Wearables Week in Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

FIFA World Cup smarts

Hublot has unveiled the smartwatch that all referees will wear during the games in Qatar. And, of course, it will be available to well-funded fans with a limited edition run of just 1,000 watches. The new watch – the third generation of Big Bang E with previous iterations used at the World Cup in 2018 and last year’s UEFA European Championship – comes in a 44mm case, and runs Wear OS 3.

Somewhat surprisingly, the watch uses the Snapdragon 4100 processor, but we’re pretty sure that people buying this watch are unlikely to really care. If you are considering the watch, better pick it up prior to the World Cup kick off: one of the key features of the watch is that it will deliver lineups and player profiles 15 minutes before each game, as well as highlighting key moments during the game. Of course, you can find the same information online without shelling out an eye-watering $5,800 for the watch, but again, that is hardly the point with luxury watches. As for how the referees will be making use of the smartwatch features…  well, mostly to keep track of the time during the game.

The NPD Take:

  • Luxury watches are somewhat of a niche that is far, far away from the Samsung and Apple world. Is the functionality of this Hublot watch limited in comparison to those? Almost certainly. Will the owners of said watch care? Absolutely not. This is a fashion and wealth statement (as well as an avid “football” fan statement).
  • While the watch is clearly in a different spend segment, the mere mortal smartwatch vendors should take some notes. Hublot is providing watch straps for each team so owners can fly their colors, so to speak. The World Cup is, without, a huge deal and other smartwatch providers need to be looking for how to make the most of this. Straps, customized apps with ongoing updates during the matches and more.
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