Watching the Euro 2020 final with the Hublot Big Bang e UEFA EURO 2020 Watching the Euro 2020 final with the Hublot Big Bang e UEFA EURO 2020

Watching the Euro 2020 final with the Hublot Big Bang e UEFA EURO 2020


Since Euro 2020 begun, I’ve found myself actively modelling myself on Gareth Southgate even more than I have been over the past few years. The England manager has proven himself to be an elite leader in all respects: his kind demeanour, his quiet confidence, his ability to take responsibility and the way that he inspires his players to be the best version of themselves are all truly admirable traits that a lot of people could take notice of. There is also the small matter of his immaculate dress sense – I may have ordered a few things from Percival Menswear as a direct result of seeing Southgate don them in the dug out. And there’s also his chosen timepiece too, Hublot’s Big Bang e UEFA 2020, which is sleek, smart, intuitive and purposeful – just like the man himself.

Created specifically for the tournament and worn by the referees throughout the tournament, I figured it would be fun to put the Big Bang e UEFA 2020 through its paces for the Euro 2020 final. Knowing full well the game would end in either ecstasy or heartbreak for me (and that Italy manager Roberto Mancini would respectfully blow Southgate out of the park sartorially wise), it would at least be a welcome distraction to taper any nail-biting moments – or so I thought. Here’s my minute-by-minute match report – reliving it 24 hours later has been surprisingly therapeutic.

8am – T-minus 12 hours until kick off
A new dawn awaits the England men’s football team and the countdown to “the big one” has started immeasurably early. Lucky then, that I have a fair amount to get acquainted with for this Big Bang e UEFA EURO 2020. The 42mm diameter seems the right size of a watch like this – big enough the referees to see clearly, but not too big for those not charged with blowing a whistle for 90 minutes or longer. Around the outside of the dial sit 12 flags of the nations initially set to host games, with the year delay to the tournament curtailing only Ireland and Dublin’s involvement. I spend a good few minutes getting the flags right, with Romania the trickiest to place.

12pm – T-minus 8 hours until kick off
What better way to pass time than a cheeky triathlon to test out the WearOS by Google software, which offers all the bells and whistles you’d expect – with the added bonus of a live-feed to the referee’s ear. Joking but it is connected to goal-line technology and the infamous VAR via bluetooth, which I’m hoping not to bear witness to. Anyway, the watch is there to be exercised with and I was impressed by its timekeeping – certainly kept me in
check during the cycle and running legs as I attempted to eat away at the clock.

4pm – T-minus 4 hours until kick off
It all starts to get a bit heated from here on in. With ample time, I decide I require a real taste for the final so catch a train to Wembley Stadium prior to kick off to soak up some of the atmosphere. Changing my dial to England colours and choosing my preferred dial feels like an appropriate train-ride filler before the chants of It’s Coming Home start to resonate around the train carriages.

4:30pm – T-minus 3.5 hours
Wipe beer and sweat off myself – watch not required for this, though.

6:30pm – T minus 1.5 hours
The BBQ is lit – pizzas advised against so as not to jinx the result. Rain starts to pour down and the weather app on the Big Bang suggests it’s here to stay.

7:50pm – T-minus 10 mins
Oh the national anthems, how singing along to them in numbers has be missed. The roar from the England fans as Three Lions was belted out was a response to an impassioned Italian anthem. By this point, the Big Bang is a fountain of knowledge and information about team news and player rankings, which I still yet to fully grasp what they were.

7:59pm – T-minus 1 minute
As the countdown to the biggest game in a generation’s history enters its final minute, the anticipation among my friends I’m watching with reaches a head; all there is to do now is enjoy the game. The score 0-0 flashes up on the dial and we’re off.

2 mins
GOAL. It’s isn’t 0-0 for long as Luke Shaw half volleys a shoot into the back of the net from a lovely sweeping move by England. Cue delirium. I witness our first goal in a major final for 55 years in real time and scarcely believe it – am I dreaming? About a minute later, “GOAL” pops up on the Big Bang and truth be told, I am only too happy to receive the notification that this is in fact happening.

5 mins
The cameras zoom in on two future kings of England, Prince William and his son George, and it occurs to me that behind the pomp and ceremony around the Royals, William is a football fan like so many of us. I wonder how many times he’s sung It’s Coming Home this weekend, then remember he supports Aston Villa so this really is a golden chance for him to experience winning something.

35 mins
Sometimes with major sporting events, time can drag but this first half whizzes past – with England generally in the ascendency and knocking the ball around with confidence. The shell-shocked Italians do start to find their composure though and when Federico Chiesa muscles his way past the formidable Declan Rice, strides towards goal and gets a shot away, it’s the first time I wince and realise that there is a long way to go in this final.

37 mins
Gareth Southgate looks at his watch – presumably just for a cursory glance at the time rather than to check any match stats that the Big Bang offers. His watch then disappears back under the sleeve of his Percival mackintosh that sartorially I’m not overly convinced by. From that moment, memories of England’s 2018 semi final with Croatia start to creep in – where we scored early and tried to hold out for victory – in vain. Everyone is nervous.

45 mins +3
The referee Björn Kuipers takes a good look at his Big Bang e UEFA Euro 2020 – he must be using it for some of the match stats – and blows his whistle. Half time gets a big cheer from the 60-odd thousand Wembley crowd and England are potentially 45 minutes away from ending 55 years of hurt.

