Hublot Big Bang Referee Smartwatch From The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Hands-On

Hublot Big Bang Referee Smartwatch From The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Hands-On Hands-On

Who knew some good-old – and intelligently done – product placement could prevail over a long-standing heritage of condescending and/or irrelevant marketing? Hublot did. According to FIFA, the last World Cup had a global in-home television audience of 3.2 billion people, with some 1 billion having watched the final. Beyond the usual suspects of fizzy drink brands, sports gear manufacturers, airlines, motor oil producers, and so on, Hublot made sure the comparably minuscule and obscure Swiss luxury watch industry was also prominently represented during all of the World Cup, including the Final. The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, as it’s officially called, is no different, with Hublot extending its role in the game with the Hublot Big Bang Referee Smartwatch from the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

Not just another billboard on the side of the pitch, in 2014 Hublot was the brand highlighted on the referee’s board every time a substitution was made or extra time was announced – two elements of soccer that actually do tend to provoke powerful reactions from the game’s know-it-all fans the world over. For 2018, that board remains, but now the referees get to wear a piece of Swiss smart watchmaking as well, with the Hublot Big Bang Referee Smartwatch. Let’s not beat around the bush: it is essentially a re-branded and re-structured TAG Heuer Carrera Connected, dressed in the recognizable Hublot case with its uni-lug structure, round bezel, and so on. It’s also powered by a new operating system that caters to the needs of the game and its more or less capable adjudicators.

Hublot Big Bang Referee Smartwatch From The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Hands-On Hands-On

Sure, major Swiss brands – well, basically only Hublot and TAG Heuer at this point – producing a capable smartwatch is quite a bit of news in itself, but there is a more important point to be seen here, something that – and I’ll go out on a limb and say this – is deeply appreciated by even the more moderately responsible/open-minded of Swiss luxury watch brand CEOs. Why? Because developing and marketing such a product is a massive PITA of the hot & spicy, long-lasting type, and because dedicating one’s efforts to going through it all yields great benefits to a Swiss luxury watch industry that has hysterically bad struggles with reaching a younger audience.

Hublot Big Bang Referee Smartwatch From The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Hands-On Hands-On

Think about it. How many major players are there in the global watch industry that have a global marketing strategy and outreach? Rolex with Formula 1 and the sheer gravity of its name, Hublot with Ferrari, Formula 1 until recently, the FIFA World Cup, and a vast number of smaller and larger separate ventures, Omega with its continuous, high-quality campaigns on social media and… You tell me how many more you can think of – stressing a global marketing strategy and outreach. In essence, the world can learn about some of the most meaningful and highest quality items a man can own through only a handful of brands.

Hublot Big Bang Referee Smartwatch From The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Hands-On Hands-On