Porsche and the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer TAG Heuer have joined forces in a strategic brand partnership. Within the framework of the holistic and long-term alliance, the premium manufacturers intend to jointly approach both sports competitions and the development of products. As a first step, the partners unveiled a new watch, the TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph.
“The strong friendship of our brand with TAG Heuer exists since decades and I am more than happy that we are now taking the next steps in the frame of a strategic partnership,” says Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG. “We bring together what our customers love the most about both of us: authentic heritage, thrilling sports events, unique life experiences and the fulfilment of dreams. We both strive to create some unique, magic moments for our communities. We now look forward to doing it together.”
“TAG Heuer and Porsche have common history and values, of course, but more importantly, we share an attitude,” says Frédéric Arnault, CEO of TAG Heuer. “Like Porsche, we are disruptors at heart, always in pursuit of high performance. With this alliance, TAG Heuer and Porsche finally come together officially after decades of close encounters and will create unmatched experiences and products for customers and fans that are passionate about both our brands and what we stand for.”
Two histories – one passion
For over half a century, the stories of the two companies have intersected. Similarities of heritage can be traced all the way back to the entrepreneurs of Porsche and TAG Heuer. Edouard Heuer and Ferdinand Porsche were pioneers whose visions changed their chosen fields forever. Heuer was responsible for the first manufactured chronograph and Porsche constructed a new electric wheel hub motor. Both these accomplishments earned medals at World Fairs held in Paris 11 years apart. Heuer was honoured in 1889, the first Lohner-Porsche Electromobile with this innovation was presented at the Expo in Paris in 1900.
The true cornerstones of today’s partnership, however, are descendants of the brands’ founders. Ferdinand Porsche’s son, Ferdinand Anton Ernst or “Ferry”, joined his father’s engineering office in 1931 at the age of 22 and founded the car brand that bears the family name in 1948. Within a few years, the name of Porsche would be inextricably linked with race track success all around the world – including a class win in the Carrera Panamericana race of 1954. In honour of its successful participation, Porsche calls its most powerful sportscar engine at this time ‘Carrera’.
Edouard Heuer’s great-grandson Jack led his family’s company for decades. In 1963, he created the first Heuer Carrera chronograph, designed to let drivers tell the time at a glance in the heat of action. Jack Heuer was also responsible for the Heuer Monaco, the first square-faced, water-resistant automatic chronograph watch. Its name evoked the Monaco Grand Prix as well as the Principality’s renowned Monte Carlo Rally, which Porsche won in three consecutive years, from 1968 to 1970, with its 911 model.
Steve McQueen and the Heuer logo
Just as the Porsche 911 had done for automobiles, the Heuer Monaco broke with the familiar design codes of traditional watchmaking. Its innovations had come at a significant financial cost and as an alternative to an expensive advertising campaign, Jack Heuer further cemented his brand’s link to the renowned sportscar manufacturer with a creative sponsorship arrangement with Fribourg, Switzerland-based racing driver and Porsche dealer Jo Siffert. In 2005, at the premiere of the film Jo Siffert: “Live Fast, Die Young”, Jack Heuer remembered the terms of their contract: “In exchange for CHF 25,000, he would put our logo on his car and suit. In addition, he could buy our watches at wholesale prices and resell them to his racing friends at a substantial profit. Which he did with great success because half of the paddock was wearing Heuer watches by the end of the 1969 season!” It was this connection that led Steve McQueen to wear the Heuer logo on his racing suit during the filming of Le Mans in 1970, in which he drove a Porsche 917. The American actor said at the time, “I drive the same car as Jo Siffert, and I want to wear the same suit as him.”
TAG-Turbo Engine – made by Porsche for the McLaren team
With its sale to the TAG Group, Heuer became TAG Heuer in the mid-1980s. At this time, the Porsche and TAG Heuer jointly developed and produced the TAG Turbo Engine that enabled the McLaren team to win three consecutive F1 world titles: with Niki Lauda in 1984, followed by Alain Prost in 1985 and 1986. In 1999, the relationship between Porsche and TAG Heuer grew even stronger – from the Porsche Carrera Cup and Supercup competitions, followed by the Endurance World Championship and more was yet to come. Porsche created its own Formula E team with TAG Heuer as title and timing partner in 2019, marking a starting point for an even more powerful and far-reaching collaboration.
New sports partnerships
In its second year, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team will now fight for the World Championship. Behind the wheel of Porsche’s all-electric racecar, the 99X Electric, will be drivers André Lotterer and his new teammate, Pascal Wehrlein. Porsche has long distinguished itself in endurance events and together with TAG Heuer its GT Team is well prepared for the coming FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The milestone year will also include series partnerships in ten editions of the worldwide one-make cup series Porsche Carrera Cup. In addition to physical competitions, TAG Heuer also engages in virtual racing by supporting the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. In addition, the watch brand is stepping in as global partner in Porsche’s ‘classic’ events and rallies.
Moreover, both brands share their strong passion for tennis and golf. The main tennis event is the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. This was launched in 1978, and the sports car manufacturer has been the organizer since 2002. TAG Heuer will accompany the event, which has repeatedly been named the most popular tournament in its category, as an official partner for watches and chronographs. In golf, Porsche has been the title sponsor of the Porsche European Open, one of the most traditional tournaments on the European Tour, since 2015. This year, TAG Heuer will be present as a partner for the first time here.
Finally, the brands are committed to creating unforgettable moments together in the future through the various Porsche Experiences.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph
Carrera as an icon of a name has been associated with Porsche and TAG Heuer for generations – so it was a natural choice for the first creative product collaboration. A tribute to the heritage of two brands, the new chronograph offers a first glimpse at what they can achieve together and is a seamless blend of the Porsche and TAG Heuer universes, reflecting the excellence of both names without diluting the essence of either.
Porsche’s engraved inscription is visible on the bezel and the unmistakable font is also used for the indexes. The Porsche colours of red, black, and grey – which also recall historic Heuer models – are incorporated throughout the watch, and on clear display through the transparent cristal case back is the oscillating mass, which has been redesigned in affectionate tribute to Porsche’s celebrated steering wheel. It is printed with “Porsche” and “TAG Heuer”.
The dial’s asphalt effect, created especially for this watch, expresses a passion for the road, while Arabic numerals suggest the numbers on the dashboard of fine Porsche sportscars. The timepiece is presented either on a soft strap in luxurious calf leather and innovative stitching that echoes the Porsche interior or on an interlocking bracelet reflecting streamlined racing design. At the heart of the timepiece is the in-house Calibre Heuer 02 manufacture movement with an impressive 80-hour power reserve.
Report by Porsche (first published on newsroom.porsche.com)