TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 Watch

A few months ago, I posted an article on the series of watches that TAG Heuer had released in partnership with the McLaren Formula 1 team.

Several helpful readers pointed out that while the article captured all the Formula 1 linked watches, it missed perhaps the rarest of them all- the TAG Heuer 6000 Chronometer that was given to the 64 owners of the McLaren F1 road car.

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 2Given the fantastic insight and information in the comments posted by Shelton, Erik and Justin, I thought that it was worth summarising their key points into a single post about this rare watch. There were in fact two versions of this watch produced, one of which has never been seen for re-sale since its release 17 years ago.

The Car

1997 McLaren F1The story goes that Murray first had the idea for the F1 when he was on a plane returning from the 1988 Italian Grand Prix, a race famous for being the first Grand Prix held after the death of Enzo Ferrari. Up until that point, the McLaren MP4/4 of Senna and Prost had won every one of the previous 11 races. With two laps to go Senna was in the lead and looked certain to win when he crashed into the Williams of Jean-Louis Schlesser while coming up to lap the Frenchman.

The Ferrari’s of Berger and Alboreto swept past to take a 1-2 finish as a final gift to the Old Man. Perhaps it was seeing the hysteria that followed that inspired Murray to create the ultimate road car, maybe to tap into the amazing emotion and love that people have for Ferrari.

The McLaren F1 was launched in 1993 to instant acclaim- although the economic times and the astronomic price of the car meant that only 64 road cars would ever be built.

The McLaren F1 had no optional extras, but buyers did get two presents with the car: a set of golf clubs designed to fit in the car and a watch.

The Watch

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 4The watch was a special edition TAG Heuer 6000. That a TAG Heuer was chosen is no surprise, not just because of the fact that TAG Heuer was a sponsor of the McLaren F1 team, but also because Ron Dennis was a major shareholder in TAG Heuer itself.

The F1 6000 had a silver dial with applied hour markers and a distinctive leather braided strap. At the bottom lug is the lettering “F1” with “V12” written underneath. The markings “F1/V12″ are identical to the lettering on the steering wheel and/or the signed placard found just below the gear shift panel on the right hand side of the driver’s seat.

Because McLaren did not end up selling as many F1’s as expected, TAG Heuer were left with some spare watches, which it modified and gave or sold to employees or customers. The differences between these two versions are detailed below.

Version 1: Owners Watch

The version of the watch that was given to owners has the script “McLaren Cars” followed by the Chassis Number below the centre stem, as you can see on this example below.

Version 2: Non-Owners Watch

The non-owner version of the watch is identical except for the writing on the dial, which reads:

Officially certified

This version of the watch has the reference number WH5214.FC6031- although I’m not sure whether this is different to the owners version. My thanks to Levente Kovacs for these awesome photos.

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 1 (1)

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 3

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 5

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 6

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 7

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 8

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 9

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 10

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 11

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 12Both versions of this watch are incredibly hard to find. There have been maybe 3-4 examples of the non-owners watch that have come to market in the last 5 years and none of the owners watches…so far.

TAG Heuer will produce a new watch for owners of the MP4-12C car due to be released next year, which you can read more about here. It would be great to get some shots of the Owners version of the original F1 watch to go with the new MP4-12C watch…so, if anyone is one of the 64 lucky souls who has a McLaren F1 and you’re reading this from your underground lair or yacht, please get the cabin boy to fetch the watch from the glovebox and send in some photos.

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 13

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 14

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 15

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 16

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 17

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 18

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 19

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 20

TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 - 21



Owners watch: Aaron Bhatnagar

Non-owners watch: Levente Kovacs

  • Justin

    Great summary David – especially about the car!

    My bad as I failed to mention that all owners also received an artbook of all of Murray's sketches and designs of the F1, a full set of titanium tools and diagnostics computer(all tailored specifically for the F1).

    Ironically, the name "McLaren F1" was not from it's F1 heritage but rather they wanted to make the "McLaren F1, 39 steps ahead of the F40" according to Murray.

    Erik – does the back housing also have the chassis number etched into it? Also, which number do you have? Maybe we can track down it's previous celebrity owner (laughs).

    Peleton – hello to a fellow McLaren F1 fanatic!

  • jps

    Interesting thread!

    I was given one of the employees’ versions of this watch around 1985, and have worn it occasionally since then. Although I see it as an heirloom watch it would be good to know more about it – thanks for this article, David. Does anyone have any idea how to go about getting more information about it’s value, and perhaps how to sell it? email me on the above @europe.com.

    I was involved with McLaren over a number of years and was privileged to have worked on the new factory at Woking – happy days!


  • DC

    Hi JPS,

    Great to have someone who has worked with McLaren take the time to post. Its always been my favourite team and is probably what first got me interested in TAG Heuer- the first F1 season I watches in full was 1988, with TAG Heuer's logo on the windshield of the two McLaren-Hondas.

