Tag Heuer Collaboration Watch: High-end reloading and video games appear at first sight to belong to very distinct realms. The first is a craft tradition that uses arduous procedures, often century-old, to make mechanical timers.
Well, this later is its polar opposite: a subculture created in the 1980s, gaming is a fast-paced digital activity, which grew in Internet popularity, and became a major player in 2020. Pandemic lockdowns drove millions of people all over the world to find social links enabled by online gaming.
Now, these apparently contradicting worlds unite. On Tuesday, Tag Heuer launched a limited version of their Connected watch manufactured in cooperation with Nintendo, the Super Mario character of which has been an icon of video game culture since the 1985 business launched Super Mario Bros.
Frédéric Arnault, CEO of Tag Heuer, claimed that he had taken up a brainstorming session together with his staff at the Baselworld exposition in 2019 when he decided to add a gaming aspect in the Connected Watch brand.
Arnault told Robb Report about the last video call. “This is a digital product—there are so many things we can do with the screen. “And it is the user-living product. It might make some gamification possible.”
Nintendo’s Super Mario property appeared to be the perfect fit after examining the world of video games.
“We felt that Mario was incredibly iconic and we had a lot of brand connections,” Arnault added. “He’s a very dynamic figure, always trying to achieve a goal.”
Limited in 2,000 pieces, the first brand model of a long-term collaboration with Nintendo translates Mario into a wellness champion in its trademark red cap and blue overalls for $2,100 at select Tag Heuer boutiques and tagheuer.com. Mario is shown to recognize and reward their success as users improve their step counts (along with animations that become livelier as the activity level increases).
“A user unlocks certain animations if they fulfill an everyday objective,” Arnault stated. “This is a way to count steps.”
The system of gamification works like this: Mario greets you in the morning. As the day progresses, you release incentives at every step of your everyday goal (25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent, and 100 percent). An animation plays on the dial with each award.
According to a statement from a brand, “These take the form of Super Mario’s renowned objects.” “At 3 p.m. Mario’s Super Mushroom grows at 6 a.m., the Pipe that lets him go quickly and at 09 p. m., the Super Star which lights him up! And when you complete 100% of your daily goal, Mario climbs up to the Goal Pole, a new icon of the video game.”
Tag Heuer created four special dials for the Connected Mario watch face, which included the retro-element dial of a 1985 version of Super Mario Bros.; two versions of a Heuer 02, one of the Super Mario red and blue signature color, and a subtler style with a slight reference to the red cap of Mario; and the orbital face, whose neural network has anchored the retroelements (the mushroom, the pipe, the star).
But the dial is not the only area where aficionados of Super Mario can find allusions. It is lacquered in red and has a bezel, pushes buttons, and crown logo on the watch; the embodiment appears on the bezel in 3-, 6- and 9 positions; the steel case comes with two sets of interchangeable straps, elegant style with red rubber black leather, sporting styles in a matching red perforated rubber.
Arnault, who says he is a huge fan of Super Mario, feels the limited edition audience includes a wide range of watchmakers (“I geeked out when I was younger on many of the Mario titles”)
“The same year Heuer became Tag Heuer, Mario was born in 1985,” he stated. “We have a vintage watch face inspired by the two-dimensional Mario world for the nostalgic people who used to play video games in the late 80s and early 90s. ” Mario is relevant now, however, and this talks to a young audience.”
The market for memorabilia Super Mario reached its peak on Sunday when an uncontaminated sealed version of Super Mario 64 was sold at Heritage’s Video Games for $1.56 million, making it the most expensive video game ever auctioned.
But it remains to be seen whether Tag Heuer will be tempted to build digital watches by increasing interest among younger players on metaverses or digital landscapes that provide virtual experiences and assets similar to those in the real world (think Fortnite and Roblox).
“The gaming world is becoming ever more essential. E-racing and digital products already allow me to design totally digital products,” stated Arnault.
“This territory is untapped. Tag Heuer as a brand is authentic and relevant for the avant-garde entering this field. On that matter, however, nothing has currently been decided.”