Thirty years ago, in 1987, Brazilian Formula 1 racing driver Ayrton Senna won his first Monaco Grand Prix. Afterward, he would go on to become one of the greatest drivers the world had ever seen, winning 41 Grand Prix victories and three world championship titles before his untimely death in 1994. This year, to commemorate this racing milestone, TAG Heuer — a brand long associated with motorsports — launches three new limited-edition watches devoted to Senna.
The first new timepiece is a TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 Chronograph that combines that model’s notable features — its proprietary Heuer-01 movement and skeletonized dial layout — with several Senna-inspired design elements. The 45-mm case is made of brushed steel with a black PVD coating and is topped by a domed sapphire crystal with nonreflective treatment on both sides. A sapphire exhibition caseback, adorned with a red Senna “S” logo, reveals the movement, which is self-winding and holds a power reserve of 50 hours. The crown at 3 o’clock is made of steel and black rubber, and the chronograph push-buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock are in PVD-coated steel. The opaline black, skeletonized dial, surrounded by a black ceramic bezel with a tachymeter scale, has subdials at 12, 6, and 9 o’clock for chronograph minutes, chronograph hours, and small seconds, respectively. Red highlights on the dial and bezel, distinguishing this watch as dedicated to Senna, include the red lacquered chronograph hands (including the central chrono seconds hand); red markers on the flange’s 60-minute scale; a stylized Senna “S” logo on the small seconds subdial, and the “S” logo plus the red word “Senna” inscribed near the top of the tachymeter bezel. The date appears at 3:30; the hands and indices are rhodium-plated and coated with white Super-LumiNova. The bracelet with TAG’s signature S-shaped links is in black PVD-coated steel with a deployant buckle made of grade 2 titanium. The price: $6,200.
The other two new Senna tribute watches come from — appropriately enough — TAG Heuer’s Formula 1 collection. The watches, both powered by Swiss quartz movements and priced more accessibly than the Carrera 01, include a chronograph and a three-hand version with date. Both models have 43-mm cases in black-PVD-coated stainless steel and feature dials with red “racing” lines on their right side. The bezels are in brushed steel and feature the “Senna” logo and text. The chronograph has a slightly different tricompax dial layout from that of the Carrera 01, with elapsed hours at 6 o’clock, elapsed minutes at 9 o’clock, and small seconds (with a red Senna logo), at 3 o’clock. The hands on both watches are red lacquered and, like the dials’ polished black indices, treated with white Super-LumiNova. The date appears at 3:30 on the chronograph, and at 3 o’clock on the three-hand. Both the chronograph and the three-hand models have solid steel screw-down casebacks engraved with the Senna symbol and a TAG Heuer logo on a checkered-flag back backaground. Both come on a black-and-red rubber bracelet with S-shaped links and a brushed steel buckle. Prices are $1,650 for the Formula 1 chronograph and $1,450 for the Formula 1 three-hand with date.
TAG Heuer introduced the new Ayrton Senna Limited Editions at the opening of its new boutique in Monaco at the kickoff of the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix — an event that was attended by a special guest, Senna’s niece Bianca Senna. Another watch brand, Hublot, had previously honored Ayrton Senna with a tribute timepiece, the Hublot King Power Ayrton Senna, on the occasion of the driver’s 50th birthday in 2010.