• Jan 20, 2011
TAG Heuer Carrera MP4-12C – Click above for high-res images

Try to equate TAG Heuer with an automaker and you might come up with Porsche. After all, one of its most famous products is called the Carrera, and the legendary Steve McQueen wore one on film while piloting his Heuer-sponsored Porsche 917 around the Circuit La Sarthe. But in reality, the Swiss watchmaker is much closer to McLaren.

Heuer took on the TAG name when Mansour Ojjeh acquired the watchmaker. His company, Techniques d'Avant Garde (TAG), built the Porsche turbo engines that powered McLaren's F1 cars through the mid 80s to back-to-back world championships. Today, TAG Heuer is part of the LVMH luxury products conglomorate, but Ojjeh's independent TAG company still owns part of McLaren. And now, following special watches made to accompany the McLaren F1 and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, the two have come back together for a timepiece to compliment the new MP4-12C supercar.

Based on the Carrera model, the MP4 edition features a carbon fiber dial with a large window to see the movement and a big orange zero where the 12 should be (to make it look more like a speedometer), is housed in a sandblasted titanium case and affixed to the wrist with a sweet perforated Alcantara strap. The orange detailing reflects McLaren's traditional color, and the 47-jewel Dubois Depraz Calibre 4900 fly-back chronograph movement features a perpetual calendar display. Only 1,000 examples will be made, and while you don't need to own a McLaren to buy one, it certainly couldn't hurt. Details in the press release after the jump.



[Source: TAG Heuer]
PRESS RELEASE

MCLAREN AND TAG HEUER LAUNCH THE MP4-12C CHRONOGRAPH AT TAG HEUER'S MASTERING SPEED EXHIBITION IN GENEVA.
  • McLaren and TAG Heuer celebrate more than a quarter of a century of partnership with the launch of an exclusive watch for sports car enthusiasts.
  • The TAG Heuer MP4-12C Chronograph is now available as an exclusive limited edition through McLaren.

WOKING/GENEVA (January 18, 2011) – 20 years after McLaren launched the iconic McLaren F1 road car, and 26 years after McLaren's Formula 1 team joined forces with TAG Heuer, a unique and limited edition chronograph watch has been displayed today alongside the McLaren MP4-12C at the TAG Heuer Mastering Speed Exhibition at Halle Secheron in Geneva. The TAG Heuer MP4-12C Chronograph combines both companies' innovative, high-performance and precision manufacturing principles.

McLaren and TAG Heuer enjoy one of the longest-running sponsorship agreements between a racing team and a brand in the history of Formula 1, dating back to 1985. Both companies lead their fields in developing new technologies and design concepts, whilst the tradition of high-performance car buyers appreciating great watches is long and mutual: teaming up on this project, whilst celebrating their 26th anniversary of their partnership, was a natural step during the launch of the new MP4-12C sports car.

In 2011, McLaren Automotive will deliver the first in its new range of bespoke and 'pure' McLaren sports cars for the world, offering new levels of performance based on bespoke technology, a revolutionary carbon chassis and integration with Formula 1: a combination never before presented in a road car. That focus will be matched on the 12C driver's wrist as McLaren Automotive and TAG Heuer have combined forces to design a watch suitable for owners of one of the world's most innovative sports cars.

The TAG Heuer MP4-12C Chronograph matches in its characteristics the unique colour, materials, and design of the new 12C: the carbon dial is inspired by the 12C's carbon fibre MonoCell – an engineering solution inspired by the team's Formula 1 car chassis that makes the 12C incredibly light, safe and brings new levels of performance to the € 200,000 sports car segment. The watch's movement is visible through sapphire inserts on the dial, revealing the "engine" behind the watch face. Of particular use to pilots and track drivers, the Flyback function allows the chronograph to be reset to zero, and immediately restarted by pressing only once on the push button.

A specific instrument used in motor sports, the tachymeter, indicates what distance is travelled, and the chronograph records the time intervals between two locations. Other details reflect the 12C further, such as the Titanium case that minimises weight and the alcantara leather strap that was inspired by the 12C's interior materials. The orange superluminescent markers on the hands and the orange stitching of the bracelet reflect McLaren's historic and traditional road and racing car colour. The final detail comes with the McLaren speed mark logo on the watch's crown.

