Li Recently Launched Tai Chi Academy “Taichi Zen”
The Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot, which counts actor Jet Li and the popular Chinese blogger Han Han among its brand ambassadors, held one of its largest promotional events of the year this month in the northeast Chinese city of Dalian. Held to launch the new limited edition Jet Li model, the “Art of Fusion” event was marked with a performance by 100 tai chi practitioners, bringing together two of Li’s non-acting-related activities: promoting both Hublot and the art of tai chi. Present at the launch were Li and Hublot execs like managing director, Ricardo Guadalupe.
The limited edition Hublot Jet Li watch, jointly designed by Li and Hublot, is limited to 200 pieces globally, with pricing as yet undetermined. Featuring a black open-worked frame with accents inspired by traditional Chinese screens on the watch face, the rear cover includes a yin-yang symbol and Jet Li’s signature. Extending Li’s philanthropic activities, Hublot will donate a portion of sales from the watch to Li’s One Foundation.
As Ricardo Guadalupe said at the event, “The collaboration between Hublot and Jet Li represents a fusion of Eastern and Western cultures, marking the very highest status of watches in China while making a significant contribution to charity. This is a truly invaluable partnership for us.”
Remarking on the partnership, Li — who became Hublot’s first-ever Asian brand ambassador in November 2010 — said, “I truly admire that as a luxury brand, Hublot also remains incredibly active in its support of charity initiatives worldwide with its ‘Sharing and Caring’ philosophy, sharing its success with individuals who need care the most.”
While tai chi and Swiss luxury watches may seem like an odd fit for an event, Jet Li is currently working to promote tai chi worldwide via his new Taichi Zen institutes, announced at Alifest in Hangzhou this past September. As Jing Daily wrote after attending the event:
Jet Li said that the combination of tai chi and Zen (Chan) Buddhism to be taught in his Taichi Zen schools can become something of a “cultural product” of China, one that appeals to people around the world. Li likened this type of readily identifiable cultural product to Hollywood for the U.S., yoga for India, and espresso for Italy, adding that he thought a country can’t be truly “great” until it becomes a cultural, rather than simply an economic, force domestically and globally.
For its part, this is not Hublot’s first charity linkup with its Asian brand ambassadors. This past April, a Hublot F1 watch customized by Han Han was put up for auction, eventually raising US$160,000 yuan (US$25,000) for Jet Li’s One Foundation, and last month the watchmaker released a “Han Han Hublot Limited Edition” watch, with all sales proceeds going to support F1 driver training for young Chinese racers and reward outstanding young talent.