Why is the Monaco Grand Prix so special? Quite simply, there’s no other track like it. Former racing driver, Nelson Piquet, has described the Monaco Grand Prix as akin to riding a bicycle around your living room. Apart from narrow and bumpy roads, there is next to no clearance between the track and everything else. Overtaking is also notoriously difficult and accidents are as dramatic as they are inevitable. And this why even though it’s one of the slowest F1 circuits, the Monaco Grand Prix brings more excitement and glamour to the table than any other race. Everybody knows this, including Tag Heuer, which has been the official partner of this beautiful event since 2011.
The Monaco Grand Prix holds a special significance to Tag Heuer. In 1969, when the company finally succeeded in making its first automatic chronograph wristwatch, then-president Jack Heuer dedicated the watch to the Monaco Grand Prix’s 40th anniversary. Today, it is one of the most iconic timepieces of all time.
Glamorous doesn’t even begin to describe the Monaco Grand Prix. The entire city is literally choking with supercars. It’s the only time you’ll see a 1969 Corvette Stingray parked beside a Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6X6,, as an Aston Martin DB11 roars by, followed swiftly by a Ferrari 488 Spider. Super stars, too, descend onto Monaco in droves. This season saw the likes of Adriana Lima and Jerome Boateng, along with Serena Williams and Chris Hemsworth who were there to support Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer.
Being a brand ambassador for Tag Heuer, Hemsworth does have a couple more reasons to root for the team. The brand hosted Hemsworth and driver Daniel Ricciardo aboard a luxury private yacht. They were joined by other special guests including Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Tag Heuer.
Tag Heuer also invited Bianca Senna whose uncle was the late, great racing wunderkind Ayrton Senna. Senna famously won the Monaco Grand Prix a record-breaking six times. Considered one of the greatest drivers of all time, he holds three F1 world championship titles, 65 pole positions, and 41 Grand Prix victories.
Tag Heuer designed a collection of three limited-edition watches to pay tribute to Senna’s first win on the Monaco circuit in 1987. The timepieces were unveiled during the inauguration of Tag Heuer’s latest boutique in Monaco officiated by Bianca.
For the first time, Tag Heuer’s proprietary Heuer-01 movement is paired with the Senna design codes. The Carrera Heuer-01 Chronograph has an imposing 45mm case in black brushed steel. It’s enlivened with touches of red, the colour of Ayrton’s racing suit with McLaren. Through the front, the skeleton dial reveals part of the movement. The smoked sapphire caseback is decorated with a red ‘S’, which stands for Senna and vaguely resembles the curves of a chicane.
The other two are quartz-powered pieces from the F1 collection. The red and black colour palette link them back to the mechanical Carrera model, as do the Senna symbols on the dial and bezel. The S-shaped links are reminiscent of the Tag Heuer watch Ayrton wore for the first Don’t Crack Under Pressure campaign in 1991.