Swiss watchmaker Hublot and basketball superstar Kobe Bryant have teamed up once again. After the runaway success of their last collaboration, 2013’s Hublot King Power Black Mamba Chronograph, Hublot and Bryant announced the debut of a new timepiece during a private event at a Napa Valley winery.
Coinciding with the opening of the Swiss watchmaker’s first boutique in San Francisco, Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe held an intimate press conference and winemaking event where he introduced guests to the piece, the Big Bang UNICO Chronograph Kobe “Vino” Bryant. The Big Bang “Vino” — named after Bryant’s on-court nickname— is the first mechanical watch designed to specifically time basketball.
At the conclusion of the conference, guests followed Philip Norfleet, Managing Director of the winery, to tour the vineyard and the stunning caves located below the property. From there, guests enjoyed an “Art of Blending” session and a gourmet wine-paired luncheon in the estate’s private dining room. The setting of the watch event was both a nod to Kobe Bryant’s nickname and a reference to his childhood. The NBA star spent a significant amount of his youth in Italy where he played in Italian basketball leagues and learned to speak Italian.
“It is an honor to launch my second Hublot Timepiece, Vino,” said Bryant. “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,”
Ricardo Guadalupe also shared Bryant’s excitement about launching the new timepiece. He also commented on the opening of his new San Francisco boutique: ” 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.”
The Big Bang UNICO Chronograph Retrograde Kobe “Vino” Bryant is available in Black Ceramic and King Gold, and features a sleek design that reflects Kobe Bryant’s personal style off the court. The Chronograph Retrograde is designed to time the two halves of a basketball game. Hublot produced this innovative design feature specifically for this timepiece. The dial features a prominent basketball design integrated into a matte burgundy multilayer disc. On the back, Kobe Bryant’s signature appears on a green glass made up of rare earth materials.