Feature: At the Indy 500 With Driver Alexander Rossi and TAG Heuer’s New Limited-Edition Watches

TAG Heuer, Alexander Rossi
TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer brought some major style and design to the 2019 Indianapolis 500. The company unveiled two new special-edition timepieces to commemorate its 15-year partnership as the Official Timekeeper of the Verizon IndyCar Series and the the 103rd Indianapolis 500, showcasing the Carrera Indy 500 Special Edition and the Formula 1 Indy 500 Special Edition timepieces.

Both watches were created and designed to honor the Indy 500 and TAG Heuer’s long history and association with auto racing. TAG Heuer had a major presence at the 103rd Indianapolis 500, like they have at past races over the last decade, including with the new watches and branding alongside the finish line—the only branding on the inside of the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

TAG Heuer
TAG Heuer

The new watches designed by TAG Heuer are meant to invoke the history and passion racing fans have around the Indy 500. The Formula 1 Indy 500 Special Edition watch is a 43mm chronograph design that has the Indy 500 name on the black aluminium bezel, while the chronograph seconds hand is designed in red, giving the watch an eye-catching look. The Carrera Indy 500 Special Edition is made with perforated black calfskin strap with red stitching and the 41mm Carrera wristwatch is meant to directly link to the Indy 500 race in its inspiration. The black dial has white sub-dials, a date window and “Carrera” and “Calibre 16” printed in white, giving it a sleek and elegant design.

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The case-back of each of the watches has the iconic Indy 500 logo, including the date of this year’s race and a brick pattern in the background, inspired by the racetrack itself, known as “The Brickyard”. Both watches come in special packing and on top of all that, the watches are available internationally so all motor racing enthusiasts around the world can take part.

TAG Heuer
TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer brand ambassador and 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi took part in celebrations for the brand in Indianapolis, and the night before the race he was gifted one of the Formula 1 Indy 500 Special Edition timepieces by TAG Heuer Vice President of Marketing Andrea Soriani. Rossi had hoped to be in line to receive the special Carrera Indy 500 Special Edition watch as the winner of the 2019 Indy 500—and he certainly came close: Rossi was edged out by driver Simon Pagenaud and finished in second place.

Rossi has been working closely with TAG Heuer for a number of years, and he described what he enjoys about working with the brand and how putting together a watch is almost like what a race team does together. “When I was growing up, my dad had TAG Heuer watches, and for me it was always a goal to have a partnership with a brand like that and have that connection,” Rossi said. “They’ve been a part of IndyCar for quite some time and that connection to the heritage and tradition is great.”

TAG Heuer, Alexander Rossi
TAG Heuer

“When you look at a racecar and you look at a TAG Heuer watch, they’re both impressive, but until you get inside and you realize the level of detail, the amount of time, the amount of people, the resources that it takes to build one, it gives you a whole new appreciation and respect for the part of what a watch is,” Rossi said. “The watch is an expression of art, of fashion, of style, and it was amazing to see the behind the scenes. I think it’s similar to when people go to a race shop they see the level of detail for the simplest things.”

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Here’s a look at Pagenaud receiving his watch after winning the race:

Tag Heuer - driver Simon Pagenaud
TAG Heuer

Even though he couldn’t snag his second Indy 500 win this year, Rossi still had a major TAG Heuer connection while racing. This year, Rossi and TAG Heuer collaborated on a unique helmet design that was inspired by TAG Heuer’s history with auto racing and by one of Rossi’s heroes, the iconic Steve McQueen. The helmet, seen below, combined numerous design elements, including the look of Rossi’s usual helmet, his number 27, hand-layered images, vintage dials from TAG Heuer’s stopwatches used for sports timing, as well as nods to McQueen, Charles-Auguste Heuer, the vintage Heuer color palette, and the Carrera Panamericana race car, which served as inspiration for the Carrera collection.

Rossi spoke about the helmet ahead of the race: “To be able to take a brand with the history and presence of TAG Heuer and have some sort of influence and connection with them to design something like the helmet has been really cool,” Rossi said. “Especially for the Indy 500. There’s so many eyeballs and attention placed on this race, and because of that there’s a value that’s associated with these helmets. It was so cool to be able to collaborate with TAG Heuer on this helmet.”

TAG Heuer, Alexander Rossi
TAG Heuer

Here’s some more details about each of the watches, with info courtesy of TAG Heuer:

The TAG Heuer Carrera – Indy 500 Special Edition (Find out more on the watch here from TAG Heuer)

The new TAG Heuer Carrera – Indy 500 Special Edition is a pure demonstration of the avant-garde watchmaker’s passion for the intensity and excitement of motor racing. Presented on a perforated black calfskin strap with red stitching and lining, the 41mm Carrera wristwatch is clearly linked to the Indy 500 race. The Indy 500 logo is on the sub-dial at 6 o’clock and “Indy 500” is engraved in red on the ceramic bezel. The black dial of this sporty chronograph is complete with white sub-dials, a date window at 3 o’clock and “Carrera” and “Calibre 16” printed in white, indicating the mechanical movement inside. Subtle touches of bold red are found on the edge of the counter from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock and the chronograph seconds hand, as well as the pusher. This timepiece comes in special packaging.
Specifications:
Movement: Automatic Calibre 16, diameter 30,4 mm, 25 jewels, balance oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz), 42-hour power reserve
The Case: Diameter 41 mm, stainless steel polished case, black ceramic polished tachymeter fixed bezel, sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective treatment, water-resistant to 100 metres (10 bar), steel case back with special “Indy 500” engraving
The Dial: Black opalin dial, white minute and hour counters and second indicator, rhodium plated indexes, hour and minute hands with white SuperLuminova®, red lacquered central hand
The Strap: Perforated black calfskin leather strap with red stitching and lining, stainless steel folding clasp
Functions: Date, hours, minutes and seconds, Chronograph functions with small second

TAG Heuer
TAG Heuer

The TAG Heuer Formula 1 – Indy 500 Special Edition (Find out more on the watch here from TAG Heuer)

The first Indy 500 timepiece that the Swiss watchmaker launched outside of the US, the TAG Heuer Formula 1 – Indy 500 Special Edition is a spirited 43mm chronograph with a clear connection to the historic race. “Indy 500” and the TAG Heuer shield stand out in red on the black aluminium bezel. Continuing with the eye-catching red accents, the “60” of the minute-scale enhances the black dial with its sporty red lacquer. The chronograph seconds hand is also red, as are the hands on the white sub-dials and the numbers on the inner counter. The Indy 500 logo is prominently placed on the sub-dial at 6 o’clock. The TAG Heuer Formula 1 – Indy 500 Special Edition is presented in special packaging.
Movement: Quartz
The Case: Diameter 43 mm, stainless steel brushed case, black aluminium polished tachymeter fixed bezel, sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 200 metres (20 bar), steel case back with special “Indy 500” engraving
The Dial: Black dial, silver minute and hour counters and second indicator, rhodium plated indexes, hour and minute hands with white SuperLuminova®, red lacquered central hand
The Strap: Stainless steel bracelet and folding clasp with driving extension
Functions: Date, hours, minutes and seconds, Chronograph functions

TAG Heuer
TAG Heuer

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