As the sun set behind Boston’s Harvard Stadium during halftime at a football event kicking off the annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port fundraiser on May 29, Tom Brady, the New England Patriots star quarterback, donned Hublot’s new Classic Fusion Chrono Aero Carbon Best Buddies watch. Soon after, he donated the piece so that it could be auctioned to benefit Best Buddies International, a charity dedicated to advancing opportunities for friendship, employment, and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Leaders in the worlds of American football, cycling, watchmaking, and philanthropy gathered to support the charity, which was founded by Anthony Kennedy Shriver in 1989. The main event was a lighthearted game of touch football with Brady playing quarterback for Team Hublot as well as the opposing team, with different players subbing in each quarter. Brady casually showed off his pinpoint accuracy throwing the ball to Patriots teammate Julien Edelman, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Congressman Joseph Kennedy III, comedian Dane Cook, actor Michael Chiklis, Shriver and his kids, and several Buddies, among others.
Professional cyclists George Hincapie and Christian Venda Velde were also on hand to unveil Hublot’s first Best Buddies special edition. Hublot will produce 100 pieces of the lightweight Classic Fusion Chrono Aero Carbon Best Buddies with a case, dial, and strap made of carbon fiber, as a tribute to the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, the charity’s annual 100-mile bike race from Boston to Cape Cod, which took place on May 30. The watch’s case back is adorned with the Keith Haring-designed Best Buddies logo, and a portion of proceeds from each sale will benefit the organization.
Hublot also served as the official timekeeper for the biking, running, and walking event with various start lines along the 100-mile route to Craigville Beach on Cape Cod. Hundreds of participants took part alongside Hincapie, Velde, Brady, Edelman and other high-profile supporters.
Following the football game at the Guy Fieri Celebrity Chef Tailgate Party, guests dined on dishes prepared by Fieri and local chefs assisted by Buddy sous chefs. Meanwhile, Brady tossed signed footballs to donors willing to write $1,000 checks. Bidding for Brady’s watch, with a retail value of $19,000, started at $10,000 and topped out at $24,000.
“Tonight is one of the highlights of my year,” said Brady, who dodged sports press on the field who were eager to hear him make a statement about the scandal over deflated AFC-Championship game balls and his punitive four-game suspension, which he has appealed. “It’s all about the Buddies. Friendship is an important part of all of our lives—especially when you’re going through challenging times, it’s great to have as many friends as you possibly can.”
Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe agreed. “Friendship and human relationships are most important,” he said. “Hublot is a successful watch brand, and one value that is important to us is sharing. With every partnership we have, we always give back through charity.”