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Watches: TAG races into life after McLaren, CAR+ June 2016

Published: 01 May 2016

► We take a look at the latest from TAG Heuer
► Classic Monza reissued to celebrate its 40th
 New ‘Jochen Rindt’ to arrive next year

These are fast times at TAG Heuer. In December 2014 it acquired a new boss. Jean-Claud Biver is a talismanic figure in the watch industry: its equivalent of Bob Lutz or Carlos Ghosn.

He’s not hanging about. He dumped the embarrassingly poor McLaren after more than 30 years and has put the TAG Heuer name on Red Bull’s Renault engines for this season, just like the TAG-engined McLarens of the ’80s. And he’s been busy updating or reissuing TAG’s motorsport watches to match.

1) TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01: £4300 (on rubber strap)

Brash reboot for Jack Heuer’s classic chrono

The Carrera has been the mainstay of Heuer’s motorsport watches since ’63, and this very modern update has been controversial with purists. With its big diameter, its skeletonised dial (allowing you to see the movement beneath) and cases that mix steel, titanium and rose gold, it’s reminiscent of the brash Hublots Biver created in a previous job. But this is a great price for a watch with an ‘in-house’ movement, designed and made by the brand, rather than bought-in. And every icon needs an occasional reboot.

2) Heuer Autavia ‘Jochen Rindt’: TBA, on sale 2017

Favourite watch of tragic Austrian star wins public vote

Jack Heuer pioneered watch sponsorship for F1 drivers in the ‘60s by selling Jo Siffert Heuers at wholesale prices, which he then flogged to the rest of the paddock. Jochen Rindt chose this version of the Autavia racing chronograph, now much sought-after by collectors. Biver has just held a public vote to see which of the many iterations of the Autavia he should reissue, and perhaps unsurprisingly ‘the Jochen Rindt’, as collectors call it, won. It goes on sale next year.

3) TAG Heuer Monza: £4000

A ’70s classic with real racing provenance reissued

Heuer had a long relationship with Ferrari, beginning in ’71 when Jack Heuer installed a timing system at Le Mans because Enzo was convinced the French were cheating him. A system for the newly built Fiorano followed. Heuer’s data helped Ferrari end a decade-long drought with Lauda’s championship in ’75, and the Monza went on sale in ’76 to celebrate, named for the circuit where he clinched the title. It has been reissued for its 40th birthday, and looks as cool as ever.tagheuer.co.uk

All available from www.tagheuer.co.uk

Read more from the June 2016 issue of CAR magazine

By Ben Oliver

Contributing editor, watch connoisseur, purveyor of fine features

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