The idea of several diverse personalities – be they brands or individuals–colliding to produce a single offering continues to fascinate today’s culture. So much so that the word- “watch collaborations” can be added to the new Gen Z dictionary. Be it the engineering field, Pop culture, food, or music, where difficulties & rewards are to be shared, collaborations come to the forefront- an insight with remarkable relevance to the world of timepieces.
Frequently, one of the ‘brands’ involved isn’t even a watchmaker but comes from sociocultural arenas such as sports or art. Horological culture has progressed beyond a simple mechanical understanding. These collaborations have helped expand the industry’s influence into various subgenres, allowing it to reach people who might have contemplated wearing watches earlier.
While we can see that these collaborations are here to stay and are picking ground, 2021 saw some remarkable collaborations in terms of design, aesthetics, brand identity, complications, appeal, and more.
We may not love them all but here are the top 7 watch collaborations that stirred up a storm in 2021. If you stick till the end of the article, we have a secret for you…
1. Zenith X Felipe Pantone
A true marvel for those who love art and bolder looks, this collaboration was a spectacular piece of wearable art. Pushing boundaries, yet again. Zenith and Felipe Pantone began working together in 2020 when the Manufacture offered the contemporary artist the façade of its building as a platform. Now, Felipe Pantone has recreated Zenith’s most sophisticated chronograph to date, the DEFY 21 Felipe Pantone, a vibrantly colored timepiece that is all about experimenting with frequencies – both physically and technically, as well as a nod to the El Primero calibre.
2. Audemars Piguet X Marvel
Any Marvel fans out there? Do you want to wear Black Panther’s innovative suit? Experience this dream through the Royal Oak Concept Black Panther Flying Tourbillon. A collaboration that caused a stir for various reasons in 2021. With a limited edition of 250 pieces devoted to the Black Panther world, Audemars Piguet paid respect to a new generation of powerful Marvel characters. This Royal Oak Concept pulsates with heightened power, rooted in ancestral craftsmanship, design experimentation, and futuristic technology.
3. MB&F X Bulgari: FlyingT Allegra
What happens when MB&F, a modern label, teams up with Bulgari, a traditionalist? Of course, magic is involved. Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra was the year’s most intriguing combination. The new FlyingT Allegra carves out its own niche among a galaxy of stars.
A flurry of beautiful gemstones surrounds the watch’s unique flying tourbillon movement, which is housed in a sapphire glass dome, instantly mesmerizing. It’s very Bulgari and very MB&F all at once. Bulgari has always been about ladies, first as a jeweller, then as a watchmaker, and no one celebrates beautiful gemstones as they do. It was only right for the FlyingT Allegra and the two households to collaborate on a high jewellery intricacy that combined their wits and strengths with ease.
4. TAG Heuer x Nintendo
In the realm of timepieces, comic books and superhero-inspired watches seem to be a constant trend. We’ve seen a plethora of options for grownups who are also superhero “nerds” throughout the years. If you were born in the 1980s, this partnership—the TAG Heuer Connected Super Mario limited-edition—should bring back some of your best memories. I was a great Super Mario (Nintendo) fan back in the day, so I was intrigued when I’d first heard about this connection.
The TAG Heuer Connected was a fun new way to get more active and feel the thrill of accomplishing goals throughout the day, thanks to this collaboration. This brand-new digital invention, which combined luxury and sport with amusing features along the road, seeks to motivate you to get out and about with Mario, rewarding you with the joy and satisfaction of tracking your progress.
5. Seiko x Rowing Blazers
The connection with Seiko and Rowing Blazers began in 2017 when the company’s creator, Jack Carlson, was introduced to the brand by a longtime acquaintance. Rowing Blazers arrived at a new medium in wristwatches after cooperation with Sperry, the NBA, and even a fake elephant. While this was the brand’s first watch partnership, there is a case to be made that Rowing Blazers HQ has an underlying passion for wristwear.
A genuine timepiece that gives the impression of being well-loved and frequently worn. In a less subtle nod, the online store stocks some of the most colourful watch straps available. Not to mention that the brand curates a collection of vintage watches that are, for the most part, affordable.
6. Timex X Coca-Cola Unity Collection 1971
When you hear “I’d Like To Buy the World A Coke,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? In front of your eyes, the classic Coca-Cola Hilltop commercial from 1971 comes to life. What if you could feel the same way by wearing a watch?
Timex and Coca-Cola teamed up for an unforgettable launch of their limited-edition watches, the Timex Standard, Q Timex, and Timex T80, respectively. This legendary drop combined brilliant colours and timeless iconography to bring the cry of tolerance and hope together. It also emphasised America’s ingenuity, which they wanted Indian consumers to empathise with.
7. Louis Erard X Secondeseconde
Are you daring, provocative, or rebellious? No! Perhaps a touch discordant, but undoubtedly spontaneous. Romaric André, often known as seconde/seconde/, loves adjectives that are less overused.
We observed great collab with Le Régulateur Louis Erard this time. The internet took its place at the heart of the mechanism, with the dreaded “404 Error” reinterpreted as a minute hand. It’s almost as if a taboo had been lifted in the world of fine watchmaking: the internet took its place at the heart of the mechanism, with the dreaded “404 Error” reinterpreted as a minute hand. This came as no surprise to those who had been following Louis Erard’s recent shift toward a mechanical triptych, artistic crafts, and collaborations.
The watch was produced in a limited edition of 178 pieces, a figure that represents how we are always stronger when we work together. With seconde/seconde/, Louis Erard has reactivated its famed regulator and given carte blanche to the rising star of ultimate personalisation.
And with this, we know watch collaborations are here to stay. We’re living in the century of collabs; some unique, some ground-breaking. And as we promised, here’s the little secret we wish to reveal. A list of watch collaborations that could work!!
- An MB&F x Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
- A Konstantin Chaykin x Hublot Big Bang
- A Kari Voutilainen x Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921
- A Jacob & Co. x Transformer Astronomnia
- A Sarpaneva x Lego collaboration
Brands and Manufactures- can you feel the excitement? Well, these are just some watch collaborations we hope to witness. What do you think?