One of the weirdest, most unexpected watch collabs of the year arrived in October when TAG Heuer dropped a pair of Formula 1 chronographs dedicated to the world of Mario Kart. It wasn’t the first collaboration between the elite Swiss watchmaker and the classic Nintendo franchise (they’ve debuted a Mario-themed version of TAG’s Connected smartwatch in the past) but this release, fronted by a $25k chronograph complete with tiny Marios and Koopa shells racing around its tourbillon cage, took it to a whole new level of sophistication.
Not only did the TAG Heuer Formula 1 x Mario Kart reveal that the Venn diagram of watch collectors and Mario Kart fans boasts significant overlap, it showed that many would be happy to drop five-figure sums on a chronograph festooned with their favorite characters. But for anyone who missed out on that sold-out drop (or doesn’t fancy spending the price of a new Honda Accord on an accessory), there’s another Nintendo collab that will fill the Mario-shaped hole in your jewelry box: the G-Shock DW5600SMB-4.
Designed in concert with the creative geniuses at Nintendo, this collab brings together two titans of 1980s tech for the first time: the Casio G-Shock and the original Super Mario Bros. game. Launched in 1983 and 1985, respectively, both the G-Shock and Super Mario Bros. revolutionized their industries, and both brands are still at the top of their game nearly 40 years later. Based on the 1987 G-Shock 5600, whose classic boxy looks have aged like a vintage Bordeaux, the new G-Shock DW5600SMB-4 is decked out in the distinctive brown and red color palette of the original Goomba-stomping plumber. Other details, like the dial’s vintage video game font, a strap emblazoned with a pixelated Mario motif, and a backlight that reveals Mario frozen in mid-1-Up victory, are sure to appeal to anyone who remembers the days when 8-bit gaming was king.
Given the success of TAG Heuer and Nintendo’s first two outings together, you can bet that more Super Mario collabs are in the works. Likewise, you can expect other watchmakers to follow suit, snapping up classic 1980s gaming IP to incorporate into their timepieces. Until then, the new G-Shock x Super Mario Bros. offers everything the watch-loving gamer needs for $150— which will leave plenty of room in the budget for Seiko x Zelda, Timex x Donkey Kong, or whatever other must-have drops the brightest minds in watchmaking come up with in the new year.