kob 3656 edit
Cars & motorsport

Monterey Car Week 2018: TAG Heuer Brings Vintage And Modern Delights to Carmel-by-the-Sea

The Museum in Motion makes a stop in Carmel-by-the-Sea, and we take a 1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato for a spin.

By Josh Shanks

As part of the 2018 Museum in Motion tour, TAG Heuer brought its extensive collection of vintage TAG Heuer timepieces to Carmel-by-the-Sea. On-hand was an ever-impressive array of modern and museum pieces which helped to remind the crowd of TAG Heuer's motorsports heritage and commitment.

Accessible tourbillon with a few twists and turns

The TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-02T is arguably the world’s most affordable Swiss Made tourbillon. Priced at USD 17,000, the Heuer-02T is based on the Heuer 01 platform and since its 2016 introduction has been causing quite a stir. What better place to showcase your halo project than a location chocked full of automotive buzz.

Of course, after two years of existence, almost everything that can be said of the Heuer-02T has been reported. Our Vincent Daveau went hands-on shortly after release and said this of the Heuer-02T;

"It's very comfortable to wear, and the taut lines together with the deep black treatment give the model a compelling design."

So, we were faced with a dilemma, a hot piece on the wrist yet no clear way of escaping with it. Luckily, Tom Hale from The Cultivated Collector came to our rescue! We were tossed the keys to a 1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato in all black. Currently priced at USD 695,000, the Vantage Zagato is in a league all its own. Only 52 cars were produced and when it came out, its brutal and modern look made it a very special automobile. You’ll love it or hate it. We loaded up the car with gear and hit the road to take in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

The Modern TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-02T meets its vintage match

We soon found ourselves winding through the narrow US 1 corridor en route to a sunny hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The 432hp V580X Vantage engine inspired us to go further and further away from the comfortable confines of the TAG Heuer booth. After all, this is the car that topped out at 300km/h against a Ferrari 288 GTO, a reminder of the competition TAG Heuer faces as it pushes the limits of watchmaking innovation amid a seemingly endless parade of entrants to the category.

After white-knuckle driving, we brought ourselves to remove the Heuer-02T from the wrist and position it against the Vantage Zagato to find just the right angle.

A Mixture of Materials

The LVMH watchmaking group prides itself on material innovation. Each of its four brands pushes the limits of matter. For its part, TAG Heuer consistently finds new and inventive methods for applying and finishing exotic materials. This year saw the Monaco Bamford and its black carbon case. Just this month, we saw the introduction of The Carbon Collection, a series of three carbon Aquaracers in black PVD cases with carbon bezels and imitation carbon dials.

That afternoon we found ourselves with duality, the hand-formed aluminum body of the Vantage Zagato and the 45-mm grade 5 titanium case of the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-02T Tourbillon. What better thing than to combine these two elements! The matte black finish stood in stark contrast against the Litchfield Black color of the Vantage Zagato. A meeting which could only occur during Monterey Car Week.

Many thanks to The Cultivated Collector (@thecultivatedcollector) for allowing Watchonista the opportunity to spend a few special moments with this impressive machine.

Formula One royalty makes a stop

Only two American have won the Formula One World Drivers' Championship. Phil Hill and Mario Andretti. Both drivers had a close connection to TAG Heuer, which you can read about HERE.

During Monterey Car Week, we had the pleasure of meeting the son of Phil Hill, Derek Hill. Derek is an impressive racer in his own right, having won the Ferrari Challenge International Title and Formula Dodge Championship titles, along with racing in over ten different series. He may be best known for winning the Goodwood Revival in 2006. Some of you may remember his now famous drive of a 1964 Ferrari GTO for Petrolicious.

On Derek’s wrist was a TAG Heuer Monaco, the perfect companion for a day at the track. For some happy few that decided to buy the Carrera Gulf, also had the privilege of getting a signed copy of the book “Inside Track”, a illustrated book with 488 pages of racing history.

Astons as far as the eye can see

As the Official Partner of Aston Martin and Aston Martin Racing, TAG Heuer and Aston Martin are intrinsically linked together in a long-term partnership. For Monterey Car Week, Aston Martin showcased the new 2018 Vantage. This 503hp sportscar is meant to be a serious competitor to the Porsche 911 and Ferrari 488. As James Bond's preferred mode of transportation, Aston Martin has captured the hearts and wallets of British car lovers for over a century.

The Radioactive Lime color of the 2018 Vantage which we had the chance to test drive provided a beautiful backdrop for the Heuer-02T. In a continuation of this partnership, TAG Heuer has recently released new Aston Martin co-branded editions of the Carrera Heuer 01 and a Quartz Powered Formula 1. Watchonista will soon go in-depth on both pieces.

Until Next Year

It's bittersweet to sign off our coverage of the 2018 Monterey Car Week, on the one hand, we had an incredible time, on the other, as with all thing’s motorsports, it's on to the next race, the next challenge, and the next Concours. So, keep your eyes peeled to Watchonista as we bring you the best of these two worlds.

We also wish to send a sincere thanks to Andrea Soriani, TAG Heuer's Vice President of Marketing that welcomed us and gave a special tour of the Museum in Motion.

Visit TAG Heuer's Partner Page

And receive each week a custom selection of articles.

Talking Racing And Watches With Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly

By Josh ShanksContributor
It’s not easy breaking into Formula One’s exclusive field of 20 drivers. Fortunately, Pierre Gasly doesn't crack under pressure.

TAG Heuer Carbonizes Baselworld With The New Autavia Isograph (Hands-On)

By Rhonda RicheEditor-At-Large
TAG Heuer’s classic sport watch springs back to life as a seven-piece, stand-alone collection.

Video: The Innovation Behind TAG Heuer’s Nanograph Carbon Hairspring

By Watchonista
Watchonista sits down with Guy Semon and his team at TAG Heuer to learn about Isograph, the world's first carbon hairspring. 

TAG Heuer | Aston Martin