Tag Heuer Look To The Future Whilst Celebrating Their Past

by Time Squared - Date: 2010-10-12 - Word Count: 407 Share This!

For any top watchmaker, a major anniversary is a time to look back through its history, relive its triumphs, reaffirm the values that got it this far, and yes, celebrate its survival in an increasingly competitive and cutthroat world. TAG Heuer's 150th birthday sees it following the traditional pattern in its worldwide marketing.

There is a handsomely illustrated commemorative book as well as a new "360-degree" museum in the shape of a watch. There are a number of new watches that reassert the commitment to precision timekeeping and rugged good looks that sees the brand associated indelibly with the sport of motor racing. And there is "The Showdown of Champions" which does much the same in pitting MacLaren drivers and Formula 1 world champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button against each other in a somewhat bizarre horological face-off.

Then, to cap it all, there is the Odyssey of Pioneers, a link-up with US car company Tesla Motors that takes the car, and an 18-piece collection of TAG Heuer watches, including the new Carrera Calibre 1887, on a seven-month round-the-world roadshow from Geneva to London. The odyssey includes stops in major cities along the way featuring much hoopla and unfeasible numbers of major and minor celebs, and as such looks like a savvy marketing ploy that keeps TAG Heuer in the public eye for most of this year.

For the TAG purist, however, this last publicity stunt might just be a step too far, since at first glance at least it appears to separate TAG Heuer from its most hallowed traditions. After all, when it comes to cars the company is all about the high-octane, gas-guzzling speed of motor-racing. As such, it is resolutely not politically correct, a kind of Jeremy Clarkson of watches. And yet here it is linking up with the Tesla, a California-based electric car company dedicated to the outlandish idea that electric cars can not only salve the conscience but be, in aesthetic and performance terms, "awesome". As Clarkson might put it "who are they kidding?"

Tesla, however, is not kidding at all. Its TAG Heuer Tesla Roadster is a zero-emission sports car that not only looks great - courtesy of a body by Lotus - it is also capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. "TAG", it seems, has managed to square that awkward circle combining environmental rectitude with blistering speed. Not a bad start to the next 150 years for this great watchmaker.

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