Motorsports runs so deeply in TAG Heuer’s blood that the Swiss brand has the most number of auto-partnerships throughout this high-octane world. Its association with legends both on and off the track include racing virtuoso Juan Manuel Fangio, Ayrton Senna and the prodigious young Indycar upstart Alexander Rossi who’s already on his way to becoming the next world-best, as well as screen heroes such as Hollywood motor fanatic Patrick Dempsey and of course the one and only King of Cool, Steve McQueen.
Indeed, that photo of McQueen zipping up his white racing suit signed by the likes of key sponsors Gulf Oil and—yes—Heuer has been long immortalised in the racing, showbiz and watchmaking halls of fame.
TAG Heuer is also seen brandishing the livery of motorsports events all around the world, from the Formula One Grand Prix and FIM Endurance World Championship to the Indy Car Series and Formula E Series. The latest feather in its cap, however, looks set to be the most prestigious as TAG Heuer teamed up with British carmaker Aston Martin. And of course fans of both brands can expect a growing collection of timepieces that pay tribute to the iconic handcrafted sports cars, beginning with the new Carrera Heuer 01 and Formula 1 Aston Martin special editions.
Already established as a modern flagship timepiece at the TAG Heuer watch company, the Carrera Heuer 01 is the new face of the brand, brandishing a new chronograph movement exposed through a semi-openworked dial. Complete with state-of-the-art features such a case in black titanium carbide coated stainless steel and a rubber-coated fluted crown, it perfectly embodies the spirit of 21st-century motor racing.
This timepiece drew direct inspiration from the colours, shapes, patterns and materials characteristic of the Aston Martin cars, focusing particularly on the carmaker’s identity as the ultimate luxury make. See for instance the dial, which is skeletonised in a hexagonal pattern that resembles the grille of the stunning new 2018 Vantage. Continuous lines on the sides of the 45mm case evoke abstract notions of speed, the racetrack and engine pistons, while its four lugs have been completely redesigned based on the emblematic form of an Aston Martin’s bodywork. Finally, a black ceramic bezel inscribed with a tachymetric scale reflects the sporty nature of the watch.
Where the Carrera Heuer 01 Aston Martin Special Edition hails from the luxurious world of Aston Martin, the Formula 1 Aston Martin Special Edition makes a sharp turn towards high-performance racing. Clad in black but enlivened by lime essence which is the de facto colour of a speedy Aston Martin, this 43mm quartz-driven chronograph sports a notched bezel with aluminium insert that’s inherent in all Formula 1 models but with one key difference: it has the words ‘Aston Martin Racing’ proudly emblazoned from 12 to three o’clock. This piece is paired with black leather with lime essence topstitching, and while it may be but a minute detail to you, this makes it the first TAG Heuer Formula 1 watch that’s paired with leather; all others come with a metal bracelet or rubber strap.
Announced at the Geneva Motorshow, these two pieces are the first collaborative models made by TAG Heuer for Aston Martin. Taking over the mantle from fellow Swiss marque Jaeger-LeCoultre, which has been working with Aston Martin for 12 years, TAG Heuer is well on its way to take the British carmaker towards a younger and more dynamic audience.