TAG Heuer Rolls Out Monza, Limited Formula One Watches | Cigar Aficionado

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TAG Heuer Rolls Out Monza, Limited Formula One Watches

TAG Heuer Rolls Out Monza, Limited Formula One Watches
Tag Heuer recently debuted its new Monza (left) and Red Bull Racing Formula One timepieces (two on right).

"Pressure is what you make of it," says Daniel Ricciardo, Formula One driver for Red Bull Racing and TAG Heuer ambassador, before last month's Montreal Grand Prix. "I think you have to embrace it. You can turn it into a positive." Ricciardo reflected on TAG Heuer's motto, "Don't Crack Under Pressure," along with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and soccer star Didier Drogba.

"You learn to deal with pressure," explains Brady. "You get to these big moments in your sport—The Super Bowl is the pinnacle for an NFL player. There are a lot of nerves, a lot of anxiety built up, and there's a lot of pressure to perform at a high level when you have 100 million people watching the game. But, you get to that point through trial and error—you don't start there. It's a process you go through over the course of your entire life to build to a certain level."

Didier Drogba and Tom Brady

Brady joined TAG Heuer's extensive lineup of high-profile ambassadors last fall. But unlike many celebs who sign with a brand they might not be familiar with, Brady has a history with TAG Heuer that predates his contract. "When I bought my first watch in 2002, it was a TAG Heuer Carrera," he explains. "I thought it was a really big deal when I did it. So, I kind of took to [the brand] then." A few years later, Brady gifted the watch to a friend, a move he says he now regrets.

His new Heuer Monza Chronograph ($5,200) should take some of the sting out of the loss. This year, TAG Heuer reissued the design that debuted in 1976 as a tribute to famed driver Niki Lauder's first championship win with Ferrari. Upsized to 42 mm, the revamped model is distinguished by its cushion-shaped case in lightweight grade-5 titanium coated with titanium carbide, endowing it with a sporty, matte-black finish. Functions include a tachymeter for calculating speed, a pulsometer, and a chronograph. From the dashboard-inspired dial to the perforated strap, Monza takes its cues from racecars.

"The mechanical movement in a watch correlates to a racing car," says Ricciardo. He, along with Drogba, wore TAG Heuer's Red Bull Racing Formula One limited-edition chronograph, which commemorates the brand's partnership with the Formula One team. Inspired by automotive technology, the watch features a tachymeter and three white counters: a running second counter, a minute chronograph counter, and a 1/10th of a second and hour chronograph counter. The special edition comes with a steel bracelet or a blue textile strap accented with red stitching evoking a racing belt.