When Steve McQueen wore a blue TAG Heuer Monaco in the 1971 movie Le Mans, that sealed it. TAG Heuer watches and motorsports were a thing. Since then, TAG’s hooked-up with Ferrari, McClaren and Red Bull Racing. And now Porsche. As you can see, TAG Heuer’s sponsoring Porsche’s new Formula E racer. TAG Heuer Formula E irony much? Yup . . .
TAG Heuer is hitching their watchmaking wagon to a racing series designed to showcase disruptive technology. Formula E’s battery-powered racers embody and represent a changing of the guard, marking the automobile’s evolution from suck, bang, blow (internal combustion) to tap ‘n go (electric).
You could say EV’s are to internal combustion-powered vehicles what the smartwatch is to mechanical and quartz watches. I’d agree. I don’t think TAG Heuer would. Why would they? When it comes to smartwatches, the venerable Swiss watchmaker ain’t got game. (They might want to start by fixing their website.)
Until and unless TAG finds a way to reinvent their product, the company’s association with Formula E’s a bit off-brand at the least, highly ironic at the most. A possibility that even the watch pimps at Hodinkee.com [just about] recognize . . .
It’ll be interesting to see to what extent the new partnership informs the product offerings from TAG Heuer – Formula E-specific designs seem a logical next move, and given the technology and digital marketing forward vibe that Formula E projects, we may see TAG Heuer leaning harder into unusual materials, after a bit of an hiatus from some of the more aggressive concept watch experiments of the mid-2000s.
Nope. The smartwatch crisis is in full swing. Making mechanical watches with expensive “unusual materials” is like putting lipstick on a pig — unless you operate in the watch market occupied by Patek Philippe, Richard Mille et al. Which TAG Heuer doesn’t. Still, style points. Ammirite?