There's seemingly no limit to the extent of commercial partnerships taking place every day in the fast-paced world of Formula One racing. But while the teams, and sometimes even the races themselves, have been the beneficiaries of such consideration, the series itself has largely stayed out of it. That's all changing now, however, as Bernie Ecclestone is taking a page out of the NASCAR playbook in bringing aboard various commercial partners for the series. LG, for example, was one of the first, and now the series has announced a new partnership with Swiss watchmakers Hublot as the sport's official timekeeper.
Replacing the previous arrangement with Jacques LeMans, the Hublot deal promises to bring a series of specially-branded timepieces to market. And this is the first. Called the F1 King, it's the opposite of the kind of flashy, bling-tastic jewelry you might have associated with the series. Instead, as you can see from the image above, the F1 King is all decked out in matte black, from the microblasted ceramic bezel and PVD-coated titanium fittings to the tungsten-carbide and black chrome mechanical components inside.
Follow the jump for full details in the press release and browse the images from the announcement this past weekend in Bahrain.
HUBLOT APPOINTED OFFICIAL WATCHMAKER OF FORMULA 1™ AND ANNOUNCES THE HUBLOT F1™ KING, THE OFFICIAL WATCH OF FORMULA 1™
Saturday 13th March, 2010: Formula One Paddock, 2010 FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX.
Luxury Swiss watch brand Hublot is proud to announce that it has been appointed the Official Watchmaker of Formula 1™ and as part of this multi-year agreement will produce a range of high tech, limited edition, luxury Formula 1™ watches and exploit
the additional designation Hublot - The Official Watch of Formula 1™ on an exclusive and global basis.
Hublot is delighted to have elevated itself to an unassailable position in Formula One motor racing by securing an agreement with the iconic brand itself. Formula 1™ epitomises cutting-edge technology, high performance, precision and international
sporting glamour and this globally revered brand will now inspire a new generation of fabulous Hublot timepieces.
Hublot is to initially mark its presence with the creation of a special watch in the form of the F1™ King, a restricted production run of a King Power model incorporating the famous F1™ logo in white gold, as well as a further Limited Edition Series in the colours and style of the most prestigious Grands Prix. A Hublot boutique will present its collections in the Formula One Paddock Club™ at several events and the company will run a guest hospitality programme throughout the F1™ season. The series of watches dedicated to Formula 1™ will be directly inspired by the world of F1™, combining the finest know-how and manufacturing processes at the cutting edge of research and high tech materials.
Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot SA is full of enthusiasm: "I have always had great admiration for the exceptional and unique achievements of Bernie Ecclestone. Without him there would be no Formula 1: he created this global phenomenon'. I have also had a great deal of admiration for the drivers who are able to control these ultra-sophisticated racing machines down to the slightest movement, all at incredible speed. Nor should we forget the cradle of high technology that F1 represents. It's such a delight to be here with Hublot today, so close to Bernie, the racing, the drivers, the cars, the high technology and the F1 Grand Prix in general. This is the start of a very special relationship".
Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of the Formula One group: "I have long had a keen interest in watches and the art of watchmaking and I am very pleased to be announcing this deal today. Hublot's meteoric rise in the industry has been a very well managed achievement and I would like to congratulate Jean-Claude for this. There is an energy, creativity and dedication to perfection about Hublot which sits very well with us and I could not think of a better brand with which to begin a new chapter in Formula One's enduring association with luxury watches".
The exclusive story of Fusion.
In 2004, Jean-Claude Biver – one of those rare men who have genuinely left their mark on Swiss watchmaking – achieved a new tremendous success bringing revolution in watchmaking.
Working on its growth and future, he developed with the company the "Art of Fusion", the way of thinking and creation at Hublot : combining unexpected materials (ceramic, carbon, tantalum, tungsten, titanium, magnesium ...) with precious and conventional materials, employing the most cutting-edge technologies, while still remaining true to the watchmaking know-how of our ancestors.
For more information on Hublot visit Hublot.ch
About Formula One™
Formula One™, which began in 1950, is the world's most prestigious motor racing competition and is the world's most popular annual sporting series. In 2009 it was watched by over 520 million unique television viewers from 188 territories.The 2010 FIA
Formula One World Championship™ runs from March to November and spans 19 races in 18 countries across five continents.
Formula One Administration Limited, a subsidiary of the Formula One group, was founded by CEO Bernie Ecclestone and holds the exclusive commercial rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship™.
For more information on Formula One™ visit Formula1.com.
Case "King Power", diameter 48 mm in microblasted black ceramic
Bezel Microblasted black ceramic with moulded black rubber, with 6 relief black
PVD H-shaped titanium screws
Crystal Sapphire with interior/exterior anti-reflective treatment
Bezel Lug Black composite resin
Lateral Inserts Black composite resin
Case-back Microblasted black ceramic
Crown Black PVD titanium with black rubber insert
Push-pieces Black PVD titanium with black rubber insert
Screws Black PVD titanium
Water resistance 100 m or 10 ATM
Dial Sapphire with anti-reflective treatment, multilayered, additional matt black
counters, index with black nickel, black SuperLuminova™, F1 logo at 9
Hands Satin-finished microblasted black nickel with black SuperLuminova™
Movement Mechanical skeleton chronograph with automatic winding, carbon bridges,
calibre Hublot HUB4214
No. of Components 252
Bridges Microblasted black chrome
Screws Black PVD
Oscillating Weight Tungsten carbide with black PVD treated dimpled surface
Main plate Microblasted black chrome
Barrel With reinforced spring
Escapement Glucydur hairspring
Power Reserve 42 hours
Wristlet Adjustable articulated black rubber
Clasp Microblasted black ceramic and black PVD steel
Edition limited to 500 pieces numbered from 01/500 to 500/500