Hotblack London, a company founded and ran by the British physicist Richard Hoptroff, has presented its concept model which was inspired by the current FIFA World Cup in Brazil. It is a smartwatch with a thermo-compensated quartz movement which connects to a smartphone via bluetooth and which is able to display the result of an ongoing soccer match, along with the indication of the remaining game time on its analog black face. However, this is still a concept timekeeper for which the brand and its owner are attracting investors, and it will not see the light of the day until this fall, several months after the world cup has ended. The steel housed watch is made with black PVD coating which matches the color of its black dial and will have the price tag of $1,650. However, there is a possibility to save up to $1,000 if you are among its initial buyers.
Richard Hoptroff is going for another unconventional solution when it comes to creation of timekeepers. Though it is an approach which will most likely be condemned by traditionalists and aficionados of classic mechanical watches, Hoptroff even considers it as an advantage. He even goes as far as stating that his concept is superior since most people cannot afford anything more than a chronograph which he considers to be a rather useless feature which is another, dare we say, spit in the face of horological purists. Be that as it may, let us share a few more details regarding the functioning of the novel piece.
Result, Remaining Time, Date of the Next Match and Replay of the Last Game
Hotblack smartwatch has a regular timekeeping mode and a match mode, both shown on its all-black analog dial. Normally, hours and minutes are indicated via central hands (this indication is constant regardless of the mode), a retrograde scale on the bottom of the face shows seconds, while two other sub-counters in concert show the current date. Everything changes while the game is in progress.
While two date counters show the result of the match (one for each team), the seconds dial is used to show how much time remains until the game is over. The wearer of the timepiece can also press two pushers at the left side of the case to see the date of the next match and to replay the last match, respectively. There is also a possibility that the timepiece shows game information whenever your favorite team is playing. It is important to say that the watch will initially just be useful to soccer fans, since it is the only sport whose scores it will be able to keep. As it has been mentioned, the watch is still not available and it will not be until November, so there is no possibility to use it for the ongoing world championship in Brazil. However, the brand used a prototype in order to illustrate how it reacts during some of the initial games at the tournament.
Compatibility to both iPhones and Androids and Extended Battery Life
All of the supported features are just displayed on the watch. Its true source is of course a paired-up smartwatch with which the timepiece is connected with a Bluetooth technology and an appropriate application. Hotblack London is fortunately compatible to both iPhones and Android devices. Since it uses a low energy consumption Bluetooth connection, the manufacturer says its lithium battery will be able to last for as much as three years.
A Black Body and a Black Face
The latest quirky device by Richard Hoptroff is placed inside a round housing made of brushed 316L stainless steel which was treated with black PVD coating, hence the name “Hotblack”. The housing is 44 mm wide and 13 mm thick. It includes a sapphire crystal at the front and supports waterproofness to 50 meters. As the manufacturer states, the movement which was named Hoptroff No. 7 was made in the UK and it was assembled from components made in various parts of the world. It is a thermo-compensated quartz module with the accuracy within ten seconds per year.
Penchant for Unconventional Design
This is not the first time that Richard Hoptroff is flirting with the watchmaking industry. Previously to Hotblack London smartwatch, the British physicist had several unconventional and interesting projects. One that stands out among them was No. 10 atomic pocket watch which was based on the technology used in drones and aircrafts and which, as you have probably guessed, had an astounding precision of an atomic watch. Additionally, it had a plethora of supported complications (nearly 30) and was placed in a special gold case made with the use of the proprietary three-dimensional printing technique. This watch was made in just a dozen copies which were sold at the price of $75,000 and only after a security clearance, because of the origin of its technology and its potential harmful use.