TAG Heuer Gets ‘Tagged’ In Partnership With Graffiti Artist Alec Monopoly

TAG Heuer Gets ‘Tagged’ In Partnership With Graffiti Artist Alec Monopoly
TAG Heuer Gets 'Tagged' In Partnership With Graffiti Artist Alec Monopoly Shows & Events
The newest painting by TAG Heuer ambassador Alec Monopoly depicts brand president Jean Claude Biver.

TAG Heuer’s headquarters during Art Basel Miami 2016 was the Mondrian Hotel, where the company announced its new partnership with graffiti artist Alec Monopoly. The artist painted a huge mural on the side of the hotel, exhibited several works in the TAG Heuer lounge, and unveiled a new painting – a portrait of brand president Jean-Claude Biver. But the partnership is more than just a publicity program for the duration of Art Basel Miami, and it involves more than just requiring the artist to wear a TAG Heuer watch. Alec Monopoly’s new job is to achieve nothing short of transforming the brand culture of TAG Heuer.

TAG Heuer Gets 'Tagged' In Partnership With Graffiti Artist Alec Monopoly Shows & Events

TAG Heuer Gets 'Tagged' In Partnership With Graffiti Artist Alec Monopoly Shows & Events
Graffiti artist Alec Monopoly will appear in TAG Heuer ads and will paint several works to appear in the TAG Heuer boutiques.

Over the next 10 years, Alec Monopoly will create 20 or 30 paintings a year for TAG Heuer, to be hung in the boutiques worldwide. He will also design POS material, billboards, and other marketing materials. For starters, he “tagged” the TAG Heuer boutique in Miami’s design district, with new paintings unveiled during a reception on November 29. To commemorate the occasion, Biver presented Monopoly with a gift: a TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-02T tourbillon chronograph watch (reviewed here), the only one fully set with diamonds. Biver has even set up a studio for Monopoly at TAG Heuer’s manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds, where he will create some of the paintings.

TAG Heuer Gets 'Tagged' In Partnership With Graffiti Artist Alec Monopoly Shows & Events

TAG Heuer Gets 'Tagged' In Partnership With Graffiti Artist Alec Monopoly Shows & Events

Monopoly will also attend events with the brand and host parties. And there may be a watch, but “the watch is not important,” says Jean-Claude Biver. “To design a watch collection is not the most important thing about this partnership. The most important thing is that Alec will be our art provocateur. He will bring his influence inside the company. He will infuse the culture of TAG Heuer. That is the real job. That’s more important than to make a watch.”

TAG Heuer Gets 'Tagged' In Partnership With Graffiti Artist Alec Monopoly Shows & Events

How did the 68-year-old Biver, a legendary watch executive who helped guide the industry through the quartz crisis of the 70s and now runs the successful watch division of LVMH, hook up with a millennial graffiti artist? Biver says it resulted from a conversation he had three years ago with his then 14-year-old son, Pierre. “I asked for his advice,” says Biver. “I said, how can I connect with the new generation, who are not my customers today? When they are 14 to 20 years old, and I’m 68, it’s impossible. I can connect with people my age or 10 years younger, but with the millennials, I have to learn: why do they buy the brands they do; why they spend so much money on sneakers, why do they have tattoos? So I asked my son.

TAG Heuer Gets 'Tagged' In Partnership With Graffiti Artist Alec Monopoly Shows & Events
TAG Heuer's gift to Alec Monopoly, a Carrera Heuer-02T tourbillon chronograph watch set with diamonds.

“Pierre said two things. He told me I should work with Cara Delevingne and that I should work with Alec Monopoly. Cara was, for me, not very difficult to understand because I saw some ads with her and Kate Moss for Burberry. So I got in touch with her, and we made this contract two years ago.” (Delevingne is now a TAG Heuer ambassador and appears in the brand’s ads.) “But with Alec Monopoly, I could not really find any information about him because he was not in the press, and I didn’t see him in any ads,” says Biver. His son connected him to Monopoly’s Instagram address, Biver became a follower, then a fan, and eventually approached him to buy some of his work. “The more I went on Instagram, the more I saw that he had a lot of influence on this younger generation – and I started to like his art,” he says, “I even bought a painting for my son, to thank him.”