Frank Stephenson, Design Director McLaren Automotive: "I love watches and have always wanted to design one myself. The TAG Heuer MP4-12C Chronograph was a particularly interesting project as we have combined our passion for precision technology, engineering and performance and included some of the most outstanding design features and materials that can be found in the MP4-12C."

The TAG Heuer MP4-12C Chronograph will be produced as a limited edition of 1,000 pieces and will be exclusively available for purchase through McLaren later in 2011.


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  • 21 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't know about that (a watch worthy of the McLaren MP4-12C). TAG's watches usually are just as good (look and feel, apparent quality, choice of materials, fonts, etc.) as the numerous $10 TAG replicas that are out there. The price tag doesn't make it luxury....
        CheckTheseOut
        • 3 Years Ago
        ... especially with watches! Some of the most overpriced products on the planet.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You know less about them than I do then.
        Put a cheap TAG replica next to a real TAG and you'll be amazed. Quality is worlds apart.

        To get a good replica, you'll pay a few hundred dollars so you may as well get a good Citizen or Seiko.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Unless that dude is Jenson Button...see? NOW its news, right? You wouldn't have known that Button wears a watch without this awesome Autoblog story...right?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Plus, this is just a marketing gimmick from a brand that makes c..p watches.
      My supposedly high-quality TAG broke within weeks, and they didn't cover the repair. And they get uglier by the day.....any mall now sells them.
      • 3 Years Ago
      When men have too much money in your pockets, they get overpriced Swiss watches that can't keep time like a $50 atomic Casio watch.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Steve McQueen wore a Monaco in LeMans not a Carrera
        • 3 Years Ago
        I know the sentence construction is kinda ambiguous, but AB imply that TAG Heuer has two separate achievements: they make the Carrera watch, and also that Steve McQueen wore a Heuer watch in LeMans.

        Unless the sentence was edited after you posted.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Doh- beat me to it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      First, watch ads are not necessary on AUTOBLOG... not even automobile themed watches. Second, the modeling of that watch on a dude is even more unnecessary.

      Enjoy your day.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Unless that dude is Jenson Button...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Its not ugly enough.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey Autoblog, how about we do a big watch shoot out and see which watch does 0-60 fastest........ yeah that is why this sh1t should not be on Autoblog.
        • 3 Years Ago
        That would be the closest race in history!
      • 3 Years Ago
      re: Justdrive


      Ok, but it does nothing for me as I'm just not into dudes.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've tried to like Tag's over the years, yet to find one I love. Ended up with a couple Omega's and a Rolex SeaDweller instead. I drive a Carrera yet could not fall in love with Tag's Carrera. My opinion get an Omega it's the same quality as a Rolex at half the price.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I absolutely agree. In fact, I'm shopping for an Omega Speedmaster Pro as we speak.

        Ball is another good one. Just about the best bang for the buck you can find in medium priced watches.
        • 3 Years Ago
        TAG Heuer is only percieved to be downmarket by watch snobs because they have their F1 line which is cheap and that for a long time they weren't using their own movements.

        In terms of actual horological history, however, imho, TAG trumps Omega. Omega came out with the co-axial escapement and put a watch on the moon. Heuer came out with the chronograph, the automatic chronograph, the first mechanical watch accurate to 1/100th of a second and was the first Swiss watch in space.

        Don't get me wrong, Omega makes a fine watch, but it's silly to say Omega is on a par with Rolex and TAG trails. Hold the new Aquaracer 500 next to a Planet Ocean. Neither is superior to the other.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I like the style of the Carerra. I have a Date-Just and a Yachtmaster plus a Planet Ocean plus a few Panerai watches but I like my Tag. It was 1700 used and I think it's worth that price.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Fully agreed, Tag has been going downmarket with lower prices and lower value for the masses.

        An Omega Speedmaster is an excellent investment....it's been tested by Nasa to be extremely tough, and keeps its value well. Sells for $3-4k.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cool looking watch, but I would stick with the Monaco. The newer ones just dont look nice.
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