Your favorite video game plumber will soon be available on a Wear OS watch. Tag Heuer announced today that it's collaborating with Nintendo to make a Super Mario edition of its Connected smartwatch, featuring "the intrepid, iconic hero" in various watch faces and animations. It'll be available July 15th for $2,150, which is in line with how much the Connected series has cost in the past. One of the highlights here, though, is the company's use of Mario's appearances to encourage wearers to get active and reward them when they move.
According to Tag Heuer, Mario's "upbeat and active personality will encourage wearers of this smartwatch to enjoy moving too." But it's not just about being inspired by simply seeing his face on your wrist. The watch's dial will become "livelier and more animated the more the wearer is active." There's also a "gamification rewards system" at play. Mario will greet you with a salute each morning, and as you move about, you'll get different animations as you hit 25, 50, 75 and 100 percent of your steps target. These animations feature familiar items from the Mario universe, like the Super Mushroom, Pipe, Super Star and Goal Pole. The company says this idea was inspired by the notion of "easter eggs," so I suppose you're supposed to treat these animations as such.
Even when you're not being active, the Tag Heuer Connected Super Mario edition's interface will remind you of the character. You can choose from a selection of four new watch faces, and they don't just offer red-and-blue themes. The Timekeeping dial, for example, uses "retro elements from the 1985 version of Super Mario Bros. with Mario, all in pixels." One of the designs features Mario's cap, while another takes elements of the game and puts them in a rotating animation.
In addition to onscreen graphics, the watch itself has Super Mario touches. Push buttons, crown logo and bezel graduation now come in Super Mario red, and you'll find symbols etched into the bezel that reflect the in-game objects you'll see when you hit your steps goals, too. A letter M is engraved on strap buckles and the crown, while the words "TAG Heuer x Super Mario Limited Edition" are also carved into the back of the watch. The company is also offering two interchangeable straps for the new watch: a black leather band on red rubber and a "sporty alternative in matching red perforated rubber," as well as a travel case in — what else — Super Mario red.
Those hardware touches are pretty important since even though the Mario faces and skins will be available first on this limited edition of the Connected watch, Tag Heuer said it "is also considering making it available on other editions of TAG Heuer Connected at a later stage."
Since this is a Wear OS device (Tag Heuer hasn't responded to Engadget's query on whether this is the existing OS or if it will update to the version co-engineered by Samsung and Google), the rest of the watch's functions will feel familiar. You can access Google Assistant, get your calendar and weather updates, along with Fit progress tracking on the watch. It'll also offer the company's own Sport, Golf and Wellness apps for better fitness tools.
The Super Mario version of Connected has a 45mm face and weighs 86 grams (0.18 pounds) with a rubber strap. It's water resistant up to 5ATM, and Tag Heuer promises its 430mAh battery can last a full day.
Tag Heuer is only making 2,000 of these watches, which will be available in selected boutiques and at its website in some regions, from 15th July 2021. At $2,150, the special edition costs more than its non-Mario counterparts, which start at $1,800, but if you're that hardcore of a fan, you might be convinced to fork over the cash.