This week, Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer added to its popular smartwatch series while also introducing its latest brand partnership. The new Connected x Super Mario is TAG Heuer’s first collaboration with Nintendo, creator of the iconic, eponymous video game character, and the watch at its core represents a playful gamified take on TAG’s flagship “smart” timepiece. As the Connected models are most often used for exercise, the Super Mario character — most often depicted running and jumping his way to rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of the evil Bowser— seems a natural fit for accomplishing the watchmaker’s gamification goals.
As far as its case is concerned, the watch retains the familiar design cues of its predecessors: specifically, it draws its silhouette from that of TAG Heuer’s standard mechanical Carrera, 45 mm in diameter by 13.5 mm thick in steel, with sharply faceted angles, extended lugs, and a black ceramic bezel contrasting its otherwise metallic look. A closer inspection reveals the watch’s unique colorway, its red accents derived from the “Super Mario” designation, as well as the Mario-signature iconography on the lacquered bezel, with a mushroom, pipe, and star occupying three of the four quarter-hour positions.
Functionality, the Connected x Super Mario offers essentially the same features as previous iterations of the Connected, including an interactive display, a full day’s worth of battery life, quick charging, and various sensors including a heart rate monitor, compass, accelerometer, and other metrics, as well as recorded activities. These sensors in combination with smartphone connectivity help provide data for the watch’s various apps and options which ensure the wearer is living the most digitally connected life possible.
Unique to this version of the Connected Watch, of course, is the signature red-and-blue Super Mario skin, which offers a playful cool factor while also adding some additional gamification to the watch: throughout the day, Super Mario will come to life on the watch’s display as the wearer achieves his or her various activity goals — from an animated tip of the cap when the Connected is placed on the wrist to the character’s famous slide down the flagpole when 100 percent of a goal is reached.
The fact that Super Mario was chosen over other popular Nintendo characters, like Pokémon’s Pikachu, for this collaborative piece is likely a clue to the watch’s core audience of prospective consumers. Whereas Mario first appeared in 1985, and is recognizable and appreciated across most age ranges, Pokémon did not see its introduction until 1998, with its fanbase likely somewhat younger — and by extension, less likely to afford a $2,000-plus luxury smartwatch.
The Super Mario watch face will be pre-installed on the limited-edition Connected x Super Mario watches; TAG Heuer has indicated that the digital interface will also become available on regular production Connected models at a later stage. The watch will be limited to 2,000 pieces, priced at $2,150, and available for purchase beginning today, July 15, 2021.
To learn more, visit TAG Heuer, here.