Watches: Hublot King Power Black Mamba

By Thierry Ané on November 23, 2013

The watch I would like to discuss in this article is not new per se. Indeed, Hublot’s King Power Black Mamba was officially launched in March in Los Angeles. And if, Kobe Bryant received his personal watch during that event, I am still waiting for mine! Indeed, the watch has not hit the stores yet and I can’t help hoping that, magically, by writing this article, it will find its way to the retailers and ultimately to my collection a little faster…

Don’t think, however, that I am some kind of unconditional fan of the LA Lakers, because you could not be more wrong: I am definitely not a sports fan. Not at all! And my only experience with sports is through watches. For instance, I had absolutely no idea who Kobe Bryant was before the Nubeo debacle a few years ago and I had completely forgotten his name after that until he became Hublot’s newest “brand ambassador”.

With Kobe Bryant, the brand adds a second basketball player (after Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat) to the long list of its high-profile athlete “friends”, and unveils a new limited series of 250 watches with the LA Lakers’ guard name on it.

During my discussion of the beautiful King Power King CashWatches: Hublot King Power King Cash, I mentioned that I changed the strap of my Unico GMT because I felt that the structured black rubber was not original enough. Let me assure you that I won’t touch that of my Black Mamba! Made of black python sewn on black rubber, the strap is surely the first thing you notice (and love) about this watch. However, as you can imagine, it is far from being the only interesting feature of the Black Mamba.

True to Hublot’s “fusion” philosophy, the 48 mm case combines multiple materials. Mostly in black ceramic, the 48 mm case also presents a ceramic and titanium bezel secured by six H-shaped black PVD screws. A gold Hublot logo illuminates the otherwise black crown, crafted in titanium with the same black PVD coating as the pushers.

The watch colour palette is purple and gold to honour the LA Lakers: the skeletonized sapphire dial showcases gold-plated hands and indices as well as purple numerals on the sapphire crystal to indicate the minutes. At 6 o’clock a golden “24” refers to Bryant’s jersey number and the signature of the basketball player can be found in gold on the sapphire exhibition case back.

The most beautiful reference to Kobe Bryant, however, could easily go unnoticed at first glance. Looking closely at the dial, one discovers a black snake appliqué that coils around the seconds counter with its menacing golden forked tongue.

The King Power Black Mamba contains the automatic HUB 4248 calibre with a 42-hour power reserve. It features a centrally-mounted 48-minute chronograph as a nod to the length of a basketball game.

We all know how limited edition products can be a powerful marketing trick to improve a brand visibility and help boost sales. Many brands use them too extensively and are prompt to christen “limited edition” any version of a timepiece where a tiny hint of colour has been changed on the dial. What I like about Hublot though, is that they never choose the easy path. They do work hard at presenting a coherent product that really refers to a particular ambassador, event, anniversary…

The King Power Black Mamba is no exception to the rule and represents another great offer from this extremely creative brand.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: