“New watch alert: Hublot.” The timepiece maker, made famous by rapper and Tidal owner Jay Z in a shout-out on his track “Otis”, is releasing a smartwatch powered by Google’s Wear OS. It’s called Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Cute name. Call me when Hov puts one on.
Hublot announced the smartwatch during the 2018 Baselworld watch and jewellery industry trade show. The Big Bang, available in May, runs Google’s smartwatch-centric Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) and will cost around $US5200 ($6757), according to Bloomberg.
That’s chump change compared to the $US33,900 ($44,051) Shawn Carter by Hublot Classic Fusion, a watch designed by the 48-year-old entrepreneur and produced by Hublot (there’s a $US17,900 [$23,260] black ceramic option if you ain’t got yellow gold money). But at least the Big Bang is digital, and there’s some Kevlar somewhere inside all that titanium. Hublot is only making 2018 Big Bang watches, so don’t expect to grab this in your local JB Hi-Fi.
Unfortunately, other aspects of the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia are incredibly underwhelming. It uses an outdated Bluetooth 4.1 connection, has “around a day” of battery life, and runs on an Intel Atom processor, the very same processor found in TAG Heuer’s own Connected smartwatch released over a year ago. It helps that both Hublot and TAG Heuer are owned by the same parent company, LVMH (which once sued the company behind Jay Z’s favourite champagne, Ace of Spades).
In the spirit of its FIFA branding, referees at the game will be issued the watches to wear on the field. Wearers will also receive live updates during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and get notified of goals, roster changes, and other aspects you’d probably already be paying attention to because you’re, you know, watching the game.
Gizmodo has reached out to Jay Z to determine whether he’s a fan of the limited-run timepiece.