Of all the watchmakers out there making automotive-inspired timepieces, TAG Heuer is arguably the leader. The Swiss company has sponsored various motorsports for decades, has been endorsed by some of racing's biggest names and continues to produce some of the most lust-worthy yet attainable driver's watches on the market. At the industry's biggest annual exposition, TAG lived up to the reputation with a whole new collection of automotive timepieces.
Among the watches TAG Heuer unveiled at the Baselworld watch expo are three new editions of its Formula 1 Chronograph: two celebrating Kimi Raikkonen's championship last year and the Indianapolis 500, and a new oversized titanium carbide-coated Grande Date Chronograph. Three new luxurious versions of the innovative Grand Carrera were also unveiled, featuring gold and diamond embellishments. But while the Mercedes SLR McLaren may be nearing its long production run, TAG's headline production timepiece was the new SLR Calibre S Laptimer. Featuring a hyper-accurate mechanism capable of timing laps down to 1/100th of a second, the final SLR chronograph will remain in the company's catalog long after the last supercar rolls off the assembly line. Meanwhile, to showcase its latest technological advancements, TAG Heuer displayed the Grand Carrera Calibre 36 RS Caliper Concept Chronograph, featuring a rotating scale mechanism and a second hand that moves in precise increments of 1/10th of a second instead of the usual full-second movements. The concept timepiece was featured on the dash of former Pininfarina, Porsche and GM design chief Ken Okuyama's KO7 Spyder, which we first caught at this year's Geneva show and was displayed alongside the 36 RS concept watch in Basel.
Follow the jump for more details on TAG Heuer's Baselworld line-up of advanced driver's chronographs, and check out the images in the image gallery by clicking on the thumbnails below.
Related GalleryTAG Heuer's new chronographs at Baselworld 2008
[Source: TAG Heuer]
TAG Heuer Unveils a New Watchmaking World First at Baselworld 2008: A futuristic high performance eco-responsible GT Concept Car inspired by a new stunning TAG Heuer Concept Chronograph, the Grand Carrera Calibre 36 Caliper !
Mastering Time, Embracing Innovation, Partnering with top designers
FROM F1 TO GT CARS
TAG Heuer launches premium upgrades to its major Formula 1, SLR and Grand Carrera GT and motor-racing-inspired collections and sets a new milestone by integrating its latest Concept Chronograph, the Grand CARRERA Calibre 36 RS Caliper, into the dashboard of a Ken Okuyama-designed and TAG Heuer-inspired GT sportscar.
From 1860 to 1/10,000th of a second. From Scuderia Ferrari to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. From five-time Grand Prix Champion Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1950s to FIA 2007 World Champion Kimi Räikkönen. From F1 to the most prestigious GT sports cars on the open road...When it comes to true motor-racing lineage and racing DNA, TAG Heuer outpaces the pack!
At Baselworld 2008, TAG Heuer extends its lead even further by pushing its avant-garde motorracing lines into the outer reaches of luxury, and by partnering with Ken Okuyama to create a watchmaking world first: a futuristic high performance eco-responsible GT Concept Car inspired by a TAG Heuer Concept Chronograph!
TAG Heuer Formula 1: Four F1 Drivers and one Indy 500 female Driver to wear all-new upgrades of motor-racing's coolest casual sportswatch!
Back in the 1980s, the original TAG HEUER FORMULA 1 helped establish the brand as a world leader in the prestigious sports watch market. Now completely revamped and redesigned, it will star in the 2008 Formula 1 racing season on the wrists of four F1 heavyweights: 2007 FIA World Champion Kimi Räikkönen, runner-up and best F1 rookie ever Lewis Hamilton, new Vodaphone McLaren Mercedes teammate Heikki Kovalainen and new Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Sébastien Bourdais, a 4-time consecutive ChampCar world series champion and longtime TAG Heuer ambassador. It will also star in the IRL and Indy 500 championship on the wrist of female driver Sarah Fisher.
One chronograph, 5 drivers – a world racing first! New features include a large 44mm case, an oversized dashboard counter at 6 o'clock, a double gradation semi-circular counter at 9 o'clock; and large date display at 12 o'clock. The Classic TAG Heuer Six features are all here: "Easy Grip" screw-in crown; titanium carbide coated unidirectional turning bezel with raised fine brushed steel numbers; 200 meters water-resistant; luminescent markers on hands and indexes; anti-scratch sapphire crystal; rubber strap or steel bracelet with double safety clasp and extension system. Another racing-inspired feature: steel titanium carbide-coated bumper protecting the crown and pushbuttons.
