Long-standing partnerships of any kind are worth commemorating. And when you happen to be one of Switzerland’s top watchmakers, that usually comes in the form of a timepiece. TAG Heuer’s latest honorary launch is just that––and it’s built for speed.
The legendary, late Formula 1 race car driver Ayrton Senna was a top TAG brand ambassador for years and the Swiss firm designed both versions of the Formula 1 Senna Special Edition 2020 with him in mind. Inspired by Senna’s passion for speed, the resulting two watches (an automatic chronograph and a quartz chronograph) feature tachymeter scales that go up to 400 kmh. This figure surpasses the 240 kmh measure available on the range’s other watches. While no racing team has achieved this breakneck pace, but it represents Senna’s constant desire to push the envelope and aspire to new goals.
“We are very happy to be part of another special launch reflecting our partnership with TAG Heuer,” said Bianca Senna, Ayrton Senna’s niece and CEO of Senna Brands, in a press statement. “The 2020 collection is inspired by Ayrton’s commitment to overcoming limits. Each year, we dedicate ourselves to introducing innovative new models, and this one uses 400 km/h to represent the ongoing pursuit of speeds that once seemed unattainable. It is a part of Ayrton’s legacy, which continues to motivate TAG Heuer in its never-ending quest to create the perfect watch.”
Both iterations are constructed with brushed stainless steel cases––water-resistant to 200 meters––surrounding sunray-brushed anthracite dials with bold yellow detailing. The Super-LumiNova coating on the rhodium-plated applied indexes and hands offer enhanced legibility even in suboptimal lighting conditions. This is complemented by shimmering black “azurage” minute, hour and permanent second counters that add to the face’s dimensional look and overall readability. From there is where the designs begin to diverge.
Operating on a Calibre 16 movement, the 44mm automatic chronograph comes with a calfskin strap finished with Senna yellow stitching to match the fine yellow elements on the face and bezel. Subtle embossing along the strap’s length allude to the links on Senna’s favorite TAG Heuer stainless-steel bracelet while also adding texture. It secures with a stainless-steel folding clasp with a double safety system and pilot extension which makes it possible to wear over a driving suit.
The slightly smaller 43mm quartz chronograph runs––appropriately––on a quartz movement and rearranges its counters and date window across its dial. This is in turn traced by a fixed bezel in ultra-resistant black ceramic with unmistakably Senna-yellow touches throughout. The screw-down case back features a special Senna engraving and secures via a stainless-steel bracelet with iconic double-S links.