TAG Heuer and Nintendo have partnered to bring us the luxury gaming-inspired timepiece we didn’t know we needed.
Since the Swiss watch brand released its first Connected watch in 2015, it’s remained committed to combining luxury, and sport and further building on its Connected technology.
Building gamification into the fitness side of the Connected watch was a natural fit, and who better to partner with than the tried and true leader in that space. The TAG Heuer x Super Mario Limited Edition watch breathes new life into the classic Mario character, watching our favourite plumber-turned-hero come to life across the screen.
“For this collaboration with Nintendo, Super Mario instantly came to our minds,” said Frédéric Arnault, CEO of TAG Heuer in a release. “It’s not just his international and intergenerational appeal that clinched it. Mario is the ultimate super-active character whose perseverance and tenacity get him out of every situation. And what better than the TAG Heuer Connected to give life to this iconic character and encourage users to team up with Mario to get out there and be more active?” explained Arnault.
Designed to encourage physical activity, the watch dial becomes more animated as the wearer is more active. Each morning, Mario greets wearers with a welcoming salute. As your day progresses, a different animation plays out when you hit 25, 50, 75, and 100 percent of your daily step count, which TAG says is inspired by the Easter egg concept of hidden surprise features in games.
An Unlikely Duo
Still, introducing Nintendo to a luxury-driven product may seem risky to some. However, considering a Global Web Index report and the youthful history of TAG it’s likely to clear any confusion.
To put it simply: male millennials are big luxury spenders. According to the report, consumers between 25-44 make up over 65 percent of the luxury consumer audience in North America. Couple that with the nostalgia Nintendo offers and the average age of gamers sitting around 35, this seemingly odd pairing isn’t so odd after all.
Arnault’s fresh perspective is at play here too. At just 26 years old, Arnault is the youngest watch CEO in Switzerland, which is younger by significant margins than his counterparts.
The son of Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH Group, he joined TAG in 2017 as the Chief Strategy and Digital Officer for the brand overseeing the advancements of its Connected watches and app. Naturally, he’s kept his finger on that pulse since stepping into the role of CEO in 2020.
In TAG’s lineage, Arnault is amongst company. After all, the company’s founder, Edouard Heuer was only 20-years-old when he launched the business with his son and grandson also following to become CEO in their twenties.
All that to say: If anyone was going to helm a modern partnership like this, Arnault is the organic fit.
Nostalgia is front and centre with animations featuring the Super Mushroom that makes Mario grow, the Pipe that allows him to travel fast, and the classic Goal Pole signaling level complete to name a few. But, don’t worry, wearers won’t have to face off against Bowser at the end of each day.
Beyond the digital aspects, Super Mario touches can be found throughout the physical design. Reskinned watch faces were created using retro elements from the 1985 version of the game along with subtle touches of Super Mario’s red hat. Push buttons, crown logo, and bezel graduation now come in Super Mario red. An ‘M’ is engraved on the strap buckles and the crown, a Super Mushroom, Pipe, and Super Star sit at the three, six, and nine o’clock positions, while the words “TAG Heuer x Super Mario Limited Edition” are etched into the back of the watch.
Wearers can choose between two versions of the Heuer 02 watch face created for this edition. One features Super Mario’s iconic red and blue while the other has a more traditional approach with subtle touches of red. Those lucky enough to snag one will also enjoy two interchangeable straps: a black leather band on red rubber and red perforated rubber for a “sporty alternative,” and a travel case in Super Mario red.
“The TAG Heuer Connected is the perfect companion for a connected life and every active person’s best friend. With this Super Mario limited-edition smartwatch, they can add a bit of fun and originality to their activities,” said Arnault.
Available on July 15, this limited-edition run of 2,000 pieces will be for sale in selected TAG Heuer stores and on TAG’s website in select regions.