The Swiss watchmaker has tapped the musical artist and actor to represent the brand, revealing a first campaign breaking online on Thursday.
Chief executive officer Frédéric Arnault stated Cai “demonstrated remarkable talent in songwriting and performing” in addition to being “incredibly athletic, truly daring and never stops challenging the limits,” matching the brand’s mind-set.
Regularly topping charts with his solo music career, Cai noted the Swiss watchmaker’s pursuit of outstanding performance is “something [he] recognizes and believes in,” in addition to the “irresistible appeal” of its “spirit of avant-garde and unique style,” later in the announcement.
In his first appearance for the brand, the Chinese star is captured against a dramatic sky, sporting an all-black leather ensemble to go with the Tag Heuer Monaco prominent on his wrist.
This timepiece is the 39-mm chronograph edition introduced last May, featuring a dial with grained details nodding to the surface of motor racing tracks. It made its debut on Australian actor Jacob Elordi, who became the face of the Monaco line ahead of this year’s Formula 1 Grand Prix.
“I admire the fearlessness expressed by the Tag Heuer Monaco and am fascinated by its legend. ‘Squaring the circle’ and moving the crown to the left had made it so special at that time,” said Cai, noting that the line’s new editions retained that “unique spirit.”
China, where the brand currently has 12 stores, is a strategic market for watchmakers, with recent figures released by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry showing China’s return to double-digit growth in July and August, after a second quarter impacted by stringent lockdowns.
Arnault noted they “believe [the] collaboration with Kun will accelerate Tag Heuer’s development in the country.” While the artist has a 1.9-million-follower count on Instagram, he logs some 37.7 million fans on Weibo.
The campaign is set to release on Tag Heuer’s Chinese social media platforms and official website; and will also be relayed internationally through social platforms.
He has lent his face to a number of local and international brands in recent years, mostly recently jeweler De Beers, Givenchy Beauty, and Jo Malone.