Tissot And Me At The 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend
Those of you who follow me on Instagram might have seen that mid-February was a special time for me. Thanks to Tissot, I was able to scratch one thing off my bucket list and attend the 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah. As someone who grew up as a fan of basketball and the NBA, words can’t explain how extremely unique these few days were for me. Funnily, though, I felt right at home, partly thanks to the fantastic organization of the NBA but also thanks to the Tissot US team (you know who you are).
This article will be a bit of everything — a report on a press trip, a photo essay, some watch spotting, and a bit of basketball talk. From the feedback that Mike and I get on our Fratello On Air episodes when we discuss certain leagues or teams, I know there are many sports fans among you. I hope you will enjoy this read.
NBA All-Star Weekend
The idea to attend the All-Star Weekend came last year when I had the pleasure of meeting with the Tissot US team during my visit to Miami. As Tissot is the official timekeeper of the NBA, the team there is responsible for the partnership with the league. They organize events with partner teams, but the icing on the cake is always the All-Star Weekend. Every year, it takes place in February in a different city.
This year, it was in Salt Lake City. This is the home of the Utah Jazz, the hosting team (next year, the event will take place in Indianapolis). Sadly, I only arrived on Friday afternoon due to a strike and technical troubles at the Frankfurt airport. It was an exhausting and nerve-wracking journey, and unfortunately, I missed some of the events on Friday. Once I touched down, though, I remained in an All-Star Weekend mood until I left a few days later.
Tissot pop-up store
As the brand does not have a standalone boutique in Salt Lake City, Tissot built an incredible pop-up store close to one of the All-Star Weekend’s significant events in a nearby mall. Throughout the weekend, this served as a location where Tissot fans could purchase a timepiece from the Swiss brand. It was also where lucky and patient fans could meet their Tissot ambassadors and NBA legends. Due to my delayed trip, I missed the chance to meet Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers. He is one of the most excellent guys in the current NBA lineup and was there on Friday to take photos, sign jerseys, and chat with his fans. Little did we know that a day later, Lillard would go on to win the 2023 Starry 3-Point Contest. While I did not meet him, witnessing his triumphant performance was sufficient atonement.
The Tissot pop-up store had lots of fun in store for watch fans. You could test your skills in an interactive free-throw shot or try on some of the latest models using augmented reality, take a photo of your wrist shot, and send it to your email. But what I loved the most was the overall design of the store. It did not feel like a pop-up store. It was more like a full-fledged Tissot lounge, something I saw in New York years ago. Alongside the fantastic basketball-themed books and other items, there was also an official NBA shot clock. Aside from the fact that I’d love to have one in my living room, I can tell you that these things are enormous. More fun awaited us at the Vivint Arena, home of the Jazz and the All-Star Weekend, so I left…but not before I picked up something.
Tissot Supersport Chrono Basketball Edition
A few days before the NBA All-Star Weekend kicked off in Utah, Tissot released its latest basketball-themed timepieces. The time was perfect for the new Tissot Supersport Chrono Basketball Edition to hit the market. While the watch was still fresh, it took the lovely people from Tissot no time to get me one for a day or two. Let’s address the elephant in the room: the Supersport Chrono is not a PRX. It’s not the most sophisticated Tissot timepiece, and it won’t be such a great seller among watch fans either. But it doesn’t need to be. In my opinion, the target audience for this model is sports fans. This watch is for people who love basketball, live and breathe the sport, and want a timepiece to represent that. And if you are one of these fine folks, you might love the Supersport Chrono Basketball Edition too.
The 45.5mm 316L black PVD-coated case is not for the faint-hearted. Despite that, it’s only 12mm thick but takes a 22mm strap. It has a quartz EOL (battery end-of-life indicator) movement inside. A few orange details like the chronograph hands or the strap’s side stitches are the only accents in the overall monochrome design. It has a black case and strap, a dark dial with white indices, and white numerals on the black aluminum bezel insert. Luckily, there are no NBA or team logos on the watch. Instead, what we have as is a subtle timepiece.
I could bore you with the details of the game and the skills challenges. But don’t worry, I won’t get into those. I must say, it was difficult to spot watches during the weekend for several reasons, so my list will be short. To begin with, February is not really a shorts-and-T-shirt month in North America, especially not in Utah, so people were mostly dressed for the cold. Furthermore, the NBA All-Star Weekend is, as you’d imagine, a very casual event. Consequently, I could tell you about the jersey or sneakers I saw, but not many people wore watches to the games.
However, two sightings stood out for me that I’m sure you’d enjoy. Many of you who followed the NBA in the ’90s will remember Steve Smith. During his decade-long career, Smith played for many teams, including the Heat, Hawks, Hornets, and Spurs. In 2003, he won a championship with the last team, and after retiring, he became an analyst for Turner Sports. During the press conference after the All-Star team’s practice, Smith was sitting a stone-throw away from me. He wore a super cool Rolex Daytona with a black dial and steel bezel. His understated, classy watch worked well with his suit, although I’m not a steel-sports-watch-with-a-suit type of guy.
Another memorable spotting was on the wrist of none other than one of my childhood legends, “The Answer” himself, Allen Iverson. One afternoon, I managed to sneak into a panel talk where Iverson was among the panelists. As luck would have it, I got in through a door that led to the stage, so I could see him up close and personal and eventually managed to take a few shots of his wrist candy. AI is known to wear a blinged-out Patek Nautilus from time to time. That day, however, he went with something else. The bling was there, but the execution? Well, it was questionable, to say the least.
The NBA All-Star Weekend is one of the most coveted events of the year. By definition, the games are swarmed by celebrities. Sadly, due to the stringent security regulations, I could not get close to the court to see what visitors like Spike Lee, Chris Tucker, Shaquille O’Neal, or Fat Joe were wearing. That’s not to mention that Salt Lake City is not a typical party town. Even if there were any soirées, I was not invited. But it was an incredible event, and I feel fortunate to have been a part of it. Thanks again to Tissot and especially the brand’s team in the US for the invite and the hospitality. I’ll be back next year to bring you guys some more wrist content…I hope.