New TAG Heuer Formula 1 Grande Date Chronograph Kimi Räikkönen Limited Edition
To celebrate Kimi Räikkönen's extraordinary career, and in particular his 2007 FIA World Champion title with Scuderia Ferrari, TAG Heuer launches an limited edition of the new TAG Heuer Formula 1 Grande Date Chronograph Kimi Räikkönen Limited Edition. Sleekly aerodynamic, with a black dial sublimely touched with red, TAG Heuer logo and Kimi Räikkönen inscription, as well as precise to 1/10th of a second, it is available with a classic steel bracelet or a brand-new two-tone (red and black) rubber strap.
New TAG Heuer Formula 1 Grande Date Chronograph INDY 500
To celebrate its long-term partnership with the Indy Racing League and the Indy 500, where as Official Timekeeper, TAG Heuer has mastered the challenge of accurate measurement to 1/10,000th of a second, TAG Heuer is proud to present the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Grande Date Chronograph INDY 500 Special Edition accurate to within 1/10th of a second. The polished bezel with authentic red "INDY 500" sports a tachymeter scale. The pearled dial, in "Black Gold" or silver plate, is also adorned with the "INDY 500" logo. This new Chronograph will be worn by female driver Sarah Fisher at the 500 miles of Indianapolis as well as during all the Indy Racing League races of the 2008 season. Sarah became the youngest ever driver to participate in the Indy 500 at the age of just 17, and has been a TAG Heuer ambassador since 2002. She was voted IRL's most popular driver in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
New TAG Heuer Formula 1 Grande Date Chronograph
This new addition to the TAG Heuer Formula 1 line is endowed with an oversized case (44mm). Five new chronographs accurate to the 1/10th of a second are available, with an all-black version at the front of the pack: black titanium carbide-coated case, bezel, crown, pushbuttons, black dial and rubber strap. Also available with polished steel case, titanium carbide-coated bezel, crown, and pushbuttons and a choice of black or silver dial and stainless steel bracelet or black rubber strap.
TAG Heuer SLR Laptimer 1/100th of a second: the most innovative and accurate car-racing chronograph, celebrating McLaren-Mercedes SLR GT cars as well as Juan Manuel Fangio
From zero to 80 kmh in 3.8 seconds, with a top speed of 300 kmh, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, launched in 2004, is one of the world's most powerful and exclusive sports cars.
The first SLR chronograph, produced in 2004, marked the next step in a successful partnership that has linked Mercedes with TAG Heuer since 1995 (and McLaren since 1985) These high-luxury brands share the same core values: performance, design, prestige, innovation, and, of course, a passion for car racing. The mutual history and heritage goes back even further, to 1955, the year TAG Heuer Ambassador Juan Manuel Fangio drove the first Mercedes SLR (Sports, Light, Racer) "Silver Arrow" around the hairpin bends of the Mille Miglia," one of the most hair-raising and breathtaking circuits in motor racing. Fangio was wearing on his wrist that day, just as countless Formula One drivers ever since, a TAG Heuer timepiece – called Heuer at the time.
THE SLR: A Brief History of a Dream Watch celebrating a Dream Machine:
2004: The SLR Chronograph Calibre 36 R by TAG Heuer This limited edition is exclusively reserved for the owners of the SLR dream car. Like the ultra-luxury sports car that inspired it, is an audaciously high-tech creation with the look and allure of a true classic.
Still in production and regularly acquired by new SLR owners, the SLR Calibre 36 R is powered by the 36,000 beats/hour superlative TAG Heuer mechanical chronograph movement exclusively equipped with a regulator plate separating the hour hand from the minute hand, hence faithfully reflecting the SLR dream car dashboard.
2006: TAG Heuer SLR for Mercedes-Benz Enthusiast Chronograph Limited Edition An all-new upscale chronograph with a 43mm dial and a powerful design capitalizing on the most distinctive SLR chronograph elements: pushbuttons on the top of the case, Mercedes star logo on the dial, and distinctively shaped hands. This chronograph, dedicated to dream car lovers and sportswatch connoisseurs, comes in an exclusive limited edition of 3,500 pieces – equal to the number of SLR cars to be manufactured.
