Hublot, known for making a splash and a big bang opened its newest San Francisco boutique at 174 Geary Street off the Union Square shopping district commemorating the brand’s 12th freestanding boutique in the US with sensational golfer Justin Rose , its new brand ambassador. CEO Ricardo Guadalupe on hand also used the occasion to welcome guests to a private winery in Napa Valley for an exclusive winemaking event and intimate press conference with Kobe Bryant, in honor of the NBA’s superstar newest timepiece. This is the second timepiece Hublot’s produced with the basketball god, the first being the King Power Black Mamba Chronograph with his 2013 ambassadorship. Known as the Big Bang “Vino,” (a nod to Bryant’s nickname “Vino”), the timepiece is the world’s first mechanical watch designed to time basketball.
The Big Bang UNICO Chronograph Retrograde Kobe “Vino” Bryant, available in Ceramic and King Gold, features a sleek design that reflects Kobe’s personal style off the court. Burgundy embellishments are reflected on the strap, stitching and dial of the timepiece. The Chronograph Retrograde is designed to time the two halves of a basketball game – an innovative concept that Hublot has produced specifically for this timepiece. If you look closely, the dial features a prominent basketball design integrated into a matte burgundy multilayer disc. On the case back, a green glass in rare earth minerals with an interior anti-reflective treatment carries Kobe Bryant’s signature. Each piece will be delivered with two interchangeable straps – one black rubber and burgundy stitching and one burgundy python with burgundy stitching.
Kobe Bryant speaking in front of the media, as I was lucky enough to attend the star-studded event (front row in the green sweater). “It is an honor to launch my second Hublot Timepiece, Vino. When I joined the Hublot family, the Black Mamba was a natural fit, but we also discussed the relationship between basketball, watchmaking and wine; specifically, the dedication of the wine makers to making that perfect blend, the effort that goes into the maturation process and the attention to detail that goes into the art of watchmaking.”
Bryant continues, by drawing the parallel between watchmaking and winemaking: “If you look at it, it’s a process. In winemaking there is a certain process that goes along with it. There’s a certain attention to detail that you have to have—a certain patience that you have to have, which is the same as watchmaking; which is also the same thing as how I’ve built my game—especially now to live up to being Vino there’s a lot of little things that I have to pay attention to. It’s a very patient process.”
Justin Rose, arriving in a jazzy red Ferrari FF to host the ribbon -putting ceremony and cocktail honor looked stylish and cool. Rose says, “In 2012 I was staying at a hotel in Dubai and there’s this beautiful watch in the window. Every morning on the way to the golf course I walked past this watch. It was a King Power Ceramic. It was beautiful. I was drooling over this watch. I said to myself, If I play well this week I’m going to buy that watch. On Sunday I shot a course record 62 and finished second in the tournament to Rory McIlroy and it was good enough to purchase the watch. Since that moment, I’ve been a fan of the Hublot. It’s nice to be onboard officially.”
Rose putted a golf ball through the entrance as he stood on a small green outside the front doors commemorating the store’s opening. We were invited into the boutique to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while browsing the new 1,500 square foot space. Developed by Hublot, the store’s design exhibits the brand’s DNA of luxury and innovation combined with the Art of Fusion.
Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot’s CEO shared: “We are thrilled to celebrate these two exciting milestones for our brand – our first store opening in San Francisco with Justin Rose and our latest timepiece with superstar Kobe Bryant. At Hublot, we strive to be first, be unique and be different, and we work with the best of the best. San Francisco’s diverse culture attracts an eclectic mix of consumers, making this Northern California enclave the perfect location for Hublot. Given its close proximity to San Francisco, Napa is the ideal destination to honor Kobe Bryant, “Vino,” who, like a fine wine, only gets better and more legendary with age. With these launches, Hublot continues to celebrate the Art of Fusion by blending the worlds of luxury, innovation, sports and, now, wine.”
Photos Credit: Hublot Press Team
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