TAG Heuer Gets 'Tagged' In Partnership With Graffiti Artist Alec Monopoly Shows & Events
Jean-Claude Biver shows me on his phone a picture of the paintings he bought from artist Alec Monopoly.

Monopoly, whose name is an alias, is famous for wearing a bandana on his face to protect his identity. “It’s part of graffiti culture to remain anonymous so you can continue painting,” says Monopoly, who points out that “tagging is not legal.” The artist has progressed beyond graffiti to paintings, which are exhibited in galleries in New York, his hometown, as well as Miami. Last week, he unveiled a new painting – a larger-than-life depiction of Jean-Claude Biver.

Like the personalities he paints, including Jack Nicolson and, of course, Mr. Biver, Monopoly’s work is colorful. It often depicts various iconic pop culture characters real and fictional, including the tuxedoed, monocle-and-top-hatted banker character of the Monopoly game, for which the artist is most famous.

TAG Heuer Gets 'Tagged' In Partnership With Graffiti Artist Alec Monopoly Shows & Events

“There are so many synergies between me and the TAG Heuer brand,” says the 30-year-old artist. “There is TAG Heuer and there is a graffiti tag, and the 'Don’t Crack Under Pressure' tag-line is very relevant to me. I’m always under pressure to finish paintings, get ready for a show. I was here until 5 a.m. prepping the canvases for this show. Also, when you’re a graffiti artist, you’re always on the lookout for the authorities. There’s so much pressure.” The artist has been caught several times, he says. When asked if he has ever been jailed, he answers, “Yes, but I can’t go into details. Anyway, now it’s all positive. People invite me to paint their buildings” – the Mondrian Hotel included. “Artists,” he says, “are the new superstars.” tagheuer.com

  • SuperStrapper

    An article containing Biver?

    COMMENCE THE HATING

    • I mix admiration with disgust when it comes to JCB – thank you very much, ha ha.

      • SuperStrapper

        I’ve never met the man, but I have no disgust. He has increased awareness and success for every brand he’s ever worked for or operated. As far as I can tell, the mouth breathers hate him because he doesn’t design watches just for them?

        Anyway, as I said I’ve never met him, so maybe in person he only speaks in profanities, racial slurs and cultural biases. But even then I wouldn’t pretend to be anything other than impressed with his ability to work this market forward.

        • I too am impressed with his abilities. However his bombastic rhetoric and stories I’ve heard of how he does business in private are another matter.

          • SuperStrapper

            Well, he might not make for a good friend then, but is bombastic rhetoric a reason to hate a person? 95% of the comments on this site are now qualified as bombastic.

            I don’t know anything about how he conducts business in private, and I don’t know who your sources are, but regardless it sounds like the accounts are third person, so I hope you take a few grains of salt.

          • I certainly don’t hate the man (like some appear to do here). But I’m not sure I want to have a beer with him either. BS is only entertaining for so long.

          • SuperStrapper

            Can’t argue that. I worked in international business development for almost 15 years: BS gets real old, real quick. No matter what language you hear it in.

  • “14 to 20 years old” Sure. I’m certain that’s a vital demographic for Swiss watches. I’m quite certain SWATCH has the teenager ugly watch market wrapped up for under $200.

  • Pœrtöle DuFèr

    And there, readers, is a fine illustration of prostitution in action.

    Alec Monopoly (presumably chosen because Peter Cluedo was taken) – was a rebel street sprayer, now a paid shill painter. Watch how Biver grins, now the old goat’s made the painter well and truly watertight.

  • Beefalope

    Where’s the “sponsored post” disclaimer?

  • simon

    I am sure the Marketing and Communications team at Tag Heuer HQ is loving this. Basically they are getting their direction from Bivers 14 year old son. How terrific for them.

  • Beefalope

    “The watch is not important.”

    This must be Tag’s new slogan.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    They are now going into things that are totally beyond me. Bad taste in my mouth.

  • WINKS

    Victory of the lowest common denominator.

  • Yojimbo

    of FML this baby should be aborted immediately

  • DanW94

    This silliness doesn’t appeal to my particular demographic, but he’s obviously doing something right;

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-06/tag-heuer-says-record-sales-possible-amid-industry-slump

    • Beefalope

      This is true. As watch fans, we make fun of Tag because it’s a joke brand not to be taken seriously. But as a business venture, it’s fine.

