Yesterday at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show TAG Heuer announced its new partnership with Aston Martin, and now less than 24 hours later, we can bring you the first photos of two Aston Martin-branded watches that accompany the deal. The two companies are already partners at the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team, where perhaps confusingly, Aston Martin is the team’s naming sponsor, but the engines are badged as TAG Heuer.
Despite Aston Martin’s long relationship with other watch brands, this isn’t the first time that TAG Heuer has worked on watches related to the venerable British car manufacturer, with at least two TAG Heuer watches developed in the mid-2000s being inspired by Aston Martin. You may know one of these, but the second watch will surprise you.
The 2018 Aston Martin TAG Heuer range is made up of two chronographs- one Aston Martin Racing watch- a quartz Formula 1 with Aston Martin Racing’s “lime essence” highlights- and one Aston Martin watch, a more subdued Carrera Heuer-01 with a bespoke dial, centre case and lugs.
Before we go into depth on the two newest TAG Heuers, let’s take a quick look at the deal signed between the two brands.
Aston Martin and TAG Heuer
The agreement announced at the 2018 GIMS yesterday was that TAG Heuer has been chosen as “Official Partner, Official Watch Partner and Official Connected Watch Partner” of Aston Martin and Aston Martin Racing. The deal brings to an end the short-lived link between Aston Martin and Richard Mille that commenced in 2016, which in turn followed a 12 year partnership with Jaeger-LeCoultre, a marriage that produced the AMVOX line of watches at JLC (the model name being a portmanteau of “Aston Martin” and “Memovox“).
Presented at the launch were TAG Heuer branded cars, including the amazing Adrian Newey/ Red Bull Racing designed Valkyrie AMR (above) and the 2018 Vantage GTE race car, due to compete in the GTE Pro category of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Each of the cars are painted in Aston Martin Racing’s “lime essence” warpaint, with bright red or green highlights.
The First Aston Martin TAG Heuers?
Back in 2005, TAG Heuer launched the Vanquish, affectively a low-production version of the Carrera Calibre 360 concept watch. Named after the Aston Martin Vanquish, launched in 2001, there were only 12 watches produced. But what made TAG Heuer choose the name? Was it a sign of a deal with Aston Martin? We spoke to one former insider, who set the record straight: TAG Heuer simply chose the name because they liked it!
But this wasn’t the only TAG Heuer watch named after an Aston- because the name used for the first Monaco Twenty-Four prototype was the TAG Heuer Monaco DBR9. The connection was that the DBR9 in Gulf livery (below) was entered into the 2008 Le Mans 24 hours race…the same race after which the Monaco Twenty-Four is named.
We understand that TAG Heuer and Aston Martin had several discussions around 2007-09 to investigate a brand partnership. While TAG Heuer had an existing deal with Mercedes-Benz and its SLR, the team were keen to explore what other options might exist in the future. In the end, talks didn’t progress into anything serious, meaning that it took a further decade to seal a formal deal.
The Aston Martin Watches
Formula 1 Aston Martin Racing Quartz Chronograph- CAZ101P
First up we have the Aston Martin Racing Formula 1 chronograph, which uses the standard F1 43mm stainless steel case with a notched steel bezel and a black matte aluminium ring (with Aston Martin Racing text) and a tachymeter scale.
The watch has a black dial with “lime essence” highlights: central chronograph hand, sub-dial hands, inner minuterie flange and of course the Aston Martin wings logo. The dial features grey superluminova® and black gold polished hands, hour markers, as well as a grey TAG Heuer logo.
The watch also offers a bespoke black leather strap (apparently the first time TAG Heuer has offered a leather strap on a Formula 1 men’s watch). The shaped strap features lime stitching and fits perfectly with dial design.
We said last year that the Red Bull F1 Chronograph was perhaps our favourite ever Formula 1 watch, but we may well revise that opinion given the new Aston F1. We love the contrast of the black and grey dial and strap with the brilliant bright lime highlights..and even though we’d normally never like to see another logo on the dial, somehow it looks right this time.
Carrera Heuer-01 Aston Martin Chronograph-CAR2A1AB
The second watch is based on the 45mm Carrera Heuer-01 and finished with a more subdued colour scheme than the lime AMR watch. Rather than using the standard Carrera Heuer-01 case, this watch instead has a unique steel centre with shaped lines on the side, which TAG Heuer says is to “evoke speed, the race track and a piston”. Whatever the inspiration, the finishing looks fantastic and a clear departure from other Carrera Heuer-01s.
The other unique aspect of the case design are the revised lugs, which again have a different shape than the standard model.
And while we love the subtle changes to the case, the highlight of the watch is the dial. Regular readers know that we prefer a conventional dial to a skeleton dial, but here we have something in between: a black honeycomb pattern dial which offers a “semi skeleton” effect and looks fantastic.
The 12 and 6 o’clock sub-dials also have a new design, and the Aston Martin logo sits at the 9 o’clock register. The black and silver colour scheme of the dial is only broken up by the brilliant red tip of the central chronograph hand and red TAG Heuer shield on the ceramic black bezel, which also features “Aston Martin” text.
As with the Formula 1, there’s a unique leather strap (with rubber lining) as the sole option- no bracelet is available at this stage.
And also like the Formula 1, we love this Carrera, with the changes to the Aston Martin model making it the highlight of the extensive Carrera Heuer-01 range.
Price and Availability
No word yet on pricing for either of the Aston Martin TAG Heuer watch, but we’ll update this post when we get further information. And in terms of availability, both watches are designated as “Special Editions” rather than “limited editions”, which will likely mean there should be broad availability for both chronographs.
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