It seems celebrations just won’t stop for TAG Heuer. Sixty years ago, Jack Heuer presented a chronograph wristwatch meant specifically for racing drivers, called TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph. Now, together with Porsche, the two brands have created yet another unique tribute: the ‘TAG Heuer x Porsche – Legends of Panamericana’ Sonderwunsch project, inspired by the 550 Coupé in which two customer teams raced in the Carrera Panamericana raced in 1953.
As part of the project, two sports cars were constructed at the Porsche Sonderwunsch workshop in Stuttgart Zuffenhausen with the assistance of Style Porsche, the company archive, Porsche Latin America, and in partnership with TAG Heuer. The car with the racing number, 154, will make its debut this weekend at the Rennsport Reunion 7, Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca, CA, where it will be displayed during the ‘TAG Heuer Heritage Experience’ exhibition.
The second car, number 152, will be driven by Patrick Dempsey, racing driver, US actor and brand ambassador for TAG Heuer as well as Porsche, in the first and second stages of this year’s Carrera Panamericana race. This 718 Cayman GT4 RS, which differs only slightly from the first car, is to be auctioned in early 2024. The La Carrera Panamericana is often described as ‘the last great road race’.
The name, ‘Carrera’, and the legend behind the race have inspired both the watchmaker and the car manufacturer for decades. So, to honour this rich racing heritage and the TAG Heuer Carrera, Porsche and TAG Heuer have launched the Porsche 718 GT4 RS Panamericana Special, a sports car that is a physical manifestation of the exhilarating partnership between the two icons. The La Carrera Panamericana will be held between 12 and 19 October this year.
A Dash of History
The interior of the Porsche 718 GT4 RS Panamericana Special is replete with striking details. Let’s take the dashboard for example; as a nod to TAG Heuer’s long history of crafting dashboard-mounted timing devices, the car comes with new timers, inspired by the original Heuer Rally Master, a device that separated time telling and chronograph functions.
On one side, you have the Master-Time, a clock with an eight-day power reserve, made possible by the Calibre 63, a double-barrel movement, and a crown at 12 o’clock. The original Master-Time on the new Porsche car is based on the Monte Carlo chronograph. Thus, named after the famous rally, it had the centre of the original watch recording seconds and minutes with a jump hour recorder. Together, the clock and the chronograph became a firm fixture in competition cars from the late 1950s onwards. The hour markers and the hour, minute hands are rhodium-plated and coated with Super-LumiNova.
The Heuer Rally Master was often made available as optional equipment in sports cars, particularly those from Porsche. Line indices for the hours appear in a relief of the black dial while the minutes are indicated outside on the bezel. A special feature of the car with racing number 154 is the TAG stopwatch module in the centre console with a scale that helps the driver maintain the average speed, often prescribed for rallies. The stopwatch also has a crown at 12 o’clock, with a timer start and stop push button at 2 o’clock.