Usain Bolt Joins Hublot In Kyoto For The Brand's Boutique Opening

The Swiss watchmaker also donated two million yen to local preservation efforts

BY Eugene Phua | Sep 18, 2017 | News

If you want to travel back in time but haven’t figured out how to bend the laws of physics to your will, simply travel to the Gion district in Kyoto, Japan. There, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, boutiques, teahouses and, if you’re worthy, geisha. But the main reason why tourists (and time-travellers) flock to Gion is because virtually all of its buildings are built and/or preserved in the “Machiya” architectural style, which dates back to the 18th century. So, one moment you’re walking around hundreds of years ago in Edo-era Japan, and the next you could be in a cutting-edge boutique featuring the world’s best timepieces.

And that’s exactly what Hublot has done with the opening of its latest boutique in Gion.

Echoing its “Art of Fusion” ethos, which seeks to continuously evolve the art of traditional Swiss watchmakng, Hublot has opened a boutique that pays homage to Japan’s rich history of art, design and culture, while also showcasing its latest and greatest timepieces. Present at the boutique’s launch was Ricardo Guadalupe (Hublot CEO), Tatsuya Yoshimoto (President of Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Store), Miwa Sakai (Hublot’s Asia Pacific Regional Director), and Usain Bolt (The Fastest Human On Earth). 

To commemorate the momentous occasion, Hublot pledged to donate 1.5 million Yen to Gion Minamigawa Chiku Machizukuri Kyogikai, an NGO dedicated to the preservation of the Gion district. But Guadalupe had an idea: if five local children could shatter Bolt’s world record of 9.58 seconds in the 100-metre event, he would add another 500,000 Yen to the donation. Alas, the kiddos could only manage 14.8 seconds – but Guadalupe decided to round up the donation to a cool two million yet anyway.

Visitors to the new Hublot Boutique in Gion will be amazed by the timepieces found only in that space, while customers who purchase something will be rewarded with an exclusive Hublot fan, designed by Miyawaki Baisen-an, a store that has been making fans since 1823. 

One of the highlight timepieces there is the Hublot Big Bang Unico King Gold Ceramic, a 45.5mm timepiece with an 18K King Gold case, and satin-finished and polished black ceramic bezel. Its crown, push-pieces, case-back, and clasp are all also in 18K King Gold; while its crystal is sapphire with interior/exterior anti-reflective coating. Below its mat black skeleton dial is the Hublot in-house developed HUB 1242 automatic flyback chronograph movement. This eye-catching timepiece has a 72-hour power reserve, and is water resistant up to 100 metres.