Half Time
Watching on the BBC, we are treated to a bit of watch spotting at the interval as Gary Lineker, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand and Alan Shearer all flash a bit of watch candy. Alan Shearer’s wearing a Big Bang e UEFA Euro 2020 too (unless it’s the World Cup 2018 version but I assumed it’s not) and Ferdinand, who has a few Hublots in his collection, appears to be donning a Richard Mille 67-02 – similar to Mancini. I don’t get enough of a
look at Lineker’s wrist but Lampard wins on the bling stakes with what I suspect is his gold Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. No.5980-1R 001. That occupies me nicely for half time and then we are back under way.

51 mins

Harry Kane controls a long ball, plucking it out of the air with so much ease and draws a free kick. I’m not accustomed to England players being so assured on the ball but that’s not to say I’m in anyway confident. Another glance at the Big Bang, is it too early to start playing for the corners?

54 mins
This feels like it could be a big moment. Italy’s Bonucci, who I might add earlier belted out his national anthem like a man possessed, gets a yellow card for cynically clattering into Raheem Sterling. The notification pops up on the Big Bang e UEFA Euro 2020 and like the Luke Shaw goal, I celebrate it doubly.

67 mins
Turns out Bonucci is to have more seminal moments in this final than that yellow card as he pounces on a loose ball from a corner to turn it into the back of the net, past a desperately unlucky Jordan Pickford. I know players aren’t permitted to wear watches on the pitch but how great would watch spots be on goalkeepers’ wrist when they are full stretch to make a save? My heart sinks as I ponder the subliminal effectiveness of the Tiktok and Just Eat billboards in moments like this.

72 mins
As Italy start to look ominous and England leggy, I develop something of a nervous twitch, clipping and unclipping the black ceramic and black-plated titanium clasp of the watch and then tapping my finger on the black rubber strap. This is uncomfortable viewing now, though the watch strap is making it more comfortable.

85 mins
We’re into squeaky bum territory where every touch, pass, run, tackle, interception is cagey and tense. I breathe a sigh of relief when Chiesa goes off for Italy but could the reinforcements come on to hurt England? As the game has progressed, I’ve found myself pressing the push-button on the rotary crown a surprising amount of times to activate the various functions of the watch – as well as to keep tabs on the possession stats. The second half has been a tough watch for England fans.

86 mins
Another bit of light relief, out of shot there’s a pitch invader causing a bit of a scene. I’d say I’m checking the time as frequently as every 45 seconds at this point but I must confess it’s at least a pleasurable experience as the watch face is made of sapphire crystal and the AMOLED high definition touchscreen is really easy and interactive.

90 mins
Six minutes of added time are signalled, care of the fourth official Hublot board, which has been used a fair bit for all the substitutes. At this point, I’m at a quandary; I’d love a last minute goal but don’t want to risk pushing to score a goal and then concede one. And the treat of penalties is starting to loom too. It’s all a bit too much.

90 mins + 6
Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini’s yanking of Bukayo Saka’s shirt as the England speedster looks to break clear is one of the most brilliantly cynical fouls I’ve ever seen. Cue various shouts of “REF!” at the television, to which a yellow card is brandished (confirmation of which quickly pops up on the watch). And that is it – extra time and possibly penalties beckon.

ET 98 mins
Jack Grealish’s introduction has done little for England on the pitch but that doesn’t stop the cameras from picking out an England supporter holding her shirt up with Mrs Grealish on it and the no 69. It’s a curious moment that draws a rye smile for the commentators but nothing less, as we power on through.

ET 105 mins
It’s half time of extra time and everyone is now running on adrenaline – even Kalvin Phillips who has not stopped running, hassling Italians and chasing the ball. I go to check his match stats but I’ve had a shocker; I neglected to charge up overnight so the watch has run out of battery. Too much excitement, too much scrolling and checking the stats!

ET 111 mins
Gareth Southgate lets out a tremendous “come on boys” from the touchline, which spurs on everyone.

ET 120 mins
Marcus Rashford and Jaden Sancho come on in the last minute with one thought in mind, and one thought only – to score a penalty. The last note I jot down is this one: the whistle blows and it’s penalties, which almost feels like a relief.

I’m going to end it there folks. Yes, I went absolutely berserk when Harry Maguire broke the camera in the corner of the goal; yes, I held my head in my hands as the brilliant Marcus Rashford sent the keeper the wrong way only to then hit the post; yes, I totally and utterly lost it when Pickford somehow stood up long enough to out-Jorghino Jorghino and push his penalty onto the post. But ultimately it wasn’t to be for England. I’m both thankful and gutted for the England players and staff who have taken us fans on this journey. This time, it wasn’t our time. It was Italy’s time, and no watch – be it a Richard Mille or a Hublot – was going to change that fate.

Forza Italy and thanks Hublot for the timely updates throughout the game. I didn’t think I’d need or want them but they added some nice talking points to the game. Compatible with iPhone and Android, the piece is limited to 1000 pieces so I’m guessing more Italians will be looking to bag as a reminder of their famous win at Wembley, which incidentally was a 53 year wait to win the Euros. Hopefully England’s time will come sooner rather than later.

The Hublot Big Bang e UEFA EURO 2020 watch retails at £4800, has a diameter of 42mm
and is limited to only 1000 pieces.