Hublot Ambassador Usain “Lightning” Bolt strikes Kyoto!

Miwa Sakai, Ricardo Guadalupe, Usain Bolt and Tatsuya Yoshimoto during Kagami-biraki ceremony

Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot held a charity event with legendary Usain Bolt to celebrate the opening of the Hublot Boutique Kyoto. Usain Bolt has enjoyed a career which has not only made him a legendary athlete, but also one of the greatest sportsmen of all time! He holds 8 Olympic medals and 11 World Championship titles! Usain Bolt is the only athlete to have defended his gold medal over three consecutive Olympics, even going as far as beating three records in one Olympiad! He holds the world records for the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 x 100 metres. The Champion, and Hublot ambassador, travelled all the way to Kyoto in order to celebrate the opening of a new milestone for the Swiss luxury Watch Brand in Japan.

Hublot opened its new boutique in Kyoto on August 26, 2017. Build in the traditional architectural style of Machiya, common in the mid-Edo period (late 17th Century -18th Century). While maintaining its traditions, the ancient capital Kyoto continues to give birth to new culture and values. Similarly, Hublot continues to evolve in the traditional watch industry under the brand’s innovative concept of “The Art of Fusion”. The fusion between Kyoto and Hublot has just begun in the beautiful Gion streets.

Charity event with kids

The grand opening event started with the Champion appearing with children, followed by Hublot’s announcement to donate 1.5 million JPY (about 13,100CHF) to Gion. Bolt and Hublot then created a charity run, whereby Hublot agreed to add 500,000 JPY to the donation if total record of 5 children’s time beats Bolt’s 100m record with 9.58secs. Usain Bolt gave the children valuable advise on how to run faster before they sprinted towards the finish line in the presence of Maiko (apprentice geiko). The 14.8 sec result was close but regrettably was not able to break the legend’s record. Nevertheless, Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe spontaneously changed the check’s amount to 2 million JPY, as he was impressed and wanted to praise the children for their efforts. The check was presented to Gion Minamigawa Chiku Machizukuri Kyogikai, a non-profit organization which maintains the historical scenery in the Gion area and preserves traditional Japanese culture to next generations.

Usain Bolt and Ricardo Guadalupe, alongside Mr. Tatsuya Yoshimoto (President of Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Store), and Miwa Sakai (Hublot’s Asia Pacific Regional Director), performed Kagami-biraki ceremony. The traditional Japanese ceremony involves opening a specially designed sake barrel with a wooden mallet to invoke good fortune. In the evening, Hublot hosted a gala dinner to celebrate the opening of the Hublot Boutique Kyoto at Shogunzuka Seiryuden, located on the mountaintop of Higashiyama (east mountainous area) where an entire view of Kyoto city can be enjoyed. More than 150 VIP guests attended a gala dinner, and the crowd went wild when Usain Bolt appeared to greet them. A raffle was held and Usain Bolt’s signed valuable items were presented to the lucky winners. At the end of the evening, a live fusion performance of Wadaiko (Japanese drums) and Noh (classical Japanese musical drama) entertained the guests at this special Hublot “fusion” dinner.

Hublot Boutique Kyoto

hublot-boutique-kyoto_3Once you enter through the traditional noren curtain with the Hublot logo, you are in a totally new world of Hublot fused with Japanese culture. Paying respect to the traditional architectural style of Machiya, typical local materials such as wickerwork, bamboo and Japanese paper customized with Hublot monograms are used throughout the interior, while the ground floor is decorated with various artworks of Hublot watches in a colorful pop-art style. The space exquisitely embodies Hublot’s brand concept of “The Art of Fusion.” In contrast, the first floor offers a more tranquil atmosphere with spaciously a laid-out VIP lounge with custom-made sofas upholstered with Nishijin Brocade and Hublot’s first tearoom with a custom-made black “tatami” mat printed with Hublot monogram, adding the brand’s essence to the traditional space in Kyoto. The first floor is also used for showcasing the most recent collection and innovations under seasonal themes. In October, customers can enjoy an exhibition of Hublot’s iconic materials around the theme of “The Art of Fusion”. Going forward, exhibitions and events will be scheduled on a regular basis. Kyomachiya, which was crowded with people in days past, has been given a new life through the Hublot Boutique and is bound to become a special destination in Kyoko.

Visitors will find something that will suit their taste from the wide range of Hublot collections offered at the Kyoto boutique. The boutique will have the iconic “Big Bang” and “Classic Fusion” as well as Hublot watches exclusively created for the Kyoko boutique. In addition, the “Hublot World Limited Collection” with rare models from around the world which have never been available in Japan previously will be showcased. Customers who purchase the the Hublot Boutique Kyoko will be offered a special Hublot fan designed by Miyawaki Baisen-an as a gift. Kyoto and Hublot are about to fuse!!

0024 Editorial Team

The author 0024 Editorial Team

When we started publishing our first high-end watch magazine in 1999, we had only one intention: increasing the popularity of high-quality mechanical watches. Now, many years later, this has not changed at all. In 2017 we have reinvented ourselves to serve our readers in a different and better way. Starting in 2017, the new 0024 is again better equipped to interact with the changing world of high-end watches. The new 0024 HORLOGES magazine (written in Dutch) will be at least a 200 pager: that’s twice the volume of our magazine in the old days.