TAG Heuer and Porsche join forces to unveil an extensive partnership.
“TAG Heuer and Porsche have common history and values” says Frédéric Arnault – CEO TAG Heuer. The time was right for his brand’s partnership with Porsche. Since we are on the subject of history, retracing the steps would help better understand to how certain events of the past, have been responsible into influencing the present. While Edouard Heuer and Ferdinand Porsche were visionaries and pioneers whose creations changed their chosen fields forever. Heuer was responsible for the first manufactured chronograph and Porsche invented an electric wheel hub motor.
While the timeline of both these inventions go back to 1889 and 1900, the founding fathers descendants, Ferdinand Anton Ernst (Ferry) and Jack Heuer, would be the protagonists to establish the cornerstone of the relationship between the two legendary brands. Ergo, Porsche’s most powerful Carrera engine united Porsche and Heuer – for the first time – in the spirit of the ‘Carrera’ (or ‘race’), which embodied ambition, speed and technical excellence. The ‘Heuer Monaco’ was the second in innings bringing about the first square-faced, water-resistant automatic chronograph watch. Its name evoked the Monaco Grand Prix as well as the Principality’s renowned Monte Carlo Rally, which Porsche won in three consecutive years, from 1968 to 1970, with its signature 911 model. Just as the Porsche 911 had done for automobiles, the Heuer Monaco – with its distinctive case, its blue metallic dial, its red seconds hand and the crown positioned on the left side of the case – broke with the familiar design codes of traditional watchmaking.
Jack Heuer further cemented his brand’s link to Porsche with a creative sponsorship arrangement with Fribourg, Switzerland-based racing driver and Porsche dealer Jo Siffert. It was this connection that led Steve McQueen to wear the Heuer logo on his racing suit during the filming of Le Mans in 1970, in which he drove a Porsche 917. another important – and more formal – link between Porsche and Heuer, or more precisely, TAG Heuer, the name assumed by the Swiss watch brand when it was sold to the TAG Group in the mid-1980s. Together, the brands developed and produced the TAG-Turbo engine that enabled the McLaren team to win three consecutive F1 world titles: with Niki Lauda in 1984, followed by Alain Prost in 1985 and 1986.
In 1999, the relationship grew even stronger – from the Porsche Carrera Cup and Supercup competitions, followed by the Endurance World Championship and more was yet to come. TAG Heuer, as a founding partner of the Formula E championship, helped raise the profile of thrilling single-seater races in electric cars. Porsche created its own Formula E team with TAG Heuer as title and timing partner in 2019, marking a starting point for an even more powerful and far-reaching collaboration. And in 2021, that “beautiful friendship” has become a holistic official brand partnership, celebrated by a special-edition timepiece that proclaims proudly, “It was worth the wait!”.
The 2021 collaboration of both the brands is based on the Carrera Sport Chronograph design. The ample 44mm diameter of the steel case holds an exquisite ‘grey’ asphalt coloured dial. The subtle 80 hours inscribed at the 6 o’clock position denoted the power-reserve of the automatic Heuer 02 calibre. Apart from the colour of the textured dial, we love the way the minutes take prominence on the dial, in place of the hours. The aesthetic of this chronograph is a seamless blend of the Porsche and TAG Heuer universes, reflecting the excellence of both names without diluting the essence of either. Porsche’s engraved inscription is visible on the bezel and the unmistakable font is also used for the indexes. The Porsche colours of red, black, and grey – which also recall historic Heuer models – are incorporated throughout the watch, and on clear display through the transparent crystal case back is the oscillating mass, which has been redesigned in affectionate tribute to Porsche’s celebrated steering wheel. It is printed with “Porsche” and “TAG Heuer”. The dial’s asphalt effect, created especially for this watch, perfectly expresses a passion for the road, while Arabic numerals suggest the numbers on the dashboard of fine Porsche sportscars.
The black gold-plated applied indexes with white Super-Luminova®. The rotor on the movement is shaped in the silhouette of a half steering wheel, which add a sporty touch to the vertical clutch and column wheel ‘manufacture’ chronograph. Attached to the fine brushed finished case is a calf leather strap with an innovative stitching that echoes the Porsche interior, or one can opt for a version with an interlocking bracelet reflecting streamlined racing design.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph is a Special Edition watch and is delivered in bespoke packaging with colours and a style consistent with the remarkable watch inside. The black watch box features the logos of TAG Heuer and Porsche in white. Inside the box is a perfectly sized black travel pouch with an unmistakably Porsche red interior.
While Porsche is world renowned, a technologically cutting-edge brand in the automotive world, with a legacy, we at THM identify ourselves as self-confessed watch-nerds and naturally are more biased to all this horological. Seeing historical partnerships, especially which go back half a century, revived makes us nostalgic of Mr. Jack Heuer. I remember him telling me a story of how HEUER merged with TAG. Most won’t know to how Piaget was involved. But we’ll pick that page out of history, some other time.