Get your kicks with Hublot’s Big Bang e FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 connected watchD.C. Hannay
No other luxury watchmaker has a stronger connection to football than Hublot. As the official timekeeper of the Premier League and the FIFA World Cup, their presence is inescapable, with branding on scoreboards, onscreen graphics and even on the wrists of the officials. Stars of the sport love the brand’s big, bold looks, and with the World Cup kicking off in Qatar on November 20, upwards of a billion fans will be sure to see Hublot’s name front and centre. And for soccer superfans, Hublot is launching the new Big Bang e FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 connected watch just in time for kickoff on the world’s biggest stage. Footy fanatics can wear the very same smartwatch as the World Cup officials, but that bit of fan service is just the beginning.
Based on the Big Bang e, the limited-to-1000 edition sports the familiar case shape and contours of the Big Bang beloved by big personalities the world over. The microblasted and polished black ceramic and titanium sandwich case measures 44mm in diameter, with a case height of 14mm, so while it’s definitely a presence, the matte black finishing helps it wear smaller than you might think. Hublot pioneered the now-accepted practice of putting a luxury watch on a rubber strap, and the World Cup edition gets a striking burgundy/black version in lined high-quality rubber, featuring a black composite deployant buckle. In a nice touch, you can also select straps and watch faces matching the colours of any of the 32 participating countries. So while the physical attributes of the watch definitely stick to Hublot’s well-established design language, it’s the smartwatch’s connected functionality that’s the big story.
As a fan of both traditional mechanical timepieces and wearable tech, I’m aware that smartwatches are the runaway sales leader in the watch industry. The Apple Watch is the biggest-selling timepiece in the world, but for those of us longing for a more, shall we say, watchlike experience, the luxury connected watch is now a legitimate alternative for those left cold by the staid, softened rectangular appearance of Apple’s product. Big players like LVMH stablemates TAG Heuer and Louis Vuitton have their own takes on the product category, but Hublot’s Big Bang e series has proven to be one of the most successful integrations of tradition and tech.
The Gen 3 watch’s “movement” is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor, powered by the latest version of Google’s Wear OS. High points of the hardware within include a sapphire hi-def AMOLED screen, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, microphone and speaker, a heart rate monitor, and GPS. Bluetooth connectivity, all-day battery life, and a two-hour charge round out the highlights.
Of course, Hublot offers the functionality that you’d expect from any smartwatch, including a suite of preloaded apps and their own bespoke interface. Communications, alerts, Google Assistant, NFC payments, activity and health tracking are all on offer, with Android and iOS compatibility, and the entire Google Play Store at your fingertips should you need more.
Where the Big Bang e FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 sets itself apart is with the baked-in functionality of the dedicated app geared toward the football fan. Upon activation, the watch is in countdown mode to the World Cup, tracking the days to the opening match. On game day, the display shows the team lineups and profiles 15 minutes before kickoff. After the start, the watch enters “match mode”, with a running timeline feature to highlight the game’s most memorable moments. The display shows the first and second halves, goal score animations with the player’s name, and a football symbol marking the minute of the score. Yellow and red cards are also shown, and the watch automatically switches to extra time and shootout modes, until the final score animation displays at the end of the game. Of course, all these highlights can be accessed at any time by scrolling around the dial via the crown controller. In other words, a totally immersive experience for the superfan, whether they’re at the game or watching at home.
Hublot has been part of professional soccer since 2006, and with this unique release, they’ve really upped the ante. Clearly geared toward the well-heeled fan, the Big Bang e FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 retails for a not-insignificant 5,500 CHF, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more tailor-made way to experience the sport from a luxury watchmaker, and I predict the 1,000-piece edition to sell out quickly.
Hublot Big Bang e FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 pricing and availability:
Hublot Big Bang e FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is available now. Price: CHF 5,500, €6,000, $6,000 USD, £5,000
|Big Bang e FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
|44mm diameter, 14mm case height
|Microblasted and polished black ceramic and titanium sandwich construction
|Hi-def AMOLED screen
|Integrated burgundy/black lined rubber
|Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 processor
|5,500 CHF, €6,000 EUR, $6,000 USD, £5,000 GBP