Last month, Torontonians got themselves in a tizzy when former Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista let his Snapchat followers know he was on a plane back to the 6ix. Could the free agent be re-signing with the Jays? they pondered. Is Joey Bats coming home forever?
Well, not quite. Turns out Bautista was back in town for another reason, but one nevertheless still pretty exciting (to us, at least): to launch a new collaborative timepiece with Hublot.
In case you were unaware, the six-time MLB all-star has been a big-time watch enthusiast since childhood, with his own formidable collection to match. So when Hublot approached him with the idea, he swung at the opportunity — and to make sure it was a dinger, he became an active participant in the chronograph’s creation. Last year, Bautista flew to Switzerland (no Snapchat selfies this time) to work closely with Hublot’s design team. Three different prototypes later, this was the final result.
“I had the unique privilege to design a watch alongside one of my favorite watchmakers after visiting the Swiss watch Manufacture HQ,” says Bautista, “a timepiece I hope people will cherish for generations to come.”
Limited to 19 pieces, the Classic Fusion Chronograph Special Edition Jose Bautista is a sleek, all-black beauty designed with Bautista and inspired by his legendary 10-year career as a right fielder with the Jays. It’s limited to 19 pieces — a nod to Bats’ jersey number and birthday. (Some-crazy-how, Jose, his brother, and his mother were all born on the 19th!)
The number 19 also appears on the dial’s noon marker with 21 black diamonds and polished black plated appliques. The watch also boasts a black ceramic case and black alligator and rubber strap. The right-hand chronograph counter has faux stitching to resemble a baseball, and Joey’s autograph is visible on the sapphire caseback. It contains the automatic chronograph caliber HUB1143, with a 42-hour power reserve.
One last moonshot from Canada’s home run hero.