Watch this: The Kingsman and Mr Porter Tag Heuer timepiece
A look at the latest collaboration to hit the smartwatch world, ahead of the new instalment of Mathew Vaughn's spy movie series
There's no shortage of timepieces featuring on the big screen – so much so that there are entire websites dedicated to such watch-spotting. However, few sartorial partnerships occur as naturally as that of the Kingsman. The critically-acclaimed movie enterprise directed by Matthew Vaughn, which follows the high-octane pursuits of a secret spy organisation, first hit UK screens in 2015. Yet for fans of the main characters' quintessentially British and gentlemanly style, its tie-in with luxury e-commerce website Mr Porter was just as big a draw, allowing them to recreate the wardrobe with a bespoke collection.
'We launched the Kingsman brand in January 2015 when the first film came out,’ said Toby Bateman, managing director of Mr Porter, ‘but we started the conversation with Matthew in 2014 when the film was being made. And that's been the fundamental difference, the innovation behind this project from a merchandising point of view and a retail perspective. We collaborated directly with Arianne Phillips, who was the costume designer in the first movie and the second, right at the beginning, talking about single-breasted versus double-breasted. We're in a sixth season now, and the movie collection, which will launch in September, will be the seventh.'
As the sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, gears up for its UK release on 29 September, attention has once again turned to the on-screen fashion choices. The first partnership to be revealed is with Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer, which has created a special edition of its Connected Modular smartwatch for the occasion. Far from being a mere accessory, the timepiece itself plays a starring role in the film, with features that reach far beyond just telling the time, making the choice of watch all the more important.
'A lot of movies have chased the buck too much and put various watches, cars, into films for the money, but not for it being correct,' explained director Matthew Vaughn. 'This watch does so much in the film that I thought a mechanical watch would look stupid doing it. It has to hack into computers, control other technology and it needed to be a truly smart watch.'
The Kingsman Special Edition will reflect the aesthetic adopted by the agents, incorporating rose gold lugs and a leather strap featuring the Kingsman print, as well as a second option in orange velvet inspired by the smoking jacket worn in the film by Taron Egerton. There are also a number of functional additions too; at 10:10 the dial vibrates for ten seconds while a K-shaped motif appears on the screen, meanwhile the original Android Wear lighting function has been replaced by the film's logo on the dial.
'The watches are a very important element of [the film]. It was Matthew's idea initially to make the watch more of a gadget in the second movie, and connected watches are a thing that is here to stay. Tag Heuer have been tremendously successful with this one, and that is testament to the fact that guys want a connected watch, they want the functionality, but men particularly like specialists of things, whether it's shoes made by George Cleverley or shirts made by Turnbull and Asser,' said Bateman. 'And it's no different when it comes to watches, and connected watches. It's that genuine Swiss manufacture that’s behind the connected watch that has made this watch so successful, so to be able to raise the bar on this watch for the Kingsman collection, to add the rose gold lugs and make it even more prestigious, is a really exciting thing to be able to do.'