The high-powered cars no longer roar, the paddocks are empty and the streets of Monaco have been handed back to local residents. Time for the VIPs to pack their cases, their ears buzzing and their eyes full of stars. TAG Heuer – partner since 2011 of Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM), which organizes the prestigious Grand Prix of that name – turned the three days of the race into an out-of-this-world experience, both on the racetrack and on the sidelines. This Grand Prix in fact is the only one where the raw energy of the sporting arena and the refinement of the cosmopolitan crowd come together to form such an elegant whole.
The party began on a yacht in the brand colours moored in the port of Monaco, where TAG Heuer greeted guests from all over the world, and the trade press, at a cocktail buffet to welcome Swiss-French rider Romain Grosjean into the extended family of brand Ambassadors. It was also the moment chosen to announce, in the presence of ACM Commissioner General Michel Ferry, the renewal of the TAG Heuer – Automobile Club de Monaco partnership. Alain Prost, a long standing friend of the brand, Bastian Baker, a promising young Swiss singer, TV stars Denis Brogniart and Marion Jollès, standing on the Grand Prix podium, took advantage of the bewitching light of the setting sun as dusk fell on the Rock to spend time in conjecture about the F1 season, which is hotly disputed this year.
The following day, the guests were able to enjoy the unrivalled view from the TAG Heuer private box as they watched the qualifying laps. TAG Heuer had placed its banners all round the racetrack, its advertisements were displayed on giant screens, and its yacht towered over the port. The Avant-garde Manufacture spared no effort in organising this celebration of its source of inspiration for a hundred years: speed in general and car racing in particular. In the evening, F1 stars and VIPs flocked back to the TAG Heuer yacht, where Francesco Trapani, President of the LVMH Watch and Jewellery Division, and Jean-Christophe Babin, TAG Heuer President & CEO, greeted the 2009 World Champion Jenson Button. Beside him was girlfriend Jessica Michibata, as well as James Spithill, the helmsman of Oracle Team USA, Defender of the 34th America’s Cup, and director Ron Howard, whose films include the “Da Vinci Code”, who was on the lookout for material for his next feature film, a biopic about a certain Niki Lauda.
This array of celebrities had the pleasure of seeing for the first time the limited series of Carrera Monaco Grand Prix and Monaco Automobile Club chronographs that pay tribute to the TAG Heuer – A.C.M. partnership. They were also privileged to see a Monaco Cal.11 and a new Monaco 24 – timepieces that constitute a further development of the legendary range.
Jimmy Spithill had the chance to meet with the hero of the day, the winner of this 2012 edition, Mark Webber.
Once again, the general conclusion of everyone present was as Jean-Christophe Babin often says: “Car-racing is in our blood”.