Now at last we know the winners of the World Cup, and it certainly came as something of a shock. It was IWC Schaffhausen. Of course Hublot were hot favourites to win, they had, after all, backed Brazil Manager Felipe Scolari all the way. That must all seem like such a long time ago. It was in fact just a couple of weeks before the start of the World Cup that Big Phil Scolari was specially flown into Switzerland amid much pomp and ceremony to be presented with his very own Big Bang Scolari.
Not taking any chances, Hublot had even gone to the trouble of creating a special edition Big Bang for England Manager Roy Hodgson. The King Power 66 Hodgson was intended as a double tribute to Hodgson’s recent birthday and to the first and last time that England won the World Cup – i.e. 1966. That not only seems like a long time ago, it really was a long time ago.
On the very day a humiliated Phil Scolari announced his retirement as Brazil Manager following Brazil’s embarrassing 7-1 mauling at the hands of Germany, and subsequent loss to the Netherlands, newspapers around the world were full of German Manager Joachim Löw celebrating with his team.
Clearly visible on his wrist was a smart but unassuming standard issue IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph. Now unlike Hublot, IWC did not sponsor the World Cup as Official Timekeeper, nor did it create a special edition for Manager Joachim Löw to wear during the World Cup. In fact his watch is available to just anyone.
True, the German Football Association and IWC Schaffhausen did have a relationship in the past and the manufacture has even created a few special edition watches for the German team, however there were no special arrangements made for the World Cup. All that could now change in a hurry.
Löw wore the IWC Portuguese throughout the tournament with his team’s sober dark blue shirt, and could often be seen gesticulating and celebrating while wearing it on the sidelines – never more so than when Germany played Brazil.
Scolari in the opposite dug out wore his distinct yellow banded Hublot Big Bang for all the world to see. At 5-0 down, Hublot Chairman Jean-Claude Biver must have longed to run to the manager’s dug out and tear it off the beleaguered Scolari’s wrist.
As for the England Manager’s King Power 66 Hodgson, here we can see Hodgson wearing it as he tries to explain to a less than impressed media conference England’s failure to make it past the first round. This despite the fact that England spent close to £4m on flying in a 70 man and woman entourage including physiotherapists, sports psychologists, dozens of PR people, a brace of senior FA and FIFA flunkies as well as 23 hugely expensive footballers who ultimately only fired on one cylinder.
So to IWC go the spoils of victory, and it didn’t cost them a bean. As for the IWC Portuguese Yacht Club watch itself, Löw’s version wasn’t even the more costly red gold version, it was just the stainless steel and black dial version. It’s a 45.4mm watch featuring a brightly polished finish on the tops of the lugs and the slim bezel. The large black dial contrasts sharply with the luminous steel hands and red seconds hand, but synchronizes perfectly with Low’s ubiquitous dark shirt.
The watch is powered by IWC’s in-house caliber 89361, a flyback chronograph with a date display at 3 o’clock and hacking small seconds located at 6 o’clock. By 6 o’clock on Sunday evening Brazil time, Germany were delightedly holding the World Cup aloft.
The watch also has a 68-hour power reserve. This means even if Löw did not wear the watch following Germany’s defeat of Argentina in the final – when Mario Gotze took Andre Schurrle’s pass on his chest with only seven minutes of extra time left and scored – he could still slip the watch back on his wrist today, Tuesday, to enjoy the planned celebratory parade through the streets of Berlin.
With ignominious defeat for Brazil and a total World Cup fizzle for England, and with both manager’s sporting their costly custom designed watches, we have to ask, does Hublot still love football?