Las Vegas is as if Times Square, TGI Friday's, and Guy Fieri all teamed up and bought a city and then lit most of it on fire. It's a visually cacophonous smattering of grit and glam where you can find a slot machine in any corner store and the lingering scent of cigarette smoke haunts every casino floor. And despite my love for barely legal drugs, sex robots, homemade booze, and Tom Hanks, I'm not much of a Vegas guy.
So when I was invited out west to witness the unveiling of Hublot's new Big Bang Unico World Poker Tour watch celebrating the World Poker Tour at the Bellagio, I packed my bags for my first trip to the desert oasis with weariness and dread alongside my socks and undies. After a night of eating cocktail shrimp and watching adult mov—uhh, cartoons from the comfort of my bed, I took a trip to the Hublot Boutique nestled within the Forum Shops at the iconic Caesars Palace to check out their new watch.
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Call me a philistine, but like Vegas, I'm just not a huge watch guy either. My right hand has been adorned with the same $10 knock-off Casio from Chinatown for the last two years and I have zero qualms about it. I suspect that being truly impressed by a watch for the first time is akin to listening to Radiohead high or getting hit on by your friend's hot mom.
However the feeling is categorized, I felt myself bathing in it as I stared this watch in the face. Suddenly the dull smell of tobacco and mojitos drifted away and I felt like I was back on the plane, looking at the strip out the window—Hublot did what I thought was impossible: make Las Vegas sexy.
The idea behind the World Poker Tour timepiece was to capture the old-school, Sinatra-era of Sin City—the luck, the charm, the idea that you could walk out of a casino with a million bucks in your pocket. This timepiece encapsulates the high-stakes vibe poker and the masterminds whose lives can change with a single lucky hand.
The Big Bang Unico World Poker Tour watch is filthy with decadence: polished steel, 14K gold, sapphire crystal—it's like you're wearing the aftermath of a jewel heist on your wrist.
Let's talk specifics: each piece comes equipped with the Easy One Click system, which allows wearers to switch between the three alligator-stitched straps. It's 45.5 mm in diameter with a polished micro-blasted case. Two-hundred numbered cases are made of steel and 100 are crafted from 18K King Gold.
The bezel is adorned with the four card suit symbols to really drive home that this piece is about poker and the two Rhodium-plated, satin-finished, red Super-Luminova hands tell you what time it is.
"It's something inspired by poker and Vegas—it's a mix of both," said Ricardo Guadalupe, when I inquired about the timepiece. "This is the first time we really engraved something on the bezel, and I think it's quite interesting to bring something different."
And it is different indeed—different enough to influence my thoughts about, both, watches and Las Vegas.
Guadalupe knows the Big Bang Unico World Poker Tour watch is out of the ordinary, but he knows his audience wants what it wants: "It's quite the particular product—but that's what we want. You like it or you don't like it—for those like it, they will buy it."
Judging by the level of awe and salivation happening in that little boutique in the Forum Shops, I couldn't help but agree.
Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and likes his watches like he likes his women: perfectly synced up with The World Clock.