic at the Kaziranga forest in Assam.
According to Pietersen, Rhinos are incredibly human like and feel the emotions very strongly. “They are tender in the way they go about doing their business and very sensitive. They can even die from stress or heartache,” he said, adding that Rhinos are fun animals to be with and need to be protected.
For the uninitiated, Pietersen founded SORAI in 2018 to support the various organisations – comprising rangers, nutritionists, ecologists and other specialists – who strive every day to save, care for, and ensure the complete rehabilitation of every mammal found in Africa and Asia. This global initiative is designed to raise public awareness, to inform and educate to initiate a change in behaviour, and to raise funds to build up the resources and equipment needed for these rhino conservation, monitoring and care activities to continue their essential work.
“Though, I have never been to Kaziranga but know that the Rhinos there are endangered because of poaching. So far, South Africa has been the focus area as it has 80 % of world’s Rhino population. But that focus will shift to more countries, including India. I am very excited and looking forward to be there soon,” he told Vishawatch stating that saving the huge herbivorous mammals, found in Africa and in Asia, was a matter of urgency for the planet and future generations.
The Special Watch
In line with the vision, Hublot has announced rolling out 100 pieces of the ‘Big Bang Unico SORAI’, from which a large proportion of the funds raised from sales will be used for the care and conservation of orphaned baby rhinoceroses to reinforce nocturnal surveillance capabilities using airborne thermal intelligence tools.
Symbolic of the alliance, this 45-mm ceramic dial has donned the sandy tones of the sumptuous African bush and houses the image of a white rhinoceros. Strapped onto a matching NATO bracelet, the Big Bang Unico SORAI can express its commitment with personality by adopting the camouflage style of the second bracelet, made of rubber. The selective vulcanisation technology produces motifs in long-lasting colours that are perfectly drawn with an accuracy of a tenth of a millimetre, a first in the watchmaking world. Priced at Rs 16.72 lakhs, we have learnt that this watch is unlikely to make it to Indian market as all the 100 timepieces have been pre-booked by collectors abroad!
The First Boutique In India
Interestingly, India is on the radar for Hublot which has recently opened its first ever boutique in the country to enhance the brand’s presence here. Located in the heart of Mumbai at the Palladium Mall, the brand new Hublot Boutique exemplifies the brand’s well-known motto – the Art of Fusion – blending materials and styles in a truly modern and innovative spirit. Paying tribute to the art world, the boutique is decorated with Pop Art paintings inspired by the iconic Big Bang collection. Hublot Big Bang, Classic Fusion, Spirit of Big Bang, MP as well as exclusive limited editions will be on display for all watch lovers.
“Today marks a new milestone for Hublot, and the Mumbai Boutique will, for sure, serve as a springboard for Hublot in India and worldwide,” Ricardo Guadalupe, chief executive officer for Hublot said at the opening.
Pietersen who planned a day’s visit to India for the store opening, told ‘Vishawatch’ that “it was great to get Hublot join the ride from cricket to conservation.” He also taught Ricardo how to bowl on a small pitch designed for the occasion.
We wish Hublot and Pietersen all the luck in their joint mission to save the endangered Rhinos from illegal poaching and a great start the new boutique. Here are a few glimpses of the opening. For more check out @Vishawatch on Instagram.