From supercar marques to top athletes and graffiti artists, the names that luxury watch brands collaborate with reflect the cultural milieu of the time. In recent years, gaming and e-sports have provided fertile ground for horological partnerships.
In February, Swiss-Italian watch company Panerai and homegrown gaming brand Razer stepped out together in a pop-up that ran for three weeks outside Ion Orchard. Their partnership began in late 2021 when they joined forces to support non-profit environmental organisation Conservation International.
That year also saw Frederique Constant and Hamilton partnering video games Tennis Manager and Far Cry 6, respectively. Additionally, last year, Tag Heuer unveiled a $36,000 tourbillon watch featuring Mario Kart characters racing around the tourbillon cage. Even though some might question the link between the two worlds, it makes sense for luxury brands to tap into e-sports. According to market research firm Statista, there are more than 3.24 billion gamers worldwide, with the average age being 35. That’s a lot of potential watch buyers.
However, in an interview with The Peak, Panerai and Razer CEOs, Jean-Marc Pontroue and Tan Min-Liang both insist product sales are not the priority in their partnership.
Related: Tan Min-Liang: The gaming guru who is Singapore’s tech extraordinaire