While World Cup fever sweeps the globe this summer, soccer fans can show their spirit with special-edition watches that celebrate the world’s most popular sport.
As the official timekeeper for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Hublot designed the Big Bang Unico Bi-Retrograde Chrono with a patent-pending movement that tracks elapsing time in a soccer match. The brand’s first bi-retrograde timepiece features a scale at the top of the dial from 0 to 45 minutes, the length of one half of a game, plus an additional 15 minutes for extra time. The green seconds-hand sweeps along the arc and instantly snaps back to zero after 60 seconds, and the yellow minutes-hand advances.
An aperture at the center of the dial displays whether you are timing the first half, halftime, second half or end of match. A subdial at 6 o’clock displays the time of day, while a three-spoke seconds hand at 9 o’clock constantly spins assuring you the watch is running. Dubbed “Soccer Bang,” the dynamic timepiece displays Brazil’s national colors and is limited to 100 pieces in 18-karat gold with a carbon fiber bezel and 200 pieces in black ceramic with a carbon fiber bezel (shown at left, hublot.com, $26,300).
JeanRichard has partnered with Arsenal FC to launch two special editions that fly the Gunners’ colors. The Arsenal Terrascope Special Edition is distinguished with its red markings and the team’s cannon logo at 6 o’clock on the satin-finished, gray dial. Limited to 250 pieces, the Arsenal Aeroscope Limited Edition (at center, jeanrichard.com, $6,200) pairs a bright red dial stamped with a honeycomb pattern and a sandblasted black DLC-coated titanium case. The automatic chronograph with a tachymeter scale on the bezel features a small seconds-hand at 3 o’clock in the shape of the team’s cannon emblem.
Meanwhile, FC Barcelona has teamed up with Maurice Lacroix, and Manchester United joined forces with Bulova, which recently launched its Manchester United Squad watches in steel and grade 5 titanium (at right, bulova.com $2,595). The collection tops out with a limited-edition piece crafted from 999.9 pure 24-karat gold with the option of adding the Manchester United Club crest. Bulova also gave watches to the team’s players, who will customize them with images, numbers or other significant markings to create one-of-a-kind timepieces that score style points both on and off the pitch.