At first glance, luxury watch brand Hublot may appear to have little in common with the world of professional poker. Think for a bit though, and the parallels become apparent. Like big-time poker pros, Hublot’s Chairman Jean-Claude Biver and CEO Ricardo Guadalupe are not afraid of risk. Together, they have fueled Hublot’s rebirth and meteoric rise with a series of often groundbreaking, always high-octane, sporting partnerships. When the duo spies an opportunity, they go all in, often risking millions, and Hublot usually leaves the table a winner.
Against that background, Hublot and the World Poker Tour (WPT) are natural partners, and what better place to announce the news that they are joining forces than the WPT’s prestigious Five Diamond World Poker Classic, hosted by the luxurious Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Hublot CEO Gaudalupe (below right) and WTP President Adam Pliska welcomed us to the launch party.
The party was held at the Bellagio’s prestigious Hyde nightclub. Professional poker players mingled with guests, and following the VIP introductions and remarks, some serious poker action got underway. Gaudalupe and Pliska anted up with seasoned poker pros at a private table set against the open-air backdrop of the famous Bellagio fountains and the Las Vegas strip. During our one-on-one, Guadalupe told Revolution that he played poker actively when he was a student. Just like on TV, WPT’s own Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patton offered commentary. It was truly an evening to remember.
The true star of the show is Hublot’s limited edition Big Bang Unico World Poker Tour, which features design elements taken straight from the world of poker. The polished bezel incorporates micro-blasted diamond, heart, spade and club emblems in the cardinal positions. When people see this timepiece, they will have no doubt that the owner takes his watches, and his poker, seriously.
The Big Bang World Poker Tour is powered by Hublot’s Unico manufacture chronograph caliber, which is designed specifically for lovers of fine timepieces. The movement’s unique construction places the column wheel and double clutch on the dial side, making them visible through the skeleton dial while the watch is on the wrist, allowing everyone to enjoy the view. The bold hands and Arabic numbers feature another rare offering: red SuperLuminova for added flair in daylight and excellent legibility at night.
The 45.5 mm diameter Big Bang case is available in two versions: a limited edition of 100 numbered pieces in 18k King Gold (18k gold with an extra 5% platinum to create a more intense color), and a more impact-resistant stainless steel edition, of which 200 numbered pieces will be produced.
Each watch is equipped with Hublot’s exclusive Easy One Click system which allows the owner to quickly switch between the three straps that come with each watch. The straps are red, black and either gold or silver (depending on the case material), and each strap features a fusion of alligator stitched to rubber.
The special poker-themed treatment does not stop with the watch, but extends to the elaborate packaging. Each watch comes in a large presentation box that includes the extra straps and a set of casino-quality poker chips of the type used by professional poker players.
The Big Bang Unico World Poker Tour will be available worldwide, priced at $25,200 in steel and $45,900 in King Gold. If you win the WTP World Championship, you will receive one as part of the prize package.