Brand Associations are an institution that have stood the test of time. Over the years, the world has seen sports stars lend their names to footwear and fashion houses, music sensations tie-up with make-up and accessory brands, and even actors working with food products.
In the rarified area of luxury watches too, brand associations and collaborations between watchmakers and icons from diverse fields have existed for many years, resulting in an explosion of creativity and the birth of many iconic timepieces.
Here are some of our favourite brand associations entered into by luxury watch brands in recent times, and the watches that bear their name.
Baume & Mercier x Indian Motorcycles
Spirit of a Legend
Indian Motorcycles, America’s oldest motorcycle company announced their association with Swiss luxury watch brand Baume & Mercier in August 2017 with the launch of some exclusive timepieces that capture the rich heritage and pioneering spirit of both companies.
The similarities between Indian and Baume & Mercier go back to their founding. Both companies were founded by a pair of visionary gentlemen, the Baume brothers in the case of the Swiss maison, and George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom who founded Indian Motorcycles in 1901.
The mark their association, Baume & Mercier and Indian Motorcycles chose to pay tribute to another legend, Burt Munro, the multi-record breaking motorcyclist who raced around the world on his Indian Scout motorcycle. In 1967, Burt Munro set the 1000cc class record that still stands today, and the Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Indian Burt Munro Tribute is a fitting homage to the man. The 44mm watch is a limited edition of 1967 pieces, to honour the year in which Munro set his record, and displays his lucky number 35 on the dial face.
Roger Dubuis x Lamborghini
In 2017, Manufacture Roger Dubuis joined forces with another outstanding innovator, Lamborghini Squadra Corse in a meeting of minds dedicated to breaking boundaries and excellent performance.
In a testament to the technical prowess shown by both Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the new Excalibur Adventador S Blue and Excalibur Adventador S Pink Gold were launched in time for the legendary Super Trofeo Championship 2018 sponsored in large part by Roger Dubuis.
Both versions of this complex timepiece feature the RD103SQ movement and are crafted from the same C-SMC carbon used on the Lamborghini cars themselves. Inspired by the placement of the Lamborghini engines, the longitudinal angle of which greatly enhances the performance of the cars, the double balance wheel of the Adventador S is similarly placed.
The Adventador S Blue is limited to 88 pieces and has a black rubber strap with Neptune blue inlay and red stitching. The strap is easily interchangeable and there is also blue rubber over-moulding on the case and crown, and blue markings on the bezel.
The 28-piece limited edition Pink Gold Adventador S has a black rubber strap with black Alcantara inlay and gold stitching to match the warm-toned pink gold case.
These timepieces demonstrate the unparalleled skill of the Roger Dubuis Manufacture, a trait shared by Lamborghini, marking a powerful high-speed and high-tech partnership.
Romain Jerome x Spider-Man
What happens when a watchmaker known for unimaginable innovation joins forces with one of the world’s most popular superheroes? The Romain Jerome and Spider-Man RJ x Spider-Man watch has a few superpowers of its own.
The round 48mm black steel case houses an entirely skeletonized movement designed by Romain Jerome. The watch has a red Spider-man logo applique in the centre of the dial and the iconic Spider-Man web design on the sapphire crystal glass.
The 75-piece limited edition timepiece displays the hours and minutes and has a black rubber strap with a black steel folding clasp. With its transparent look and dedication to an age-old iconic character, the RJ X Spider-Man Watch is a true collector’s item for fans of Marvel comics, superheroes and of course, Spider-Man himself, reminding the wearer that it only takes a moment to unleash your inner superhero!
Richard Mille x Polo
Polo is a sport where players are subjected to extreme shocks and grueling physical conditions, while still maintaining the synergy between man and his horse. Paying tribute to this gentleman’s sport, watchmaker par excellence Richard Mille has created an elegant timepiece able to withstand shocks of up to 5000Gs.
The uniqueness of the RM 53-01 Tourbillon, in collaboration with Pablo Mac Donough, one of the world’s greatest polo players and the sport of Polo itself, lies creation of a delicate tourbillon in a practically unbreakable watch. This feat was achieved using a cable-suspended movement and grade 5 titanium.
Employing outstanding innovation, Richard Mille, worked with world renowned sapphire specialists, to create a laminated glass, with two sheets of sapphire glass separated by a thin film, an horological first. This patented glass will shatter, but not break even if struck directly with a mallet.
Carbon-TPT and the blue rubber strap of the RM 53-01 add to the sporty look of the watch, limited to just 30 pieces, which collectors and fans of polo will be keen to get their hands on.
Tag Heuer x Aston Martin
The Essence of Racing
Tag Heuer and Aston Martin came together last week in Geneva to announce that the Swiss brand will now be the Official Partner, Official Watch Partner and Official Connected Watch Partner of Aston Martin and Aston Martin Racing.
In honour of the occasion, Tag Heuer presented two watches, which both demonstrate the same creativity and design aesthetic of Aston Martin’s iconic sports cars.
Tag Heuer’s illustrious in-house manufacture movement, the Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 gets an even more luxurious upgrade in this new model chronograph. The movement is visible through the skeletonized dial which features the hexagonal pattern, a detail from the new Aston Martin Vantage, making it an Aston Martin exclusive.
The Formula 1 Aston Martin prominently displays Aston Martin Racing’s signature lime green colour on its indexes, seconds hand and the Aston Martin winged logo which sits on the dial at 6 o’clock. The bright green stands out against the black dial, creating a striking contrast. The lime colour is also used in the top-stitching of the black leather strap, making this chronograph a must have for a fan of Aston Martin and it’s proud racing heritage.
With not one, but two magnificent offerings, and a partnership borne from excellence, Tag Heuer is all set to make an even greater mark in both, the horological and racing arenas.
Each of these brand associations between some of the world’s best watchmakers and those at the very top of their own fields have resulted in a series of watches that represent the very best in creativity, design, technology and functionality. We can’t wait to see what other masterpieces come from each of these partnerships in the future.