The TAG Heuer and Porsche partnership is a match made in heaven. It officially started in 2021, with the introduction of this TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche Orange Racing, however, it goes well beyond sponsorships of racing events for marketing purposes, and a special edition watch. In case you do not know yet, and to add legitimacy to the story, in the 1980s, when TAG (Techniques d’Avant Garde) Group bought Heuer, Porsche and TAG developed and built a 1.5L V6 TAG-Porsche Turbo engine with 1,060 hp and 12,600 rpm for the McLaren MP4/2B. It was one of the most successful engines of those years, securing McLaren a win in three consecutive F1 world titles with Niki Lauda in 1984 and Alain Prost in 1985 and 1986 at the wheel. Now both brands are winning watch fans with special editions. Including the latest TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche Orange Racing.
The new TAG x Porsche collaboration is based on a Carrera Sport Chronograph presented in 2020, and it follows the TAG Heuer Carrera x Porsche of 2021 and the Yellow edition of 2022. All three TAG x Porsche come in a 44mm case, driven by a high-performance Calibre Heuer 02 and capable of racing non-stop for 80 hours. The difference between these models is visible but purely aesthetic. Just as you choose a colour for your car, TAG Heuer x Porsche lets you decide if asphalt grey and white, black and yellow, or black and orange is your thing. TAG Heuer explains the orange “was inspired by the colour of the heat sparks made by the car on the asphalt.” Should this not be enough, please think Porsche’s Lava Orange colour used since the 2000s on the 911 GT3 RS (Type 997) models and the latest generation of 911 GT3s and Boxters, or Gulf Orange from 1972, as Porsche offered vehicles in orange throughout 1960-1970s up until about 1978, but I digress.
The new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche Orange Racing makes lots of vibrant sparks. The bevelled domed sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective treatment will not crack under pressure, no doubt. The stainless steel case is black DLC treated, the screw-down sapphire case back and the crown is made of steel with black DLC, the fixed ceramic bezel is black, and the piston-style pushers, you guessed it, are black, too. And so is the winding rotor, shaped after a Porsche steering wheel. And the folding clasp with double safety push buttons on a textured black calfskin leather strap. The black dial has a vertical brush finish – this is new to this edition. The minutes-track flange is black – this sums up the details in a 0, 0, 0, 100 CMYK colour scheme.
Now, orange is where it should be and in doses just right to whet your appetite. The name Porsche is parked on the ceramic bezel with a white tachymeter scale, in bright orange, as is the middle ring of the crown, orange-lacquered. The black texture of the base dial looks like the speed marks the brand implies, and the dial is orange-outlined, with white applied Arabic numerals that use the same typeface as the dashboards of Porsche cars. Familiar sub-dial layout 3-6-9 is comprised of orange-outlined counters; chrono counter hands are all orange-tipped. The minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock and the hour chronograph counter at 6 are both black “azuré” finished, and the small seconds sub-dial is black-grained. The chronograph’s central seconds hand is bright orange, and this colour finds a few spots to highlight on the reverse. The black rotor has orange mentions of the Cal. Heuer 02, Tag Heuer and Porsche, and the top part of the column wheel shows this colour.
In this edition, the designers of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche Orange Racing decided to leave out the Calibre designation and power reserve capability “statements” found in the previous edition at 6 o’clock. All for the better, the crowded dial needed some space, and this decision made the date window a little more obvious, not lost. Inside the case is the in-house Heuer 02 calibre, a modern integrated chronograph with a column wheel and a vertical clutch to ensure smooth and accurate operations. Running at 4Hz, it has a healthy 80-hour power reserve. This watch is worthy of the brand names it proudly bears, and it is a good chronograph, perfectly legit, technically advanced and original. The textured strap has orange stitching modelled after the sports car upholstery, and the strap lining is orange, so Orange Racing it is, no doubt, with so many elements to support the name.