It's a combination of F1 sport and fine watchmaking with a sprinkle of India on it. Welcome the spectacular Hublot F1 Kind Power India watch
By: Soumya Jain
Posted on: March 10, 2011
It was a post-lunch press conference. All of us young journalists were sitting comfortably on our chairs – half of us almost dead. While he, Mr Jean-Claude Biver, was probably the oldest in the crowd, and the liveliest of all. He walked around, he gesticulated, he reminisced and he answered the anchor’s questions energetically. He was in India to launch the Hublot F1 King Power India watch, which celebrates the first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix of India.
The India cause
As the official watchmaker of Formula 1, Hublot is proudly celebrating the first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix taking place in New Delhi, India, the 6th Asian country on the 2011 calendar of the FIA Formula One World Championship.
Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot was accompanied by Sameer Gaur, Managing Director, Jaypee Group (the visionary who is instrumental in bringing F1 to
India), when revealing the F1 King Power India watch.
This limited edition watch will be restricted to 200 individually numbered pieces. Sporting the famous F1 logo and colours of the Indian flag on its dial and bracelet, the watch features several unique aspects made from an array of high-tech materials directly inspired by Formula 1 such as a ceramic bezel with a circular-grained satin finish adorned with multiple holes to represent a high performance brake disk, a strap made from rubber and Nomex, a synthetic fibre developed by Dupont De Nemours and used – thanks to its very low combustibility and thermostability - to make the suits worn by F1 drivers as well as the Start, Reset and Split push buttons, the latter for the split second function and a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock.
The name ‘India’ is proudly inscribed at 6 o’clock, while orange, green and white threads outline the strap. Mr Biver said, “King Power India is a beautiful watch with a superb fusion of materials. We took inspiration from the brakes of F1 and incorporated the colours of the Indian flag in the watch.” He also mentioned that they had not yet decided whether the watches will be restricted to India only, or will it be available in other countries as well or not. Mr Biver, in fact, so fascinated by the watch, that he has already ordered one piece of it for his own watch collection!
Mr Biver’s love for watches is apparent when you see him beaming lovingly at his manufacture’s handwork. He had once told me in an earlier interview, that he himself didn’t know how to make complex watches (though he knew how to assemble basic ones). But he surely understands the craft. He is building up a vast watch collection which he hopes to bequeath to his children one day. He knows how to make cheese though! And maybe we can sample it one day!
Mr Biver cheerfully proceeded to talk about his two brand ambassadors: Indian cricket team player - Harbhajan Singh, and former Football player from Argentina – Diego Maradona. He recounts that they saw Singh wearing their watch in a picture published somewhere. Since he was already their ‘ambassador’ in a way, they contacted him and made it formal as well!
A similar incident had happened with Maradona as well – but the story is more interesting here. Hublot officials had seen Maradona wearing two Hublot watches of the same kind in a picture. After a little research, they found the one lone buyer in Argentina. They asked him if he knew that Maradona was wearing their watches, he said, “Yes, I sold it to him!” When he was asked that why does he wear two watches of the same kind, he explained that Maradona has two daughters who he loves very much. So he always buys two watches of the same kind and gets the name and face of each daughter imprinted on the watch, and wears each in one hand so that both the daughters are always near him.
“Maradona is a true Hublot customer because he just doesn’t buy the watch to see time, but he buys it for all the emotion and passion that is behind a watch,” ends Mr Biver on a beautiful note.