Haute Time met the Jamaican sprinter during the presentation of the new Hublot Big Bang Unico All Black collection, available exclusively trough the brand´s boutiques. We sat down with the 100 m record breaker to talk about his watches, his training and his current goals.
Where does your passion for watches come from? And how did you and Hublot first get in touch?
UB: When they approached me at the initial stage, and asked me to be their ambassador, I was like “Ok cool!” So I check it out because I was never a huge fan of watches. When I was younger I used to buy a lot of cars every year. Right now it’s mostly shirts and video games. But after I spoke to Hublot I started taking notes on watches. For me Hublot is a prestige brand. Over the years, I’ve heard so much about them, and I started listening and talking to people, especially my friends who are really into watches. So over the years I really got into watches, and it was wonderful starting out with Hublot.
In 2012, Hublot unveiled the Hublot King Power Usain Bolt, to celebrate your partnership. Have you had a chance to go visit the manufacture’s workshops in Nyon and see how the watches are made?
UB: I’ve been to the factory and I’ve seen the people working on the watches to learn how they do it, and it’s very technical. It’s hard! Creating these watches by hand, it’s just ridiculous because these watches are so detailed. I’ve tried and I’m not good. But I’ve seen all they’ve gone though to get to this point. It’s like me training hard, for a finished product that you get to see on the track.
You aren’t the only sprinter with a watch. Yohan Blake also has a Richard Mille made after him. Do the two of you ever get the chance to talk about your watches during meetings?
UB: I don’t run with the watch. You don’t want to damage it. But yeah, definitely, we do banter a little bit about watches. We do have a good time talking about it for sure. I remember actually, during the medals ceremony [at the 2012 Olympics] in London, I put my King Power Usain Bolt on, and was told I couldn’t do that. “But I want to look good,” I said. “You can’t tell me to leave my watch off.” In the end I wore it!
Your world is about fractions of a second. How do you go about shaving them off?
UB: Working with coaches is what makes the difference. We sit down, analyze the race, and break it down to figure out where and what we need to improve, and then it’s all about me going about it. It takes time and it’s really technical. Sometimes you work so hard on one thing and it takes forever to get it right. But the key thing is consistency and to work on the small details.
Other than breaking records and winning races, what gives you the greatest pleasure today?
UB: I live to inspire. I get a lot of messages through social media and Instagram from kids saying: “You inspire me,” and it feels good to know that because when I was growing up I looked up to Michael Johnson and all these guys. So to inspire kids today, it feels so good. I really appreciate it.