Stylish, sleek, cool, sporty, Bond … no, not the new line up for the Spice Girls (how dated was that reference?), but rather, words that could be associated with two world-leading brands, Aston Martin and TAG Heuer. (OK, Bond has nothing to do with TAG Heuer, but if we’d have left him out, we wouldn’t have the cheesy pop reference)
Why is this relevant?
TAG Heuer is Aston Martin Racing’s new official timekeeper, and as such, they’ve produced two specials to celebrate – the Carrera Heuer-01 Aston Martin Chronograph, and the Aston Martin Racing Formula 1 Chronograph, both fantastic.
Of course, TAG Heuer has long had an association with motorsport and speed – we’ve seen many editions from the Senna, Monaco, Carrera … we even had a Vanquish back in 2005 – it seems that most of their products have been inspired by the automotive world and the stars that race in it.
And as for Aston Martin … is there a brand that typifies elegance, speed and style better than them? Don’t forget, we’re talking about James Bond’s choice of transportation here.
They are the ultimate in cool (imagine if Steve McQueen was still alive and drove an Aston … the coolometer would be off the scale).
Carrera Heuer-01 Aston Martin Chronograph
The Carrera 01 has been heavily influenced by the Aston range – a semi-skeleton hexagonal dial (taking its inspiration from the Vantage grille) is the most striking feature, but unlike the F1 which uses the standard case, the Heuer-01 Aston uses a modified case – the lugs have been reshaped to give the look of the Aston bodywork, along with ‘racing’ stripes on the side.
The Carrera Heuer-01 features a moulded leather strap, and subtle Aston Martin detailing.
Aston Martin Racing Formula 1 Chronograph
The AMR Formula 1 Chrono uses the standard 43mm stainless case of the regular F1, with a matte black aluminium ring, engraved with ‘Aston Martin’. The main differences between the Aston Martin F1 and the regular F1 are the colours; the sub-dial markers, central chronograph hand, inner minuterie flange and the Aston Martin logo are all coloured with a ‘lime essence’.
The Aston F1 Chronograph also has a shaped leather strap, the first F1 to be offered with anything but a bracelet, and the strap features contrasting stitching (just as you may find/specify on your Aston Martin order form).
TAG Heuer, or more specifically, Heuer, have had a long association with cars and automobiles – dating back to as far as 1911 when they received a patent for the ‘Time of Trip’ – the first dashboard Chronograph designed for cars and aeroplanes.
The Carrera model has been around for 55-years (celebrating the 50th anniversary in 2013), so it’s no surprise that TAG decided to use that as the basis for one of the specials for the Aston Martin tie-in – it has an iconic status all of its own, so add the little magic of Aston Martin, and it can only go from strength to strength.
Whereas Aston Martin … they did go through a rather lean period; models were more about the name rather than anything else, but they do have a serious pedigree, and petrolheads the world over recognise the branding and early nomenclature – the iconic DB model designation (for David Brown).
For those that don’t know, the brand is probably best associated with the car of James Bond, but they have so much more to their stable – Le Mans winners, WEC champions and the list of greats that raced or driven them … it’s staggering.
For two such brands to come together can only be a good thing, both represent style and substance, although perhaps the Heuer brand has the reputation that the TAG part misses; similar to Aston of the 60s and 70s – just before they became just an English carmaker struggling to compete with the modern, more reliable and better competition.
TAG Heuer (not the earlier Heuer) does have its detractors, especially in the early noughties, but it seems that in the last ten years or so, the brand has found their mojo again, and have produced some watches that are deserving of the brand following and reputation.
The modern styling and design features of the latest watches bring the brand right up to date, and the AMR specials only help with that – they look modern, stylish and understated, whilst delivering the technical goods that you’d expect from a luxury Swiss maker.