Tag Heuer and Porsche mark 60 years of the Carrera

The new Tag Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche watch translates the power of the Porsche engine into horological form

Tag Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche watch on a silver porsche car
Left, the new Carrera Cabriolet’s front headlights, and bonnet with dynamic recess profiles, are reminiscent of the first 911 generations. Right, the Tag Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche, displayed here on the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet, features a calf-skin strap with distinctive stitching reminiscent of Porsche’s interiors, and numerals inspired by the car’s dashboard numbers
(Image credit: Neil Godwin at Future Studios for Wallpaper*)

With a shared emphasis on engineering, elegance and precision, watches and cars have always made excellent bedfellows, a fact that hadn’t escaped Tag Heuer and Porsche, who cemented their unofficial partnership in 2021 with the launch of a new watch nodding to the motorsports background of both brands.

Together, they are now marking 60 years of both the Tag Heuer Carrera collection and the Porsche 911 (originally known as the 901) with the new Tag Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche. Available in either gold or steel, the pieces are equipped with a brand new movement directly inspired by the Porsche 911 engine.

‘The good thing about the Tag Heuer Carrera is that it has some very strong design codes,’ says Tag Heuer heritage director Nicholas Biebuyck of Jack Heuer’s creation, which encapsulated the legibility crucial in both racing and watch design. ‘Today, we could call the real purity of the design midcentury modernism but at the time it was just Jack – he had a great passion for cultural communication, and spoke about his love of Oscar Niemeyer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and the Bauhaus movement. It’s important to take inspiration from these things, but also to try and bring them into a modern era. So of course you will retain the absolute legibility, but it’s fundamentally a work designed for a specific purpose.’

Tag Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche watch on a porsche car

Available in either gold or steel, the watch is equipped with a brand new movement directly inspired by the Porsche 911 engine

(Image credit: Neil Godwin at Future Studios for Wallpaper*)

The partnership is a natural one for both brands, whose history has long been intertwined. Upon its introduction in 1963, the Porsche 911, designed by Ferdinand Alexander ‘Butzi’ Porsche, broke records with its 0-100 km/h acceleration in 9.1 seconds. This achievement inspired many, including Jack Heuer, whose love of a racing success story led him to follow the legendary Carrera Panamericana road race, the name later sparking the idea for a family of watches. The Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7, released in the 1970s, was also inspired by the name.

‘The partnership goes back to the 1950s and 1960s,’ Biebuyck notes. ‘Throughout the 1960s, we had great drivers who had this connection with both brands. In the 1970s, this was reinforced with Derek Bell, Jacky Ickx, Jo Siffert and the Steve McQueen connection. Both brands go through this kind of rebirth, with us relaunching Carrera in 1996, Porsche reintroducing the 911 in 1997. Ever since, we’ve been on these parallel paths.’

Porsche light detail

The Porsche Carrera Cabriolet

(Image credit: Neil Godwin at Future Studios for Wallpaper*)

The technically accomplished new movement, designed for precise measurements of short time intervals, translates the power of Porsche’s engine into miniature horological form. ‘The movement strategy is very clear for the maison,’ says Tag Heuer movements director Carole Forestier-Kasapi. ‘We want to innovate. In the last two years, we have elevated quality in the durability of our new movements, which is why we are able today to propose a five-year warranty on these.’ 

Understated design details ensure that, while this new watch was inspired by the Porsche 911, a literal translation is eschewed. ‘The question is, what can we bring in that speaks authentically?’ asks Biebuyck. ‘That’s how we ended up with this choice of colour codes and typography. There’s also this great technical innovation in the calibre that we created specifically for the collection. You get these multilayered narratives. It’s what makes this partnership so powerful, because we can speak at so many levels.’ 

Tag Heuer Carrera Chronosprint X Porsche, £8,050, by Tag Heuer, tagheuer.com. Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet, £151,266, by Porsche, porsche.com

This article appears in the October 2023 issue of Wallpaper*, available in print from 7 September, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple News +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* today

Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.