2007: TAG Heuer SLR for Mercedes-Benz Limited Edition The next stage in the evolution of the SLR series, this model combines a much more complex and aggressive look with a larger dial (45mm) and two avant-garde features specific to the SLR series: crown at 9 o'clock and patented pushbuttons set at a 45° angle. For the first time, it is also available with a rugged, powerful steel bracelet in addition to the rubber strap.
2008: Introducing the TAG Heuer SLR Calibre S Laptimer 1/100th of a second Chronograph! The TAG Heuer SLR Calibre S Laptimer Chronograph (47mm) is the first SLR that is not a limited edition. An important new permanent entry in the TAG Heuer catalog, the Laptimer 1/100th also represents a new advancement in TAG Heuer's exclusive Calibre S movement. The revolutionary Calibre S has been further evolved to create a unique motor–racing inspired mechanism: combining 1/100th of a second "flyback" chronograph, memory and indication up to 20 laps, and direct access to best lap time, the new chronograph meets the highest expectations of the true racing aficionado. Like the revolutionary and Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix awarded Microtimer in 2003, it's not only an ultra-accurate wrist chronograph but also a timekeeping system on the wrist, this time with analog time indications display. Along with the Carrera Calibre 360 and the Link Calibre S, the SLR Calibre S Laptimer is TAG Heuer third 1/100th second analog chronograph, making TAG Heuer more than ever the master of ultimate precision in the field of luxury watches.
From CARRERA to Grand CARRERA: the Premium Avant- Garde TAG Heuer Collection inspired by contemporary GT cars is now inspiring a new futuristic GT Car!
The original CARRERA was born in the pits and paddocks of the Twelve Hours of Sebring in 1962, where Jack Heuer, Official Timekeeper of the event, first heard of the legendary Carrera Panamericana Mexico Road Race, the racing world's most grueling endurance test. Launched in 1964, the original CARRERA also served as a prestigious tribute to Juan Manuel Fangio, the TAG Heuer ambassadorial hero who won the Mayor class of the fourth running of the Carrera in 1954. In 1969, a CARRERA automatic chronograph was added to the pack; in 1996, the entire line was revamped inside and out – a bold reinterpretation of classic luxury watchmaking with a distinctly modern and timeless aesthetic inspired by the technical and design advancements in automotive engineering.
In 2004, TAG Heuer's multi award-winning R&D Team began working on an even more prestigious incarnation of the CARRERA: the Grand CARRERA. Launched to great acclaim and commercial success in June 2007, the Grand CARRERA draws its inspiration from modern GT cars. It is powered by the first mechanical line of movements with Rotating System, an exclusive new function that enables the user to read easily and intuitively small seconds, a second time zone (GMT) or chronograph time by displaying the elapsed time.
All models are "Côtes de Genève" decorated on the Rotating System, with polished, beveled edges complemented by curved, faceted horns on both case sides, a curved, sapphire crystal with double antireflective treatment and a double sapphire crystal caseback sealed by six screws. Curved faceted markers on the dials and oversized screw-in crowns and pushbutton clasps complete the sophisticated look.
At Baselworld 2008, TAG Heuer introduces 2 ultra-luxury diamond editions of the acclaimed Grand CARRERA Collection...
TAG Heuer Grand CARRERA Calibre 6 RS Diamond Bezel
Bejeweled with 68 Top Wesselton diamonds (1.13 carats) on its polished fixed stainless-steel bezel, the new unisex Grand CARRERA Calibre 6 RS is classically elegant and subtly daring, with a brown dial and a choice of steel or alligator strap with solid steel folding clasp. The 40.2mm diameter timepiece is equipped with a TAG Heuer Calibre 6 RS movement, with Rotating Small Second System at 6 o'clock decorated with "Côtes de Genève" and diamond polished facets. Other features include solid steel folding clasp with safety pushbuttons and applied TAG Heuer logo.
TAG Heuer Grand CARRERA Grande Date GMT Calibre 8 RS Diamond Bezel
The first-ever TAG Heuer automatic movement with a "large date" now proudly sparkles with 72 Top Wesselton diamonds (1.2 carats) on its polished fixed stainless-steel bezel. The hand-applied "Grand Date" is visible through a beveled aperture at 12 o'clock. Ideal for chic globetrotters, the bigger, 42.5mm case also displays a Rotating GMT System (2nd Time Zone) at 6 o'clock. The Calibre 8 RS sports a black dial and a steel bracelet or black alligator strap with solid-steel folding clasp featuring safety pushbuttons and applied TAG Heuer logo.
