This weekend is one of the most special dates on the global motoring calendar- the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Taking place at Lord March’s Goodwood estate near Chichester, West Sussex, the event has usurped traditional events like motor shows to become the place for car markers to show off their latest efforts. And it’s not just the car companies who are there- many of the Formula 1 teams and drivers come along to show off current and historic racing cars.
TAG Heuer began sponsoring the event in 2011, and just a few weeks ago signed a fresh agreement for the next three years as the Official Timing Partner of the Festival of Speed. And this is good news for watch fans, because traditionally, sponsorships like this result in new watches..
TAG Heuer Carrera McLaren 1974 Edition
In 1974, Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi won the first of his two World Championships for McLaren. The team was founded in 1963 and made its Grand Prix debut a few years later in 1966. While the team would win several races in those early years with drivers Bruce McLaren and fellow Kiwi Denny Hulme, true success for the team proved elusive until the 1970s, after Bruce’s death.
Led by Teddy Mayer, the team hired young Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi for the 1974 season whose World Championship win was the first for the team. Given the 40th anniversary of this milestone, it’s not surprising that the new TAG Heuer watch for the 2014 Festival of Speed pays homage to this anniversary.
The TAG Heuer Carrera CH1887 McLaren 40th Anniversary Edition is based on the 43mm Carrera 1887 Ceramic Bezel (below), but with a few bespoke features.
Let’s start with the dial, which is Silver opaline (White)- a colour not available on the standard 43mm 1887. Providing contrast are the two Black sub-dials at 12 and 6 o’clock which lose the Silver border of the standard model. The usual Red detailing on the hands, chronograph pusher and “Automatic” text are replaced by McLaren’s traditional Orange.
One of the most effective elements of the dial are the Black-Gold finishes applied to the hands and double-numerals. It gives the watch a much sportier look that the standard model, and to our eyes looks great. The TAG Heuer logo is printed, rather than featuring an applied logo.
And finally, the text “McLaren 1974 Edition” features on the Ceramic bezel.
Following the news a few weeks ago that the Calibre CH80 was on indefinite hold, the CH1887 is TAG Heuer’s sole production Chronograph movement.
Price and Availability
While details have yet to be confirmed, we understand that the McLaren Carrera will be a Limited Edition, perhaps only available in the UK. No news yet on how many watches will be made, but we’d think that 1,974 has a nice ring to it…but with that number it would have to be a globally available model.
Expect pricing in the UK around GBP4,500, with the first watches available around September.
The History of TAG Heuer and McLaren
If you’re new to Calibre 11, then make sure you check out this article that gives an overview of both the history of the relationship between McLaren and TAG Heuer, as well as taking a look at the watches TAG Heuer have made to commemorate the partnership. While Fittipaldi’s McLaren did feature Heuer sponsorship, both brands consider the true partnership to have started in 1985 when Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG) owned both TAG Heuer and 50% of what was then known as McLaren International.
Shown above are three of the most recent collaborations- the Carrera MP4-12C launched alongside the road car of the same name, last year’s Carrera 1887 that marked 50 years of McLaren and then this years 40th Anniversary CH1887.
TAG Heuer Drivers’ Club
The design is a combination of a traditional 1/10th second Heuer Stopwatch and the double-numerals from the Carrera McLaren Edition.