December 9, 2022

I admit I was a Sega kid. Only later did I purchase a Nintendo and realize that I had missed some great classics. Mario Kart is one of the later-discovered titles that I loved best — and I still do. Now that I have a Nintendo Switch in the house, I find myself playing Mario Kart with my daughter on rainy autumn days. It’s a great game, especially with two players, and it’s always a lot of fun.

TAG Heuer x Mario Kart

According to TAG Heuer, the Connected x Super Mario LE they introduced was such a must-have among fans they decided to do two more limited editions with Nintendo’s plumber. One is a Formula 1 Chronograph, and the other is a Chronograph with a Tourbillon.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 x Mario Kart Chronograph

The TAG Heuer Formula 1 x Mario Kart Chronograph is powered by caliber 16 (based on ETA’s 7750 or Sellita’s SW500) and is limited to just 3000 pieces. The 44mm case is made of stainless steel, and on the case back, you will find an engraving of the Mario Kart logo. The carbon-look dial has the classic caliber 7750 layout, with subdials at 12, 6, and 9 o’clock. You’ll find Mario Kart in the 9 o’clock subdial on the dial, and — how fun! — the date aperture will regularly show the Mario Kart items instead of the date.

The crown has the red “M” engraved, reminding you of the little plumber. The price of this watch will be €4,150 ($4,300). The Mario Kart Chronograph is water-resistant to 200 meters.

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TAG Heuer Formula 1 × Mario Kart Chronograph Tourbillon

Then, there’s the TAG Heuer Formula 1 x Mario Kart Chronograph Tourbillon, which is limited to 250 pieces. The hardcore Mario Kart fans that want to own one of these will need to shell out €24,750 ($25,600). Its 45mm case is made of grade 5 titanium, and the sapphire case back will show the Heuer 02T movement. Additionally, the sapphire crystal on the back has been laser engraved with the Mario Kart logo. Pretty awesome! The movement offers not only a chronograph and a tourbillon; it has also been chronometer-certified by COSC.

The dial is skeletonized, giving you a nice view of the Heuer 02T movement. At 6 o’clock, you will see the tourbillon case, showing Mario in his kart, a Spiny Shell, and Bullet Bill. The Mario Kart Chronograph Tourbillion is water resistant to 100 meters. Both watches will become available this month (October 2022).

Now, I understand that using Mario Kart is fun on a watch. Even when a watch has a substantial price tag, there’s still room to use a video game character or comic in a watch; to each his or her own. Remember that this has been done for decades, as Ingersoll and Mickey Mouse go back to the 1950s.

F1 Champion Max Verstappen and TAG Heuer

What I don’t quite understand is why TAG Heuer chooses to go Mario Kart rather than their most prominent wearer today: Max Verstappen. Two-time F1 World Champion, who wears a TAG Heuer every race weekend. In the past, there have been TAG Heuer Formula 1 watches dedicated to Max Verstappen, and earlier this year, they released a Formula 1 Red Bull watch. But there’s no TAG Heuer dedicated to Max Verstappen since he got his first championship. And this year, 2022, they could have seen it coming even at an early stage, but all we got was a post from TAG Heuer on Instagram.

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Unless I am mistaken, I’ve seen a message from IWC’s PR department every time Lewis Hamilton did something cool or won something important. Why don’t you see any cool stuff with Max Verstappen from TAG Heuer? I know Lex already made the point, but this latest release made me want to insist, that TAG Heuer should create a signature piece for the Formula 1 champion.

Senna’s TAG Heuer watch

Don’t waste the opportunity!

Rumour is that Max Verstappen doesn’t want to commit to a TAG Heuer watch without compensation, or at least has a certain number in mind that TAG Heuer is not willing to pay. On private occasions, Max Verstappen can be seen wearing a gold Rolex Daytona on a rubber strap or even an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. TAG Heuer has been tremendous in F1, and even though Rolex is one of the main sponsors, TAG Heuer, and the brand’s iconic logo, will forever be connected to Formula 1. Not in the last place because they had long-time sponsorships with some of the best teams and drivers, not in the last place Ayrton Senna.

The TAG Heuer Formula 1 watches for Max Verstappen (one showing his former car nr. 33 on the dial) were before his time as a World Champion. And although there’s still time to celebrate his 2nd World Champion title with a TAG Heuer watch, it’s just a missed opportunity they didn’t put out a watch for his first title.

Come on, TAG Heuer, you can make it happen!