Whenever the Carrera or Panamerican race is mentioned, two brands come to mind: TAG Heuer and Porsche. Oddly, they have never had a collaboration timepiece. Until today.
The Carrera has been an iconic name for generations. Given TAG Heuer’s strong motorsport legacy, newcomers to watch-collecting often mistake it as a historical association to a certain automobile manufacturer with similar provenance in the realm of automotive racing: Porsche.
For their first creative product collaboration, the two legendary racing brands have launched the TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph, offering a glimpse at what is perhaps the most fortuitous (and long overdue) racing mash up that motor heads and watch lovers never knew we needed.
“TAG Heuer and Porsche have common history and values, of course, but more importantly, we share an attitude. Like Porsche, we are disruptors at heart, always in pursuit of high performance. With this alliance, TAG Heuer and Porsche finally come together officially after decades of close encounters and will create unmatched experiences and products for customers and fans that are passionate about both our brands and what we stand for,” says TAG Heuer CEO Frédéric Arnault.
Fuelled by a common history with innovation and motor racing, it is a historic milestone that the muse which drove Jack Heuer’s prodigious vision has finally culminated in a collaboration with the brand that was so dominant in the race which inspired him. In fact, Porsche road cars were named Carrera after this particular race (in the same vein as Porsche Targas named after the Targa Florio).
Often mentioned in the same breath as Le Mans, Steve McQueen and the arduous Carrera Panamericana race that it is indeed a twist of historical irony that the inspiration which oriented Jack Heuer’s vision toward racing chronographs like the Carrera and eventually the Monaco, has taken this long to bear the fruit of this inevitable marriage made in heaven.
There is an abundance of media collateral involving Steve McQueen, his Gulf-liveried Porsche 917 from the movie Le Mans and the TAG Heuer on his wrist, that we often forget that McQueen began his epic movie with a sequence involving another icon: a Porsche 911. The first half hour of the film gets by without dialogue, as Michael Delaney (played by McQueen) arrives in Le Mans in his Porsche 911 S. During the entire drive, eagle-eyed fans would have spotted the Heuer Monaco on his wrist.
“We bring together what our customers love the most about both of us: authentic heritage, thrilling sports events, unique life experiences and the fulfilment of dreams. We both strive to create some unique, magic moments for our communities. We now look forward to doing it together,” says Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG.
Given the iconic status of the Heuer Monaco today, it stands to reason that rather than make a “Porsche edition” of the Monaco, such a historic collaboration deserves its own watch, the new TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph, unveiled as first celebration between popular culture’s most iconic brands.
TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph: A History of Innovation
Heuer was responsible for the first manufactured chronograph and Porsche invented an electric wheel hub motor. Both these accomplishments earned medals at World’s Fairs held in Paris 11 years apart. Heuer was honoured in 1889 and Porsche presented the first Lohner-Porsche Electromobile with this innovation at the Expo in Paris in 1900.
“Ferry Porsche (Ferdinand’s son) had a reputation for innovation even since childhood as he became the talk of the neighbourhood with his ice-skates with lights,” said Yannick Ott, Head of PR & Communications for Porsche during History of Electric exhibition, “Electrification has always been a thing at Porsche. Even at home, theirs was the first house on the block to be electrified.”
It goes without saying that TAG Heuer and Porsche both enjoy rich histories and reputations for innovation to cutting-edge technologies, tracing similarities all the way to self-taught entrepreneurs. Edouard Heuer and Ferdinand Porsche, pioneers who themselves had heirs who followed in the footsteps of their visionary fathers.
Porsche calls its most powerful engine ‘Carrera’ (itself named for the race) and how Edouard Heuer’s great-grandson Jack led the brand to the first Heuer Carrera chronograph. Hence, ground-breaking timepiece and Porsche’s most powerful engine unite symbolically in the TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph.
Based on TAG Heuer’s Carrera Sport Chronograph design, with its distinctive tachymeter scale engraved on the bezel, the TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph introduces a number of features inspired by Porsche’s design essence, most visibly on the road-chewing asphalt crunching face of the dial which is unique to this collaboration. Expressing a passion for the road with Arabic numerals reminiscent of the dashboard of Porsche sportscars, the brand’s engraved inscription is also visible on the bezel, complete with its 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, topped off with a redesigned oscillating mass in tribute to Porsche’s celebrated steering wheel clear display through the transparent sapphire caseback.
Presented either on a soft strap in luxurious calf leather and innovative stitching that echoes the Porsche interior or on an interlocking bracelet reflecting streamlined racing design, the TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph is akin to a sports car you can wear on your wrist. At the heart of this stunning timepiece is the in-house Calibre Heuer 02 manufacture movement with an impressive 80-hour power reserve. The chronograph mechanism’s vertical clutch and column wheel demonstrate the brands’ unflinching demand for precision.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph is a Special Edition watch and is delivered in bespoke packaging featuring 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.
The official partnership between TAG Heuer and Porsche is a true collaboration developed over decades on some of the world’s most challenging racetracks and on the wrists of drivers who were the very embodiment of Jack Heuer’s motto, “Time doesn’t stop. Why should we?”
TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Specs
Movement Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic
Case 44 mm stainless steel with 100 metres water resistance