      If this were a stock website, we’d be singing Tag’s praises. Given that this is a watch website with watch fans, we call Tag what it is: horological crap.

    • ??????

      It is logical: what he now makes to TAG Heuer is obviously shocking, people are confused and interested at the same time (look at comments here), and it is better than being bored. But will it work for a long run? Who knows. JCB now ruins what was TAG Heuer of the last century and builds TAG Hueblot of the new century.

  • David west

    What do people expect from the mastermind of the Big Bang? The more gaudy Tag Heuer gets, the more expensive your vintage Heuer will become.

  • Shawn Lavigne

    the one eyed symbolism always puts me on edge. there’s something dark about this fella. no thanks.

  • Grumpy Cat

    This is another reason why Swiss watch exports continue to fall.

  • “Alec Monopoly’s new job is to achieve nothing short of transforming the brand culture of TAG Heuer.”

    Transforming. From a well-respected brand into something worn by thugs, chavs and vandals.

    • Beefalope

      That transformation took place a long time ago. Heuer was a well-respected brand, but TAG never has been. Even most people who wear TAG probably recognize they only do so until they get that promotion and spring for a Rolex.

      • Bill W

        TAG was started by a Saudi arms broker.

    • Bill W

      Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves…

  • ??????

    #DontSmokeCrackUnderPressureOrWhatever

  • ??????

    Again, after the super illegible monstrosity, I see his strategy as simply make TAG Heuer another Hublot. Hublot Jr if you like. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/119fe9354e74119ab88a37946712f182cd10d9d979e6c78f06a1baf08030e10f.jpg

    • Joel Schumann

      That was my thought. I guess that means his son established Hublot’s strategy when he was … about 8?

      • ??????

        His son was fond of rappers and NBA stars back then? Probably. I think JCB made full coverage of the most tasteful public right now. Gold chains, gold teeth, show-off illegible watches, wall tags – supercool stuff.

        • A while back during his Hublot days, JCB said that he intentionally tried to attract blacks as a market segment that was under-served (well, under-sold to). Hence the NBA and American football players as brand ambassadors. Racism aside (he referred to them as “the black” – like they were a monolithic thing), he must have thought it worked for Hublot and now it appears he is looking to attract urban youth for TAG through similar means. I’m not much of a fan of the man as a human being, but listening to his crap in person is great theater and there is no denying his numerous successes as a watch company executive.

          • ??????

            He is delicate like a bull in a china shop, but nevertheless he really found a huge niche that was vacant. Anyway, don’t know if JCB respects the customers at all, seems like he treats them well only in his multiple ads and collaborative promos.

          • Have not heard how he treats customers, so not comment from me on that.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      This watch obviously had/is an accident.

      • Bill W

        From the makers of BandLiners, may we present to you: WatchDiapers!

    • The Reclusive Boogur T. Wang
    • Shinytoys

      and you say that like it’s the second coming of the plague…

  • IanE

    JCB has obviously never come across the expression that tells one what to do when in a hole!

  • SwissMatic

    “Street Art” is so unbelievably lame. Trying to pretend graffiti is “hip” and “relevant” 30 years after the fact is just an old company grasping at young straws.

    • Beefalope

      Street art is hip and relevant — when it’s spontaneous and comes from the underground, not when it’s planned and used as a marketing tool.

      I have no idea whether this Alec Monopoly guy is a legitimate artist or not, and if he wants to collect gobs of money for this, more power to him. But he can’t have it both ways. When you become a corporate shill as an artist, that’s what you are.

      • G Street

        A pound shop Banksy, nothing more.

  • ??????

    “The watch is not important.”
    “I wanted a black watch that won’t let you read the time.”
    Both quotes of JCB clearly illustrate the state of today’s watch industry.

  • Tõnis Leissoo

    Put yourself into JCB’s shoes. You’ve seen them all (especially watches), you’ve tried everything, you feel you’re getting old and you need to be more connected with young people to stay alive and get their energy. Sound logical? But I’m afraid that the buyers will be other old guys in crisis like him not young people because youngsters simply don’t have enough money for TAG.

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    Well I never wanted to buy a Tag Hueur anyway.

  • Berndt Norten

    Who does this clown think he is? Nash the Slash?!

    • Sheez Gagoo

      Isn`t that the guy from dragonballZ?

