Hublot more than any other brand out there loves to put on a good show and get people talking. Whether or not their performance causes controversy matters not, they go for it. Witness the Bernie Eccelstone ad hocking watches with the F1 boss’s battered face after trying to fend off muggers going for his Hublot watch. Eccelstone failed to win the fight or keep the watch.
At the opening ceremony of Hublot’s 36th boutique on 31 New Bond Street in London with Time Products, Jean-Claude Biver took the opportunity to present their latest creation: the Nastie Bang for former tennis great Ilie Nastase. If two brands were ever meant to meet on the marketing stage, then it’s these two.
Nastase was as famous for his game as he was for his irascible temper. That’s how he got the nickname “Nasty”, which he gloried in and embraced. He’d stomp around the court, berate officials and opponents and fling his racquet across the court to display his displeasure about a line call or his state of play. But the crowd loved him for his bizarre antics and histrionics. One of Nastase’s famous quotes is, “As long as I can get angry, then I play well. If I play well, I can beat anybody. I am happy because I am getting angry.” I think that about sums up this guy’s combination of petulance and playfulness.
However, there’s no denying Nasty was a great talent. He remained the world’s number one player between August 23,1973 and June 2,1974 and he won a career 132 titles.
The “Nasty Bang”, in a limited edition of 132 to reflect the amount of titles Nastase won, is based on a 44mm Big Bang and comes in a black ceramic case with red and yellow details in reflection of the colors on the Romanian flag, Nastase’s home country.
Of course the watch incorporates homages to tennis with the two chronograph counters. The 60-second dial at 9 o’clock shows the points in a game of tennis with the winning “Game” reading “Game Nastase,” while the 30-minute dial at 3 o’clock has a backdrop of a tennis ball. Nastase’s signature appears under the crystal at 6 o’clock. Flip over the case to reveal a transfer of Nasty in action.
Once again Hublot makes another affiliation with a (once) high profile figure in the sports world. The “Nastie Bang” is sure to appeal to avid tennis fans; however, I think it will have to be an older customer who can remember Mr. Nasty because this maestro with a racket shone so long ago. Weren’t any current tennis players available with bad enough behavior?
The Nastie Bang retails for $17,600