Considering his nine “Rocket” Richard trophies, his three Hart Memorial Trophies, his Stanley Cup win, and the slew of NHL records under his belt, it’s hard to imagine there’s much left on Alexander “Ovi” Ovechkin’s bucket list. In fact, with the exception of breaking Wayne Gretzky’s long-standing record for career goals — which would arguably make Ovechkin the best player the game has ever seen — he doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. This year, however, the Washington Capitals team captain achieved a career goal of a different sort by putting his name on a limited-edition watch from Hublot. With its ultra-tough case and Caps-red colour scheme, the Big Bang Unico Red Carbon Alex Ovechkin is a watch worthy of its namesake.
“It’s a dream come true,” says Ovechkin, over Zoom from the D.C. hotel suite where he’s living with his family in the NHL’s quarantine bubble, passing the time watching movies and playing Call of Duty with his friends back in Russia. Ovechkin’s interest in watches started soon after he was drafted by the Capitals, he says, and was shaped by what he saw the other guys on his team adding to their collections. A long-time fan of Hublot’s industrial-meets-luxury approach to watch design, he bought his first Big Bang (a six-figure Tourbillon in King Gold, naturally) eight years ago. After meeting Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, however, he was invited to take his relationship with the brand to the next level. “I’m a big fan of Hublot,” he says. “I think it’s one of the best teams out there, and if you have the chance to be on this team, you have to do it.”
The limited-edition Big Bang Unico Red Carbon Alex Ovechkin is the result of the conversations that followed. While Ovechkin doesn’t consider himself much of a designer, he did spend time poring over the details with Hublot’s design team, bringing along his wife for additional support (“I think she has very good taste,” he says). The result is a timepiece that blends key elements from Ovechkin’s life and career with the design codes of the Big Bang in one unmistakable package. The case is made of carbon-fibre — a material also used in NHL hockey sticks — and infused with bright red micro-glass fibres in honour of Ovechkin’s Capitals home jersey. A stylized logo at 8 o’clock nods to his jersey number and nickname, “the Great Eight,” and the tip of the chronograph hand is painted red, white, and blue in honour of his Russian homeland. The sapphire crystal case back, meanwhile, is adorned with his signature.
“I think it’s a beautiful piece,” says Ovechkin. What he doesn’t say is that, besides it being a unique addition to his pre-game wardrobe, having a Swiss watch designed in your honour is something that no one else in the NHL — not even the Great One himself — can boast. It’s not quite on par with breaking Gretzky’s record for career goals, sure, but he’s still got a lot of games left to play. $32,800
All images courtesy of Hublot.