      • Berndt Norten

        No he was a musician who played with the Canadian prog rock band ‘FM’. He toured wit Gary Numan and Iggy Pop among others

        • DanW94

          Riding to the gig In Cars, gather the band of stooges…

          • Berndt Norten

            You got it, Pontiac!

    • Bill W

      Steampunk Steamburn Victim

  • Marius

    So Alec Monopoly is a graffiti artist. An Art Provocateur. A disruptor of the establishment. A guy who was chased by the NYPD. Well, if he’s such a cool guy, then why does he hang out with a 68 year-old Swiss dude who looks like Tuthankamon before being mummified?

    That’s like Mickey Rourke hanging out with Martha Steward.
    That’s like ME hanging out with David Bredan (that’s the hairdresser with the Mazda Miata and those really cheap Nikes).
    That’s like Dennis Rodman hanging out with Prof. Stephen Hawking at the Jimmy`s nightclub in Monte Carlo, and picking up some escorts.
    That’s like Vladimir Putin asking Ariel Adams for horological advice.
    That’s like Paul McCartney asking John Mayer to teach him how to sing and compose songs.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      You know when an artist becomes uncool, when he “designs” stuff for Swiss watch brands. Like that crappy Kravitz Rolex. Or the tatoo guy with this Hublot. This guy has no more street credibility at all. Even I have more (arrested once, spent whole night at a Swiss Police Station. Had a very bad Picata for dinner before I tried to get out).

    • G Street

      You’re quickly becoming a guilty pleasure and I’m not sure how I feel about that!

  • Sheez Gagoo

    There are a ot of resentiments against JCB in the comments. You can argue about ugly Hublots or naughty Heuers but this guy is simply the best manager that Swiss watch industry has and his brands (exception Zenith) still grow. He was the only guy that anticipated the crisis early enough to reposition Heuer and reacted to the smart watch. Does anybody remember the time when Heuer strived upmarket an failed? I don`t say every Hublot or Heuer is a masterpiece, but this guy earns our respect, he achieved more than any other guy in the industry and a whole lot of Swatch Groups succes was due to him. The managers in the industry are probably the worst and most arrogant in history of mankind but this guy is none of them.

    • ??????

      Funny that I never liked what Hublot are making and where TAG Heuer started to move recently, but I have to agree with you – he must be an excellent manager since both brands aren’t drowning. And I’m fascinated by how active this guy is at his 68.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        68 is the new 48

      • Sheez Gagoo

        And so young at heart. But he looks like he`s already dead for years.

    • Beefalope

      I agree with your comment entirely with respect to his busines/marketing acumen.

      But that doesn’t mean that these watches should be taken seriously anymore. We don’t discuss Michael Kors or Fossil or Nixon or any other clown brand around here, and TAG clearly has jumped the shark into being a more expensive version of that trash.

      • Sheez Gagoo

        Yes indeed, a bit like a Transformer movie: Like somebody hammering with a spoon against a bucket over your head. Not boring but far away from pleasure.

      • Shinytoys

        interesting you would mention the above names, have you seen any of their fiscal reports on sales for 2016. They are doing extremely well, and that’s being modest. Never forget where your bread and butter come from. That’s a big piece of change right there.

    • Yeah, you don’t have to like him in order to respect his results (financial ones that is).

      • Berndt Norten

        He seems like a smart bon vivant. I could see myself knocking back a few bottles with him. He’s been around the block and is reportedly quite the raconteur. Plus he has a nice collection of Pateks. Everyone has their price and he has chosen a certain path but he’s more complex and urbane than many people realize.

        • I’m sure that would be entertaining (listening to JCB tell tales). I just would hesitate to repeat anything he said as the gospel truth given his penchant for hyperbole.

          • Berndt Norten

            I hear you

    • The Reclusive Boogur T. Wang

      On that “other” site I viewed an interview with him in his home. He does have a “likeabiity” factor going for him. And his knowledge and devotion to the watch industry is deep.
      IMO, all this “rad” stuff is just good fun – Why Not?

      Agree about the management arrogance.

      • Sheez Gagoo

        And he has cheese. Good cheese. I love cheese. I want his cheese more than his watches.

        • Very true, me too about wanting the cheese more than the watches.

        • The Reclusive Boogur T. Wang

          And I did like his (?) choice of dogs. They seemed very content.