A new ultra-luxury chronograph... TAG Heuer Grand CARRERA Chronograph Calibre 17 RS Rose Gold Limited Edition
A COSC-certified chronograph in solid 18-carat rose gold: the larger (43mm) stopwatch size, screwedin crown, screw-in pushbuttons and hand-applied date window at 6 o'clock, give it the distinctive look of a classic TAG Heuer chronograph. Two limited editions of 500 are available with hand-sewn brown alligator strap, solid 18-carat gold pin buckle, and a silver or brown dial equipped with 2 Rotating Systems in solid 18-carat rose gold (small seconds at 3 o'clock; chronograph minute at 9 o'clock).
... and finally, the ultimate in premium avant-garde design and technology:
The Grand CARRERA Calibre 36 RS Caliper Concept Chronograph
as featured on the dashboard of the limited edition Ken Okuyama-designed K.O. 7 futuristic, high performance and eco-compatible sportscar. Indeed Ken Okuyama has managed to design an high performance GT sportscar with a limited environmental impact thanks to the systematic use of advanced light weight materials such as aluminum, titanium and carbon, enabling him to achieve an extraordinary horsepower to weight relationship. It offers a chance to enjoy the thrill of stunning accelerations as well as the pleasure of sporty driving while being environmentally responsible! Ken Okuyama's vision and commitment as shared by TAG Heuer may well become a must-have factor in the GT car industry in the near future.
Japanese Car Designer Ken Okuyama: "The interior of the K.O. 7 was inspired by the Grand Carrera, and we mounted the extraordinary Grand CARRERA Calibre 36 RS Caliper Concept Chronograph on its dashboard. TAG Heuer chronographs are constructed in rich lightweight materials of the finest quality. Like the K.O. 7, their powerful proportions catch your eye first, and then you discover the depth of refinement, the beautiful craftsmanship, and the attention to detail.
Collaborating with TAG Heuer made it possible to demonstrate something in common between our two industries: an endless quest for quality, performances and design innovations driven by new technologies." The first mechanical automatic chronograph that measures and displays 1/10ths of a second...and the only timepiece in history to inspire and feature in a GT sportscar! TAG Heuer has pulled off yet another world first: powered by a column wheel movement, the Grand CARRERA Calibre 36 RS Caliper Concept Chronograph is the only automatic chronograph capable of measuring and displaying 1/10ths of a second! Visible through a tinted double sapphire crystal, the COSC-certified movement oscillates at an astonishing 36,000 vibrations per hour. This enables the central seconds hand to tick off 1/10th second intervals, giving at-a-glance readings of an unparalleled exactitude – an engineering feat of the highest level.
The breathtaking new creation has a stylish 43mm, black titanium carbide-coated case, and a Calibre 36 RS movement with power reserve and two "Black Gold" Rotating Systems indicating the chronograph minutes at 3 o'clock and the chronograph hours at 6 o'clock. It also features a Linear Second at 9 o'clock. Another principle design innovation is the way in which it displays this information.
TAG Heuer has developed an exclusive Rotating Scale that permits a precise reading of 1/10th of a second – magnified 10X! The new Titanium carbide-coated and rubber bracelet with folding buckle is another stunning innovation.
The super-sleek K.O. 7 sportscar was launched at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show together with the K.O. 8 coupé on March 4th, 2008 in the presence of Jean-Christophe Babin, TAG Heuer President & CEO and Ken Okuyama. Available in an exclusive limited edition of 99 vehicles, it will be showcased at the TAG Heuer booth throughout Baselworld 2008. An exceptional momentum celebrating TAG Heuer's unique racing DNA as well as passion for advanced technology and design and unparallel support to avant-garde designers! Ken Okuyama has worked as a Design Director and Chief Designer for General Motors, Porsche AG and Pininfarina S.p.A. He has overseen design for Ferrari Enzo, Maserati Quattroporte and many others. Alongside "Ken Okuyama Cars" and his various consultancy practices, Ken produces several premium avant-garde design products, including "Yamagata Koubou" furniture and the "Ken Okuyama Eyes" eyewear series. The author of several books on design, he is currently a visiting professor at the Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, California), Tama Art University, Kanazawa Art College, and the Nagoya University of Arts (Japan). He is also Vice Chairman for the "Good Design Award." A dream machine for a dream chronograph... A unique momentum to celebrate TAG Heuer's unique racing DNA and commitment to design, technology and environmental responsibility!