Some say opposites attract. And when it comes to magnetic fields or battery terminals, we’d be inclined to agree. But when it comes to lasting partnerships that really make history, we’re of the opinion that a shared philosophy is the secret to success. Like any great kindred spirits, TAG Heuer and Porsche truly are ‘driven’ by the same desire.
The alliance between our two brands has proven not only that together, we’re greater than the sum of our parts – but that two companies with a shared passion for innovation, precision, and entrepreneurship (not to mention speed) can take the art of collaboration to new heights.
After decades of close encounters, our legendary brands took the leap; since February 4th 2021, TAG Heuer and Porsche have been united in a partnership that in many ways feels like a natural evolution of their shared history. With common DNA in motorsports and racing, these two might well have been made for each other; from competitions and sponsorship to the development of extraordinary product innovation, the future is looking very bright.
Both ‘disruptors’ at heart, Porsche and TAG Heuer have always pursued the limits of performance. Never satisfied with the status quo, always seeking the next innovation, and only accepting the very best. It’s an ‘esprit’ that’s hard to put into words; but we think TAG Heuer CEO Frédéric Arnault put it well when he said,
“TAG Heuer and Porsche have common history and values, of course, but more importantly, we share an attitude”.
With a shared reputation for cutting-edge technologies, a powerfully independent mindset, and excellence in design, for over half a century the stories of these two brands have met in a myriad ways.
Says Detlev von Platen, Executive Boardmember 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 magic for our communities. We now look forward to doing it together.”
To understand where these common roots were born, let’s go back in time to the founding of our companies by two self-taught entrepreneurs, Edouard Heuer and Ferdinand Porsche. Both pioneering visionaries, whose creations changed their respective fields forever; Heuer was responsible for the first manufactured chronograph, while Porsche was the inventor of an electric wheel hub motor. Each earned medals at the Paris World’s Fair: Heuer in 1889, and Porsche in 1900.
Ferdinand Anton Ernst, son of Ferdinand Senior, joined his father’s engineering office in 1931 and went on to found the Porsche car brand in 1948. Within a few years, the Porsche name would be associated with race track success all around the world – including a class win in the Carrera Panamericana race of 1954. In honour of this record, Porsche’s most powerful engine still goes by the name of ‘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. And so, the two companies met for the first time in the spirit of the ‘Carrera’ (or ‘race’), with each incarnation becoming synonymous with ambition, speed and, above all, technical excellence.
Introduced in 1969, the first TAG Heuer Monaco was another watch conceived by Jack Heuer; the first square-faced, water-resistant automatic chronograph, its name heralded both the Monaco Grand Prix and the Monte Carlo Rally – which, as it happens, Porsche won for three consecutive years, from 1968 to 1970, with its signature 911 model. Just as the 911 revolutionised the car world, the Heuer Monaco – with its distinctive case, blue metallic dial, red seconds hand and repositioned crown – broke the rules of traditional watchmaking to create a revolution of its own.
Jack further cemented Heuer’s connection to Porsche via a creative sponsorship deal with Swiss racing driver – and Porsche dealer – Jo Siffert. But the relationship became much more than a mere promotional arrangement. Soon, Heuer watches were everywhere in the F1 paddock, and actor Steve McQueen would don the Heuer logo on his racing suit during the filming of Le Mans in 1970 – in which he drove a Porsche 917. The legendary American actor said at the time, “I drive the same car as Jo Siffert, and I want to wear the same suit as him.”
Soon after Heuer evolved into TAG Heuer, in the 1980s Porsche collaborated with the watchmaking Maison on the development and production of the TAG-Turbo engine – which would enable the McLaren team to win three consecutive F1 world titles, with Niki Lauda and Alain Prost at the wheel. In 1999, the relationship grew even stronger – from the Porsche Carrera Cup and Supercup competitions, to the Endurance World Championship. A founding partner of the Formula E championship, TAG Heuer raised the profile of the event, and when Porsche created its own Formula E team, TAG Heuer were title and timing partner in 2019.
This year, our “beautiful friendship” has become an official brand partnership, celebrated by a special-edition timepiece: the TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph was released in a celebration of our union of the two iconic brands. A tribute to our shared heritage both on and off the racetrack, the new chronograph is a taste of what’s in store for our joint community.
An exquisite example of coordination, cooperation and collaboration, this iconic timepiece based on TAG Heuer’s Carrera Sport Chronograph design introduces a number of features inspired by Porsche’s design essence. Porsche’s inscription is engraved on the bezel, and the unmistakable font is also used for the indexes, while the Porsche colours of red, black, and grey – which also recall historic Heuer models – are incorporated throughout the watch. Displayed through the transparent crystal case back, the oscillating mass has been redesigned in tribute to Porsche’s celebrated steering wheel, printed with “Porsche” and “TAG Heuer”.
With the official partnership between TAG Heuer and Porsche only just accelerating across the starting line, we’ve got our eyes firmly on the road ahead. And in the rearview mirror? Nearly a century of shared heritage, passion, and performance for two of the world’s most thrilling luxury brands. This is no ordinary partnership – it’s a friendship that stretches from the original vision of our founding families, all the way to the revolution of motorsports. From one friend to another, we can’t wait to see what the future holds…