Napa Valley was the chosen location for the launch of the Kobe Bryant Hublot watch, Vino. This is the second timepiece Hublot has produced with the basketball legend, after the success of the King Power Black Mamba Chronograph.
“I like to partner with companies that view their industry a little differently,” said Bryant of his brand ambassadorship, “Hublot pushes things, does things differently, and on a grand scale.”
Known as the Big Bang UNICO Chronograph Retrograde Kobe Vino Bryant, the watch is the first mechanical watch designed to time basketball. It’s a retrograde chronograph that uses Hublot’s own UNICO Manufacture movement, with two central retrograde column-wheel chronograph hands—the red seconds hand and gold hour hand allow the wearer to time two halves of a basketball game. The 45.5mm watch is available in Ceramic (200 numbered units) and King Gold (100 numbered units) and features a burgundy python strap, stitching, and dial. The dial sports a basketball design integrated into a matte burgundy multi-layer disc. On the case back is a green sapphire that carries Kobe Bryant’s signature.
“The name Vino came from a friend of mine,” said Bryant, “and he came up with the nickname Vino because he said I kept getting better and better with time. So, I started to transition from the Black Mamba to Vino.”
At this point in his career, Bryant’s best days may be behind him—he will be entering his 20th year in the league, but he continues to evolve his game as his body ages. “Because my shoulder does not work, we are not in the playoffs. And because we are not in the playoffs, I have time to come here,” said Bryant of the day he spent at the Napa Valley Reserve, a private club, in celebration of the launch.
“Kobe is one of the best at his sport,” said Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot CEO. “He is unique, he’s passionate, he’s dynamic. Hublot is known for its Art of Fusion and today we are blending the worlds of watchmaking, sports, and wine.”
“Creating a watch, the vision of the story,” added Bryant in discussion of the three-pronged relationship between basketball, watchmaking, and wine, “is all about a process. Making wines, there is a certain process that goes along with that, a certain precision and detail, a certain patience. Which is also the same thing with watchmaking—a process, a lot of detail. Which is also how I play my game.”
The Vino, appropriately, comes in a wine box with a ceramic corkscrew.