Hublot – The Brand’s Journey To Be The Official Timekeeper of FIFA World Cup 2018
By Pooja Bhatia

Hublot, the Swiss Luxury Watchmaker, is the official timekeeper of FIFA World Cup 2018. The announcement came on 18th September 2015, exactly 1000 days from the start date of the FIFA World Cup 2018 edition scheduled in Russia. It was then, the official countdown clock was installed to the world tournament (to begin on 14th June 2018). The giant Hublot clock has been installed on Manezhnaya Square in the Moscow city centre and shines brightly in red as a part of the overall structure of the Moscow Square.

In addition, as a part of the FIFA Hublot initiative, a customised watch has been designed for the referees. It is the first of its kind connected watch for the footballing universe. There are several notification features embedded in the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia watch. It notifies 15 minutes before the match kick-off; it also vibrates instantly when a goal is scored. The Hublot dial also shows match statistics like the score, name of players who scored a goal, the number of cards, names of substitute players and match timing.

What’s in-store for Hublot and FIFA fans

The Swiss Watchmaker has inaugurated a new store on 16 June 2017, in the centre of Moscow. This precise moment, exactly one year from the start of FIFA World Cup, shows the brand commitment to football. On availability is a Big Bang watch with straps bearing the colours of the 8 footballing nations participating in the FIFA World Cup pitch. The FIFA fans have a choice to wear the watch strap colour representing their favourite team. The smartwatch also has features incorporated by Intel and Google to track the game for its wearer. It is available in analogue and digital formats and encompasses all sorts of applications to make it compatible with Android 4.3 and iOS 10.5.9 phones. It makes its users soccer-smart.

Origin of Hublot

The Swiss luxury watchmaker, founded in 1980 by Italian Carlo Crocco, has been at the forefront of doing cutting-edge innovations in an industry which is steeped in tradition. The brand has continuously commanded a premium on provenance as the young upstart that has successfully blended innovation, age-old traditions, and a visually aesthetic appeal to offer a distinct time-piece.

Carlo Crocco made his mark in the watch-making industry with the release of MDM Geneve in 1980. The face of the watch resembled a porthole which inspired the name ‘Hublot’. Its buyers were instantly drawn to the modern design and the innovative strap. The strap was made of natural rubber, superior in nature, which retained its suppleness and softness even under harsh weather conditions or under extensive use. After having soared in popularity with its buyers, Hublot stuck to its winning formula of use of rubber straps.

Today, Hublot is regarded not just for its heritage and tradition, but also for its innovation and savvy marketing. It continues to gain prominence by designing watches using a diverse range of materials, rarely seen in the business of high-end watchmaking. Hublot, for example, launched the one-of-its-kind Art of Fusion Concept which combined materials like ceramic, gold and rubber with a bold aesthetic design to give a distinct look to each its watch make.

The true spirit of Hublot is perfectly grafted un the Big Bang. It was launched in 2005 and has recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015 with a flyback chronograph look in a multi-layered case. Big Bang has won many awards since its launch including the much-coveted Best Watch Design at the Geneva Grand Prix d’Horlogerie (GPGH). The award is considered to be the ‘Oscars of the watch industry’.

Hublot has also been a trendsetter of sorts. Hublot standard is the chronograph. Also known as the UNICO movement, the chronograph movement, was a difficult choice to make. It has a lot of complications which makes timekeeping on the watch quite extraordinary. With Big Bang, Hublot decided to create a chronograph movement of its own. Its chronograph standard is focused on reliability, user-friendliness, and serviceability. They approached this challenge from multiple angles, with a focus on reliability.

Hublot maintains its chronograph standard through a partially automated production using robots to do machining, oiling and stone fitting of each timepiece with consistency, care and quality. Now the UNICO producing process is fully-integrated chronograph which means that it has been completely developed as a chronograph model from the start. In other words, it means that the chronograph module including the gears and levers for the chronograph function is imbibed in the production of the watch from the beginning. it is not an automatic or haphazard movement. Since chronograph movement is from the start, it gives Hublot the leverage to do innovation in the watch like the column wheel placed on the front, made visible through the half-transparent dial in a Big Bang watch.

What Next

By choosing to partner with FIFA World Cup, Hublot broke away from the industry tradition of partnering with the elite games like golf and tennis. It has garnered a lot of fanfare among the footballer’s base. It only adds to the reputation of Hublot as a luxury watchmaker, a watch so precious that once Formula One CEO (Bernie Ecc lestone) was mugged for it.













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