TAG Heuer and Porsche: interwoven
This is the story of two brands that have the passion of excellence, competition and performance written in their DNA.
“We initiated this partnership, but I must say that the Porsche team was instantly on board with the project”, explains Frédéric Arnault, TAG Heuer CEO. “It seemed obvious that our automobile partnership should be with Porsche, since we have a common history that often brought us together as friends in the sports world”. An opinion shared by Detlev von Platen, Executive Board member of Porsche AG. “Porsche instantly agreed to the idea. Our teams found it natural! Not surprising since on the set of Le Mans, Steve McQueen wore Jo Siffert’s racing suit with the Heuer logo and drove a Porsche 917”.
Carrera, shared name of a mythical race
The two famous brands have already crossed paths both on the circuit and on the big screen. So this partnership between TAG Heuer and Porsche, announced on the 5th of February 2021, was more than natural.
In 1963, when the watchmaking house is only called Heuer, the great-grandson of the founder designs a new chronograph. Jack Heuer has a passion for sports cars, and conceives an instrument with three counters and a legible dial made for racing drivers. He baptizes it “Carrera” as a tribute to the famous Carrera Panamericana race in Mexico, one of the most dangerous in the world. Coincidentally, it is also in 1963, at the Frankfurt Show, that Porsche unveils the mythic 911 – the car of the century – which most powerful versions took up the Carrera name. Porsche was already using the name for the Porsche 365 due to its triumphant success in 1954 at… the Carrera Panamericana.
Already together on circuits and on the big screen
The cooperation between TAG Heuer and Porsche is also linked to one man: Jo Siffert. Talented Formula 1 racing driver, this native of Fribourg (Switzerland) is also a Porsche dealer and factory driver of the Stuttgart brand. His encounter with Jack Heuer results in an ingenious sponsorship deal and a great friendship. On the circuit side, Jo Siffert flaunts in plain sight the Heuer logo as crest on both his racing suit and his car.
Steve McQueen as Jo Siffert
With an undeniable flair for business, he promotes the Heuer chronographs to his Formula 1 friends. So much that, according to Jack Heuer himself, more than half the paddock wore Heuer watches by the end of the 1969 season!
A man like no other, living for racing and speed, Jo Siffert becomes in 1970 technical advisor for the famous movie Le Mans. He is also Steve McQueen’s stunt double. Driving a baby blue and orange Porsche 1971, the actor created a perfect advertisement opportunity for Heuer by wearing nearly the same suit as Siffert. Only ‘nearly’ the same, because the Heuer logo was not on the same side.
« I’m driving the same car as Jo Siffert, and I also want to wear the same suit as him » Steve McQueen.
A story of winning formulas
Under the control of the TAG Group (Techniques d’Avant-Garde) which then owned the McLaren team, the watchmaker Heuer becomes TAG Heuer in the middle of the 1980s.
Combining their knowledge with the German manufacturer’s and seeking innovations together resulted in the high-performance TAG Porsche engines. These mechanical engineering beauties allow McLaren to win the Formula One Championship for three consecutive years: in 1984 with Niki Lauda then in 1985 and 1986 with Alain Prost.
From Formula 1 to Formula E
Today, TAG Heuer is known as one of the founders of the Formula E championship created in 2014. The watchmaking brand was obviously chosen as official sponsor of the team formed by Porsche in 2019.
Their all-electric cars were soon met with success since the TAG Heuer Porsche team climbed on the second step of the podium in the first race of the season (in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia). Today it is still competing for the first place.
TAG Heuer and Porsche driving together
2021 will be the year of the great alliance between the two brands after decades of partnerships and strong bonds in many areas.
TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph: a smooth ride on your wrist
The special edition designed by TAG Heuer with Porsche’s input will undoubtedly seduce aficionados of mechanical wonders. The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph successfully borrows some of the aesthetic codes of the Stuttgart manufacturer’s cars.
Red, black, grey: the special edition TAG Heuer adopts Porsche’s colours
Instantly noticeable on this beautiful steel piece of 44 mm of diameter: the Porsche’s name in its official typography, creating a red contrast on the black ceramic bezel. It also features a tachymeter scale, which enables – using the chrono function – to show the speed of a vehicle over one km or between two particular markers.
On the dial, the Swiss manufacture developed an original grey “asphalt” pattern. An astounding textured backdrop for the two chronograph counters, black with contrasting red notes (at 3 and 9 o’clock). A small seconds dial and a date aperture (at 6 o’clock) put the finishing… line to the watch. Around the rim, the numerals copy the style of the Porsche dashboards.
A mechanical beauty with a revealing back
Offering optimal legibility with its hands and indexes in Superluminova (luminescent green in the dark), the TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph also reveals a nice surprise. It features a sapphire back, through which can be seen the gears of the Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic. Guaranteeing an 80-hour power reserve, the oscillating weight was skeletonized to look like a Porsche steering wheel.
Carrera inspiration, from case to bracelet
True meeting of souls, this watch is delivered in a special case and paired – two options available – with a steel (€5 700) or leather (€5 550) bracelet. Well-designed, the latter will doubtlessly become the model signature: it flaunts stitching similar to the ones found on the seats of the luxury sports cars. A detail which could be found again on next editions…
Many projects for a common future
The collaboration between TAG Heuer and Porsche is a far-reaching partnership, a strategic one on the long run. It will come to fruition in driving races, in speed and precision sports, but also through broad products development.
TAG Heuer and Porsche, on the racing circuits
Car racing in all its forms is, of course, at the heart of this new alliance. It should be pointed out that the two brands are already partnered in Formula E – Porsche formed its team with TAG Heuer in 2019 – but also in the virtual racing world with the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup.
They are also working hand in hand to prepare a GT team for the next FIA World Endurance Championship, area where Porsche has always excelled.
Endurance racing is already well-known by TAG Heuer through its ambassador Patrick Dempsey. The American actor – and great driver – is particularly famous for having won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 2018 in his Porsche 911 RSR (LMGTE Am class).
TAG Heuer will also be Porsche’s partner for the Porsche Carrera Cup (one-make racing championships) and in “classic” rallying.
TAG Heuer and Porsche on greens and courts
Beyond their main activity sectors, the two famous brands will also meet in the golf and tennis areas: two sports in which they are already involved. Let us precise that TAG Heuer has already become a reference on the greens for precision and performance. The efficiency of its connected watch and related app makes it one of the most accomplished among those dedicated to golfers (TAG Heuer Golf app).
Everything is fine for the brand on the ambassador front with the arrival of Tommy Fleetwood (golf) and Naomie Osaka (tennis). Needless to say, the watchmaking brand will be a partner of the Porsche Golf Cup World Final and the Porsche European Open.
On the courts, the automobile brand can from now on count on the know-how of TAG Heuer as official chronometer for its own WTA championship: the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. An event for which the Swiss brand, which recently welcomed young champion Naomie Osaka as an ambassador, will also design watches and chronographs.
Quite obviously, while TAG Heuer and Porsche have been writing a shared story for a while now, this major and new partnership is uniting them like never before. The beginning of a new era…
To discover other Carrera models, read our detailed data sheets on the TAG Heuer watches.