Hublot continues its domination of the sports world with the signing of all-star Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant as its newest “brand ambassador.” Like other high-profile athletes in Hublot’s stable, including fellow NBA star Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, Olympic runner Usain Bolt, and soccer star Diego Maradona, Bryant will lend his name to a limited-edition Hublot timepiece.
The partnership was announced this week at a VIP event on the rooftop of the London Hotel West Hollywood, hosted by Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, and attended by an array of celebrities including late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, actors Zac Efron and Garcelle Beauvais, and star stylist Brad Goreski. The watch, called the King Power Black Mamba in honor of Bryant’s NBA nickname, made its debut at the event, presented to Bryant by Guadalupe, along with a Jeroboam of rare Dom Perignon vintage 1988 Champagne. Hublot has said it will donate a portion of the proceeds from sales of the watch to the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation, a charitable organization that provides financial resources to improve the lives of youths and families through like-minded organizations.
Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe (left) with Kobe Bryant at the launch event
Following the presentation of the limited-edition watch, the crowd was treated to a basketball shoot-off, featuring two children from After-School All Stars Los Angeles, a charitable beneficiary of the Foundation, taking shots from a makeshift basketball court constructed over the hotel’s rooftop pool. (After School All Stars is the charitable organization founded by
Arnold Schwarzenegger; it also receives funds from the sale of Audemars Piguet’s Schwarzenegger-branded limited-edition Royal Oak Offshore watches.) The contest raised $30,000 for the program, prompting Guadalupe to present a large check to the Bryants and After-School All Stars at its conclusion.
The Hublot King Power Black Mamba, which will be limited to 250 pieces, is constructed in Hublot’s “fusion” philosophy of combining multiple materials: it has a 48-mm case in micro-blasted black ceramic, with a black ceramic/titanium bezel secured by six black PVD H-shaped screws. Its crown is in black PVD titanium with a gold Hublot logo; the black PVD titanium
chronograph pushers have black rubber inserts, and the inserts in the case middle and lugs are in black composite resin.
Like other King Power watches, the Black Mamba contains Hublot’s in-house chronograph movement, Caliber HUB 4248, an
automatic movement with a central counter, a 28,600 frequency and a 42-hour power reserve. Personalized design touches include the satin-finished, gold-plated hands and indices and the purple numerals on the sapphire crystal to indicate minutes (purple and gold are Lakers uniform colors); a gold Kobe Bryant signature on the sapphire exhibition caseback; and the strap, made of python snakeskin sewed on black rubber (a reference to the Black Mamba name). The U.S retail price for the King Power Black Mamba is $25,200.
The Hublot King Power Black Mamba (front, above, and back, below) features L.A. Lakers colors on the dial and a Kobe Bryant signature on the caseback crystal.
A partnership between the Swiss watch brand and the legendary hoops star was, perhaps, inevitable. In addition to its various sports-related initiatives, including special watches created for the Manchester United and
FC Bayern Munich soccer clubs, the Miami Heat, and legendary boxers, Hublot became the first official timekeeper for the Lakers in January. For his part, Bryant has long been known to be a watch lover and has even previously partnered with a watch brand called Nubeo, which produced the first wristwatch called Black Mamba.
“Bryant was the perfect choice for Hublot – a brand known for its precision and excellence, traits that have characterized the basketball icon’s celebrated career,” said Guadalupe. “We could not be more excited to add Kobe Bryant to our roster of brand ambassadors, all of whom are living testimonies to athletic superiority and perseverance. Kobe’s achievements are an inspiration to all of us here at Hublot, and we look forward to a wonderful partnership.”