Motorsports have a loyal following in Japan. To honour the country’s racing heritage, TAG Heuer has introduced the 100-piece limited-edition TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Team Ikuzawa by Bamford (Ref. CBN201F.EB0356). The watch has been designed by Bamford Watch Department in partnership with Team Ikuzawa.
In the late 1960s, Tetsu Ikuzawa, a racing driver, toured Europe, drawn by the continent’s prominence in the motor racing circuit. Despite a limited knowledge of English, Ikuzawa took part in the British Formula Three Championship in 1966. In 1967, British Formula One driver Stirling Moss introduced him to Brands Hatch-based Motor Racing Stables. By 1968, he had competed at Williams Formula One. He then joined Porsche as a works driver and became a pioneering Japanese racer at Le Mans and Formula 2. Ikuzawa later founded i&i Racing Development, now known as Team Ikuzawa. The team’s iconic red-and-white livery, featuring a red-crowned crane, reflects the family’s artistic inclination. The baton has now been passed on to Tetsu Ikuzawa’s daughter, Mai Ikuzawa, who has chosen a different industry but has managed to weave her heritage and passion for the automotive industry into fashion and cultural sensibilities.
The last partner in this collaboration is George Bamford, a revered customiser and design connoisseur, known for his expertise in harmonising aesthetics and functionality. Bamford’s profound admiration for TAG Heuer, coupled with his deep-rooted love for cars, makes him an ideal partner for this extraordinary collaboration, involving his long-time friend, Mai Ikuzawa.
The latest watch is similar to any standard Carrera chronograph, sharing such elements as the 42 mm stainless steel case, the polished bezel, the faceted lugs, the classic crown at 3 o’clock, and the pump-style pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock to start and restart the chronograph function. It’s the new dial that shows off the modifications. The colour combination is white-and-red, honouring both Japan and the Ikuzawa legacy.
The white opaline dial is home to various red accents, with a red-toned 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock and a white ‘azuré’ minute chronograph counter with a red-tipped white lacquered hand at 3 o’clock. Then there are rhodium-plated hour markers, and hours and minute hands, which sport white Super-LumiNova® and red lacquer, along with a red lacquered central second hand. Then there is a red 60-minute track on the outer periphery of the dial.
Apart from the ‘Team Ikuzawa Choice of Racing Enthusiasts' logo at 6 o’clock, an important detail, when compared with the standard Carrera Chronograph 42 mm, involves the removal of the small seconds counter, which normally rests above the date window, with a white background and red numeral. Powering this limited-edition watch is the in-house calibre Heuer 02 automatic movement with an integrated chronograph movement, armed with a column wheel and vertical clutch and boasting a comfortable power reserve of 80 hours. Turning the watch over showcases the steel screw-down sapphire caseback, with special white markings, ‘XXX/100’, the ‘Team Ikuzawa’ logo, and the ‘BAMFORD WATCH DEPT’ engraving.
This Carrera Chronograph Team Ikuzawa is worn on a three-link stainless steel bracelet with a steel folding clasp and double safety push buttons. There is an additional white fabric strap, featuring the distinctive ‘Team Ikuzawa’ marking and a Velcro closure. It should also be noted that the numbers, 01 and 100, have been reserved for Tetsu and Mai Ikuzawa respectively. This unique timepiece is also presented in a specially designed, co-branded TAG Heuer x Team Ikuzawa packaging, adorned with vivid white and red colours. As a tribute to Tetsu’s racing prowess in Japan, the box also includes a Porsche miniature, encapsulating the spirit of his remarkable achievements with the Porsche 906 at the 1967 Japanese Grand Prix.