Jesse Lingard’s 18k rose gold Patek Philippe Nautilus. Virgil van Dijk’s Patek Philippe Aquanaut Singapore 2019 Limited Edition. Pep Guardiola’s Richard Mille RM 022 Tourbillon Aerodyne. The Premier League and luxury watches are a well-established match. At least for those on its payroll.
Now Hublot is betting that at least some of the Premier League’s 3.2 billion global fans will themselves be in the market for a high-end timepiece, a smartwatch that will also enhance their enjoyment of the game.
It has released a new limited edition “Premier League” version of its Big Bang e connected watch. Developed in partnership with the world’s most watched sports league it comes with a dedicated football app, a new dial, a new strap, and – keen-eyed readers will have already spotted – it’s purple, the official Premier League colour.
The Swiss watchmaker is already a strong supporter of the sport, branding itself “the number one luxury company in world football”.
It is the Official Timekeeper of Chelsea FC, Juventus FC, SL Benfica and AFC Ajax as well as footballing legends including Pelé, Maradona, Kylian Mbappé, Didier Deschamps, José Mourinho and Alex Morgan.
Three years ago it launched the Big Bang Referee 2018 Fifa World Cup smartwatch with software that allowed fans to follow the competition. Last year it introduced the UEFA Hublot Champions League, a similar product.
In September, Hublot became the official partner of the Premier League (taking over from Tag Heuer, its watch stablemates in the LVMH Group.) Hublot’s football partnerships now include the FIFA World Cup, UEFA EURO (men’s and women’s), UEFA Champions League (men’s and women’s) and Europa League.
The Big Bang Premier e is runs on Google’s WearOS software and pairs with a dedicated “Hublot Loves Football Premier League” app. This gives users animated notifications to Premier League match kick-off times, 15 minutes before the game starts, plus goals, penalties, substitutions, yellow and red cards, and time added on. The dial can be set to display the time in digital or analogue display. When a match starts, the watch automatically switches to “Match Mode”.
The app will also show team line-ups and when the match is over, will countdown to the next fixture.
“In these challenging times, football continues to be a source of much-needed joy for fans all over the world,” says brand CEO Ricardo Guadalupe. “Hublot loves football and continues to partner with the game’s greatest competitions. It’s our privilege to introduce a connected watch designed to bring passionate fans even closer to the world’s most-watched league.”
The 42mm timepiece has a satin-finished titanium case, a sapphire crystal screen and comes with the usual suite of Wear OS functionality: accelerometer, gyroscope, tracking sensors, and so on.
At £4,300 this certainly isn’t a smartwatch for everyone. It doesn’t need to be. Like the Tag Heuer Connected Watch Golf Edition and Louis Vuitton’s Tambour Horizon Connected Watch with its dedicated “city guides” connectivity, it is targeted at a small, affluent and hyper-specific audience, a world away from Fitbit, Garmin, Huawei and even Apple at its fanciest.
Produced in a limited run of 200, it might even be a conversation starter should you bump into Cristiano Ronaldo on Old Bond Street. Although, in this case it might just be the referees who steal the glory. Hublot will be equipping refs with a special version of this watch, made of an exclusive lightweight material and packing exclusive functions, like goal-line technology.
That one won’t be commercially available at all.
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