LONDON, June 29 ― It may look like a normal, premium quality gents’ chronograph with a Swiss movement, and most of the time it is. But, once your favorite football team takes to the field, the HotBlack’s hands turn into a live scoreboard.
Created by British bespoke watchmaker Richard Hoptroff, the HotBlack is a classic timepiece with a very smart twist and one that could prove of huge appeal to passionate football fans with a sense of style.
“I believe a watch should be a real watch, not some wearable phone. It should have hands that move. It should tick. It should be waterproof. The battery should last years. There’s no getting around any of that in a quality timepiece,” explains Hoptroff. “Beyond that, a watch delivering sports results should have a style that reflects the wearer’s passion. Sleek. Modern, sweeping curves. Horizontal, numeric digits. Contrasty, white-on-black colors.”
No stranger to esoteric requests when it comes to creating timepieces ― he regularly crafts exclusive watches for clients that cost thousands of pounds to make ― Hoptroff is certain that unlike some of his designs, the market for a truly premium smartwatch dedicated to football is potentially huge and so has turned to Kickstarter to see if his hunch is true.
With an initial £23,000 (RM125,883) sought to enable tooling, develop the software side of the watch and to secure initial orders, if the HotBlack hits its funding target the first football smartwatches will be on their wearers’ wrists in time for the start of the 2014-2015 season; which kicks off in the UK in September.
Hitting the target, or ideally surpassing it, will also ensure that when the HotBlack goes on general sale, it will do for less than £1,000 even if, according to Hoptroff, each watch will be packed full of features and represent quality not usually available in timepieces double the price.
For example, as well as a Swiss movement that spins the dials in chronograph mode, it will sit under an electronic layer with integrated Bluetooth that will drive the hands in football mode, drawing information from the company’s servers and using it to show a team’s score, its opponent’s score and how much time there is left to grab another or to throw away a two-goal lead.
The watch will know which team its wearer supports via a supporting smartphone app which will be developed for both iPhones and Android handsets, and, although everything will be initially focused on soccer, the HotBlack could just as easily be adapted to track and display the scores of other sports.
But to get the ball rolling and the project closer to its goal, Hoptroff is offering a few early-bird deals. The first 20 watches can be snapped up for £400 each (the cost of their parts alone). For those with deeper pockets and a deeper obsession with the beautiful game, £1,500 will secure a customised version with the owner’s choice of squad number and player’s name on the watch face. ― AFP-Relaxnews