As race enthusiasts turn their attention to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 this Sunday, TAG Heuer unveiled a pair of commemorative Indy 500-themed watches and a special screen for its new Connected smartwatch at the Timecrafters event in New York City earlier this month.
Though he won't be racing at the famous Brickyard this year, actor, race car driver, and TAG Heuer ambassador Patrick Dempsey compares the experience at Indy to racing at Le Mans, where he made the podium last year, finishing second in his class. "The experience of Le Mans is mythic in so many ways," he explains. "The event is very much like the Indy 500—the pageantry, sense of history. The place has an aura about it that is hard to put into words."
For the Indy centennial, TAG Heuer presented the Carrera Heuer 01 Indy 500 special-edition chronograph ($5,500), limited to 100 pieces. The 45 mm case is made from a combination of stainless steel and titanium carbide coated steel, while the open worked dial reveals a glimpse of its engine, the Calibre Heuer 01 automatic chronograph movement. The winged logo of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway appoints the dial, and the tachymeter bezel is marked with the words "Indy 500" in red. The 100th anniversary motif appears on the clear-sapphire case back, which shows off the movement mechanics, including a red column wheel.
TAG Heuer will produce 1,000 pieces of the more accessible stainless-steel Formula 1 Indy Limited ($1,600) powered by a super accurate quartz movement with timing precision to 1/100th of a second. When you activate the chronograph, the hand on the counter at 6 o'clock (decorated with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway insignia) spins a full revolution per second for the first 30 seconds. Indy 500 is printed in red on the tachymeter bezel, and the solid case back bears the 100th running emblem. You can also choose between a stainless-steel bracelet or a stylish black Nato brand strap.
Even TAG Heuer's Connected smartwatch has a dose of Indy fever with a special screen in black and orange depicting the 100th anniversary logo and a race car.
For Dempsey, the partnership is a natural fit. "TAG Heuer is very much about capturing time and measuring time in motorsports," he says. "The more I get to know the brand, the more I like the history."
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