Those who have followed Nintendo with any frequency over the years know that the gaming giant tends to be extremely protective of its IP. In the end, it’s probably for the best that the market hasn’t been inundated with cheap Mario trinkets as it could easily have been.
In recent years, however, the company has apparently relaxed its approach, more readily embracing brand partnerships in ways it has avoided in the past. Heck, we even got a bunch of mobile games and a theme park out of the deal.
Today, it ends one of the most surprising brand partnerships in recent memory, in a deal with Swiss watch company TAG Heuer, which makes very beautiful – and extremely expensive – watches. The “long-term collaboration” kicks off with a limited edition Mario smartwatch (2,000 units) that will set you back $ 2,150.
Obviously, there’s a bit of a lag between the price of the TAG Heuer Connected and the kind of accessibility the company offers with hardware like the Switch. In fact, you can buy six of the new high-end OLED switches for the price of a single Mario-branded smartwatch – or, for that matter, five Apple Watch Series 6s.
I’ll give this to her – it’s a pretty sweet watch. And, given the barrier of entry, there’s a good chance you’re the only person you know who owns one (forget for a moment that unlike expensive analog watches, smartwatches aren’t built to last. eternally). The hook here are little Mario animations that appear throughout the day as you hit your step count and complete other goals. It’s fun and something that would work great on a kids’ fitness watch (for, imagine, a fraction of the price).
The watch is, in fact, a redesigned version of the TAG Heuer Connected, a $ 2,000 Wear OS device launched last April. The timepiece received high marks for design quality – as you would expect from the company. This version adds touches like a Mario “M” on the dial, red accents throughout, and a matching red rubber strap (with a black leather version).
The case measures 45mm in diameter and the watch is equipped with a 430mAh battery which the company says should give you six to 20 hours of battery life, depending on usage. This is in part due to the inclusion of GPS and a heart rate monitor.
It is available from July 15th.