Gareth Southgate and his watch at the World Cup

We know that Gareth Southgate is having a considerable effect on waistcoat sales in the UK – up 35%, say Marks & Spencer, official suppliers to the England team. His sharply-styled navy blue suit, worn with just the waistcoat over a light blue shirt and a regimental tie in the England colours – has made him the smartest manager at the World Cup, in every sense. But what about the watch?

gareth southgate

Gareth Southgate, photo courtesy of, no copyright infringement is intended

Hublot Big Bang Referee limited edition

The dial with the visible H-shaped screws and the black watchglass screen leave no doubt. It is the Hublot Big Bang Referee smartwatch, a limited edition of 2,018 pieces, made specially as part of the brand’s sponsorship of the tournament. “We are happy once again to be FIFA’s Official Timekeeper for the 2018 FIFA World Cup which will take place in Russia,” said Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, “Russia is a key market for Hublot, with Russian clients among our most significant buyers today.” The Hublot name is in the foreground every time a substitute goes onto the pitch, in the form of the placard showing the numbers of the two players concerned.

Big Bang Referee 2018 World Cup Russia

Interchangeable straps and team colours

The Big Bang Referee 2018 World Cup Russia is Hublot’s first smartwatch, a large piece with a 49-mm case in titanium, and running the Google Android Wear OS. It is worn by the referees at the World Cup matches. In addition to the electronic wizardry that enables you to select the dial design, amongst which 32 formats based on the flags of the participating countries, it features interchangeable straps, with the standard rubbed natural rubber strap, a second textile strap, and the possibility of purchasing straps with flags. The battery provides power for a day and the watch takes a couple of hours to charge.


The Hublot Big Bang Referee is an expensive piece of kit. It costs 4,900 Swiss francs. One of the most expensive smartwatches on the market. Read more at the Hublot website.

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