The Monaco Legends: the races, the watches
TAG Heuer unveils the official chronographs of the most glamorous Grand Prix in the world
The Watch Quote™ - May 29th, 2012
Monaco & TAG Heuer : The race.
The quest for excellence and performance.
TAG Heuer partners with the Monaco Grand Prix and the Automobile Club de Monaco for the same reasons it is ineluctably linked to the other two “Triple Crown” races of motorsports, the Indy 500 and the 24 hours of Le Mans — because of a wealth of shared values and history. Motor racing and sports timing have been in TAG Heuer’s blood since it invented “Time of Trip”, the world’s first dashboard chronograph in 1911. Today, it calls the winners of the world’s fastest races with an unrivalled precision of 1/10,000th of a second.
Yet Monaco and TAG Heuer share something else unique to both: sporting glamor. The Grand Prix is among the most thrilling events in sports and by far the most chic, a 78-lap circuit through treacherously narrow streets lined with the rich and glamorous, past steep cliffs, luxurious villas, grand casinos and multimillion-dollar yachts. The pinnacle of grandeur, it is also the ultimate test of Formula One skill, requiring 4,000 gear shifts along a 3.3 km street circuit tricked out with the most dangerous hairpin turns and reverse-camber corners in motorsports. Then there’s the infamous stretch in the dark through the tunnel: flat-out at 280 kph — the fastest speed in the race — then emerging into the sun’s harsh glare, slamming on the brakes and careening blind through the tight left-right Portier chicane. The thought of this keeps drivers up at night. So, too, do the jet-set parties after…
The role TAG Heuer plays in the prestige and glamour of Monaco is unparalleled in the Swiss watchmaking world. Official Partner of the Automobile Club of Monaco (ACM), the organizer of the Grand Prix, TAG Heuer is also Official Partner of Monaco’s most winning team — Vodafone McLaren Mercedes (15 victories), and sponsor of more first-place Monaco drivers than any brand in history. TAG Heuer ambassadors who have crossed the checkered flag first at Monaco include Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen, David Coulthard, Kimi Räikkönen, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. And on the wrists of every one of these driving legends, another legend – a TAG Heuer watch.
Monaco & TAG Heuer: The watches
The iconic timepieces of modern motorsports
TAG Heuer’s first Grand Prix Ambassador was the Swiss driver Jo Siffert, whose maiden F1 voyage was the Monaco Grand Prix in 1962. The Swiss driver, a close friend of Jack Heuer and the first F1 driver to sign an endorsement deal with a watch brand, was the go-to man for another TAG Heuer icon, the American actor and driver Steve McQueen. When McQueen starred behind the wheel of Porsche 917K in the 1970 film “Le Mans”, he drove Jo Siffert’s car and wore his complete driving suit, with a red “Chronograph Heuer” crest on his chest and a blue Heuer Monaco chronograph on his wrist. Before the shoot, Jack Heuer had a case of Heuer watches sent to McQueen to choose from. The actor took one look at the unusual square shape and colors of the Monaco — nothing short of radical for the time — and made his choice. Watch and racing fans have been making the same one ever since.