    Not sure about the date though? If you're talking about the 6000-series for the owners of the F1 Roadcar, that wouldn't have appeared until the early 1990s.


  • MrRevill

    I'm currently trying to identify my watch and it looks very similar to the examples above, but with a white face and no F1 mark on the bottom. You may notice that there is a small chip on the front and a loose part in the back, but I want to get this fixed up. Can anyone tell me if there is any relation to the watches above and a rough valuation with/without getting it fixed up?



  • DC

    Sorry MrRevill- doesn't look like a genuine TAG Heuer to me.


  • James


    Fascinating article!

    I just inherited one of these (non-owners version) from my father. He worked with McLaren throughout the 90’s and was a personal friend of Ron Dennis. Ron gave this watch to my dad as a gift, and needless to say it was very special to him. For years he would not wear it, but then finally decided to. He wore it everywhere after that! At the beach, while redecorating, etc. He got plenty of use out of it, but of course now the watch shows significant signs of wear.

    Which brings me to the point. I would like to hold onto this watch as a family heirloom, because of what it meant to my father. I would like to restore it somewhat. Not necessarily to like new condition, but to usable condition. The braided leather strap needs replacing for instance, and that is proving impossible to locate. Does anyone have a recommendation for how to service/repair this rare watch? Should it go back to Tag (do they even do that?) or an authorized Tag dealer? Or any reputable jeweler/watchmaker? Any idea where to look for the strap, or was the same strap ever used on another Tag watch that might prove easier to locate and buy for the strap?

    Thanks for any advice or assistance…


  • DC

    Hi James,

    I love watches with good stories- having a well-worn watch that was a gift from Ron Dennis has enormous sentimental value and its great that you are holding on to it.

    Servicing the watch should be simple- its a fairly standard ETA movement. Likewise, the strap should be something that TAG Heuer have.

    Getting work done on the case is something that involves more risk and skill- it can be done, but I'd be very careful. At one extreme, you could simply get a brand new case…many people would say to keep it in its well-worn condition, replace the strap, service and enjoy.

    That's probably what I'd do too.

    Feel free to send me an e-mail if you do decide to send it to TAG Heuer- I can try and help


  • tom


    I also worked for Mclaren for many years until the early days of their new factory,and was presented with a WH5214 (non owners). I am seriously contemplating selling it, as it only gathers dust in a draw.I recieved a more personal gift from my work colleagues at the time that is more important to me,as nice as the watch is. Have you any idea where would be the best market,ebay etc, to sell it, and a rough estimate for a price it might expect to fetch.

    Thanks, Tom.

    • DC

      Hi Tom. I reckon you'll get the best price for this from an F1/ Collectors website- they'll value the fact that it was owned by a McLaren employee…I'd speak to them first for their idea on value.

      I haven't seen many of these for sale, so don't feel confident giving you a price- but more than $2000 and less than $5000…and not necessarily in the middle.



  • tom

    Thanks for the info David, much appreciated.



  • stevo

    Hi, I have a brand new old stock TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 non owners version of this watch which I am listing on E-Bay for sale over the weekend. The watch is 100% new and unused in mint condition. It comes fully boxed with the original owners manual and warranty card. I will post details here once I get the listing up and running.


  • stevo

    Hi, My TAg Heuer 6000 F1 V12 watch is now listed on E-Bay. Its brand new old stock and fully boxed.

    Cheers Stevo

  • DC

    Stevo, good luck with the sale.

    For those interested, the sale is here:


  • Francois

    Very insight full thanks David, great artical.

    Amd I thought my Kirium McLaren was rare lol

  • James Barr

    Hi all, interesting to read the interest in these watches. I worked for McLaren racing and was given one these non-owners watch about 5 years ago as a thank you from the management for the work we did on the McLaren Brand Centre and getting it to Silverstone on time for the GP in 2007. It has sat in its box since then with all of my other memorabilia until I moved to live in Shetland last year when I left McLaren after 10 years service. I had to give back my issued Tag watch and was left without a decent watch to wear. I did consider selling the watch but it meant too much to me as I have a letter from Jonathon Neale (McLaren Racing MD) thanking me for my efforts and why I was given the watch. I now wear it everyday to work and when I go out and don’t think that I will ever part with it.The pin on the strap clasp has recently come loose so I am taking it in for repair when I get to the mainland at the weekend. 10 happy years travelling first with the Team Comms Centre and then the Brand Centre all over Europe with the team.
    JB Shetland

    • calibre11

      Hi James,

      Thanks for taking the time to tell us more- I’m pleased that you didn’t sell and watch, and even more pleased that you actually wear it…that’s what they’re for rather than to sit in a safe. Certainly hang on to that letter from Jonathon Neale, as it might be helpful in the future to validate the history of the watch.

      I remember when the Brand Centre was launched- certainly changed the face of F1 hospitality (at least from what I’ve seen from the outside!!)