Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
Last April, watchmaker TAG Heuer debuted a collaboration with BMC Racing and 31-year-old artist Alec Andon (aka Alec Monopoloy), the watch company’s newest brand ambassador and “Art Provocateur.” At a celebratory event in Los Angeles, specially designed racing jerseys for the North American tour were seen, with the artist’s signature spray-paint drips as the primary design. New for the brand, as well, was the Connected Modular 45 watch.
“It is the best collaboration I’ve had yet because it’s a true fit,” said Alec Monopoly at the unveiling at Galerie Montaigne. “I’m reaching a lot of the millennials, and they’re definitely in the range to buy TAG Heuers, so it’s amazing.”
Whitewall was there to get a first look at the new jerseys, sport the Connected Modular 45, and hear from the brand’s President of North America, Kilian Muller, about the “#Don’tCrackUnderPressure” spirit of TAG Heuer.
WHITEWALL: Tell us a bit about partnering with artists, such as Alec Monopoly. How do these types of partnerships come to fruition?
KILIAN MULLER: We are building the brand universe around four pillars: sports, art & music, lifestyle, and heritage. Alec is an art provocateur and embodies the #Don’tCrackUnderPressure spirit of TAG Heuer. We wanted to work with Alec because his artwork brings a fresh and disruptive perspective to the world of art. He pushes boundaries and challenges rules, the concepts of which are ingrained in TAG Heuer’s DNA. We work with Alec as brand ambassador and he is featured in one of the advertising campaigns, however, he has truly become part of the TAG Heuer family. He visited our headquarters in Switzerland to learn about the art of watchmaking and worked with our designers on packaging, watch dials and boutique visuals.
WW: Can you tell us a bit about TAG Heuer’s presence in North America?
KM: TAG Heuer North America is the biggest TAG Heuer subsidiary in the world. TAG Heuer has an incredible history in the U.S., as Jack Heuer opened his first international office in New York back in the seventies. This heritage is a big responsibility and I am honored to be entrusted to continue his legacy here in the U.S.
WW: What are some of your favorite features of the Connected Modular 45?
KM: One of my favorite features of the Connected Modular 45 is that it looks like a watch instead of a device, which is a result of the materials used in its construction and the attention to the smallest of details. The Connected Modular 45 offers all of the technological functions of a smartwatch; however, the ingenuity of the piece is that it is modular.
Each owner can change the strap, the lugs, and the buckle to get the perfect watch for every occasion—whether it’s a steel bracelet for work or a rubber strap for the weekend or diamond lugs for a very special party. You can even replace the Connected module with a mechanical module or a Tourbillion module, which was our way of connecting TAG Heuer’s historic watchmaking expertise with the future of smartwatches and thereby connecting this timepiece to eternity.
WW: What is the brand most inspired by?
KM: TAG Heuer has historically been associated with sports, motor racing in particular. We continue to emphasize our identity as a luxury sports brand through partnerships such as being the title sponsor of the Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer Formula 1 Team and the Official Timekeeper of the IndyCar Series.
Art is a new world for us, however, we believe these different universes are more closely linked than one might imagine. TAG Heuer is inspired by the avante-garde and pushing boundaries, a concept which is universal and not limited to art or sports. We are inspired by those who surpass themselves, whether it is Alec Monopoly designing a watch dial for Tom Brady winning his fifth Super Bowl.
We love to create surprise by challenging preconceived notions within our different universes. Alec Monopoly designed the jersey of the Best Young Rider, an award which is bestowed on the best rookie each day, which became the perfect intersection of art and sports.