The Azzurri will be noticeably absent from the pitch at the 2018 FIFA World Cup this summer. Yes, Italy—one of the ultimate soccer countries—will not visit Russia for the 32-team tournament. No sights of a stylish arrival of players in three-piece Dolce & Gabbana navy suits, Puma home and away jerseys on the field, or the tricolour green, white, and red strap of beloved Italy on Hublot’s new Big Bang Referee 2018 World Cup Russia timepiece.
When it comes to timekeeping in the world of soccer, Hublot is supreme. The watch brand has been committed to the beautiful game since 2006, and these days celebrates its status as Official Timekeeper of the World Cup. The Swiss watchmaker has released the Hublot Big Bang Referee, a limited run connected watch of 2,018 units to mark the once-in-every four years sporting event. This is Hublot’s first smartwatch and its result, as the story goes, was at the request from FIFA to create some sort of smartwatch specifically for the referees.
The outcome is the Big Bang Referee 2018 World Cup Russia Connected Watch compatible with all telephones using Android 4.4 and above, or iOS 9 and above. All the ware—1.6-GHz Intel Atom Z34XX dual-core processor, 512 MB of RAM, accelerometer, gyroscope, NFC, tilt detector, microphone, GPS, and haptic motor—is packed in a 49mm titanium case, water-resistance of 50 metres. The 35.4mm touchscreen is ample space to read and manipulate. The battery (410 mAh) is expected to last up to a one day on a single charge, with charging expected to take about two hours.
For fans, there are a series of dials inspired by the flags of each participating nation, and two neutral dials. In addition, the different apps provide live scoring, match start notifications, and pertinent tournament data—yellow and red cards, player substitutions, along with “GOAL,” displayed instantly (with a vibration) every time a goal is scored. The referees also benefit from this automated goal-line monitoring system (called Goal Line Technology) and receive their own direct alert when a goal is scored. Hublot’s patented interchangeable “One Click” strap system makes for strap customization to sport your country’s colours on match day (the watch comes with a lined black rubber strap).
On June 14, the first match of the 21st FIFA World Cup kicks off, along with it a watch for fans to be completely in their zone for this globally beloved sport.
Never miss a story. Sign up for NUVO’s weekly newsletter, here.