          • Berndt Norten

            Maybe he feeds them the Royale. With cheese!

      • He is charismatic for sure. But when you stop to think about what he said (full of enthusiasm and smiles) you say to yourself, “wait that’s a lot of BS and marketing hype”.

    • Shinytoys

      Balls out Correct…The man is a visionary and a marketing wizard. Don’t take my word for it, history doesn’t lie and tells the accurate story.

  • Bill W

    Allow me one analogy: If your church needs a rock band to make sure young parishioners attend then maybe those young parishioners don’t really care about Jesus.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      Right on the other side of the street I live is one of this fancy churches, it`s named ICF. I once had the pleasure to enjoy christian techno. It goes: Nz nz nz nz Jeesuus nz nz nz nz Jeesuus. I don`t know if any of them care about Jeesuus but they occupy my parking spot.

    • Berndt Norten

      Maybe they’re narcissists seeking their own. Personal Jesus. Or perhaps their own private Idaho??

    • SuperStrapper

      So, he should stop being successful selling the stuff he knows the most about and switch over to other stuff he knows nothing about?

      His Church doesn’t need a rock band to attract parishioners, young or old. But maybe collaborating with a rock band once in a while is just fun? Should we vilify him (or anyone for that matter) for trying something different?

      • Bill W

        Yes. 🙂

        • Sheez Gagoo

          This is Swatch Groups job. Making an obscure car battery.

    • I’d bet JCB would be good at marketing anything he tried.

  • The Reclusive Boogur T. Wang

    A very late ‘mid-life’ crisis?

    • Bill W

      He’s planning on living until 141 so it’s right on schedule.

  • Bill W

    Alec Monopoly & Avec Fromagerie, the power duo for 2017 and beyond…

  • commentator bob

    “He will also design POS material. . .” Indeed.

  • commentator bob

    Fitting that the man famous for selling AP Royal Oak knock-offs (Hublots) would find himself a Banksy knock-off.

    Given how much Biver whines about IP (despite running lines that only sell because they knock-off AP (Hublot) and Rolex (Tag Heuer)), I am sure he must have permission from Hasbro for all the poorly rendered uses of its IP in this campaign.

  • Pœrtöle DuFèr

    Monopoly, whose name is an alias

    Really?

    I can exclusively reveal that his real name is Twatty McTwatface and that his mommy washes and irons all his bandanas.

  • commentator bob

    So apparently Alec Monopoly’s real name is Alexander / Alec Andon.

    He has been accused of stealing art:

    Here is his face for anyone that cares:

    • Beefalope

      Excellent. They hired a second-rate graffiti entrepreneur (he’s not an artist) to represent a third-rate fashion watch brand.

      • commentator bob

        The old chronographs and some of the re-editions are cool, but the company is only still in business from the quartz Submariners knock-offs it sold through the ’80s and ’90s. And working with this fake artist that pretends to be running from the police when his real identity can be found on Google in 2 minutes is not going to help change that image.

  • Andrew Hughes

    the bandanna bandit persona and diamond encrusted TAG is a bit silly, but I like the artist’s portrait of Mr. Biver. I think it’s cool that a watch company is not being stuffy and having fun. Too much prevention in the watch world already.

  • cg

    Graffiti ripoff artist is what he is… TH marketing is circling the bowl and I hear the distinct sound of flushing.
    “He will infuse the culture of TAG Heuer. That is the real job. That’s more important than to make a watch.” OK Tag just stop making watches! The watch industry is a collection of hit or miss idiots! They just don’t get it…. millennials don’t wear watches anymore, they look at their phones! Tag’s market research dept was just fired and replaced with his 17 year old son… Somebody call Hasbro let them know about the copyright infringement.

  • Shinytoys

    well, if it improves Heuer’s market share and makes the world pay more attention to the brand, I suppose it’s ok. Something that’s nagging at me, the money for a tag artist could have been better spent somewhere else…

  • Berndt Norten

    I have a theory. Alex Monopoly is Shia LeBoeuf. The thespian himself

    • Bill W

      I think it’s either John Mayer or Kim Jong-un.

  • Marius

    You are all wrong!! So WRONG!!!!!!

    Alec Monopoly is……………..AARON SIGMOND!

  • Yanko

    “I’ve seen horrors… horrors that you’ve seen” – Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now.