Last year Max Verstappen became the new Formula 1 world champion by beating reigning champ Lewis Hamilton in a bizarre final race. To celebrate the Dutch racing talent’s (first) world title TAG Heuer released the… Well, the brand didn’t release anything. Although TAG Heuer already released three Verstappen watches celebrating all kinds of moments — it all started back in 2016 with a watch celebrating his first ever grand prix victory – a world championship apparently was not worth a special watch. Strange? Yes. A missed opportunity? Most definitely. With a second world title on the way, I thought it would be a wise plan to write this heads-up aimed at TAG Heuer. Because Max Verstappen deserves a new watch, a second world title celebrating kind of special watch.
Let me tack you back to 2016 when 18-year-old Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was proud to show me his TAG Heuer Formula One Max Verstappen Youngest Grand Prix Winner Special Edition. He started the season driving for Toro Rosso but got promoted to Red Bull Racing during the season. That was the right move for both the team and the driver because in Barcelona, he grabbed his first victory. One of many to come, but that was something we all expected and hoped for but didn’t know for sure. Anyway, the winner’s watch TAG Heuer launched was a steel, 43mm, quartz chronograph with an aluminum bezel and an orange rubber strap. Five hundred pieces of the €1,350 watch were made, and they sold out in the blink of an eye.
Max Verstappen deserves a new watch — The timing is right
During the presentation of the Formula One Max Verstappen Youngest Grand Prix Winner Special Edition, I had the chance to interview the Dutch driver. We talked about watches, but also about time and what time means to a Formula 1 driver. “Everything around a race revolves around time. We have a tight time schedule, for instance. And of course, during the free practice sessions, in qualifying, at the pit stops, everything is about time. About fractions of seconds.”
During the interview, I asked Verstappen if his ambition was to rule Formula 1 like Michael Schumacher once did. “I want to be as many races as possible and eventually become world champion,” Verstappen replied. “Of course, it’s nice to dominate for a few years, but that depends on so many factors. I will just continue to do my best and go as fast as possible. That’s what I always do, and it’s all I can do.” Last season it all worked out, and he won his first world title. And during the period between 2016 and December 12, 2021 — the day he beat the reigning champion Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi and was crowned the new F1 champ — TAG Heuer made two more Verstappen watches.
Another aluminum watch for 2017, a steel one for 2018, and a mechanical one for 2019
The 2017-watch was followed by two watches in the next two years. There was the TAG Heuer Formula 1 No.33 Max Verstappen 2017 Limited Edition – basically the same watch as the 2016-watch, but with a red, white, and blue instead of orange color scheme – and the Formula 1 Max Verstappen Special Edition 2018. That last Formula 1 iteration came in steel instead of an aluminum case because Verstappen wanted “something a little bit heavier on the wrist.” The watch also featured a steel three-link bracelet with ceramic center links. “The watch is very sporty, with beautiful racing colors in black and red. I was inspired by the special Ayrton Senna model TAG Heuer once made. I think the result is really cool — just the way I wanted it,” Verstappen said during the launch of the watch in Amsterdam.
The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 16 Max Verstappen Special Edition 2019 was the first with a mechanical movement, definitely an “engine upgrade” for Max and his fans. Nothing happened in 2020 and neither in 2021, the championship year.
Max Verstappen about watches
Race car drivers like watches, and Max Verstappen is no exception: “My dad (that’s former Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen — ed.) loves watches, and he passed his enthusiasm for them onto me. He always wore one, and because of him, I started noticing watches around me and wearing them myself. While driving go-karts, I didn’t wear a watch because it would just get in the way too much. But now, I don’t feel completely dressed without a watch. And I also don’t check the time on my phone. I find that when I’m sitting at a table with people, for instance, just rude. A watch tells you the time way more discretely. But wearing a watch is impossible in the cockpit of a Formula 1 car. It’s just too heavy.”
What about Carrera Heuer-02 Tourbillon in carbon fiber?
But what about a Carrera Heuer-02 Tourbillon with a carbon fiber case and subtle orange details on the openwork movement? “Good idea. Maybe for the future.” But strangely enough, that watch never came to be. Weird (for many reasons) and definitely a missed opportunity. All special Max Verstappen TAG Heuer editions sold like hotcakes. The first two were exclusive to the Netherlands, but the last one was a worldwide introduction. And since his world title, Verstappen is an even bigger star. He now has a strong and fanatical fan base all over the globe.
What about a special edition Monaco for the double world champion?
A great many things have happened since talking about the possibility of a lightweight Carrera Heuer-02 Tourbillon. And Verstappen has started wearing a “lucky” watch, the TAG Heuer Monaco Titan. That square watch was introduced during the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, and Verstappen wore it from that day on. That watch also showed that the otherwise very straightforward Dutchman is a tad superstitious: “It’s a nice watch to wear, and I do love the little details like the Monaco track outlined in gold on the case back. But also, once I started this watch with its iconic case shape, the results got better.”
Please pay attention, TAG Heuer, Max Verstappen deserves a new watch
Well, that’s it, we have our first Max Verstappen World Champion edition watch. Forget about a gold watch — a celebratory gold timepiece is such an outdated cliché — or a Carrera with a tourbillon — that’s just so 2019. The watch, worthy and befitting the upcoming Formula 1 world champion, will be a carbon fiber Monaco with a textured titanium gray dial and graphite gray sub-dials — these match the color of the forged carbon case. And with the watch comes with two easily interchangeable straps. I’m thinking about a black suede strap and a gray fabric one, both outfitted with a carbon fiber pin buckle.
Have you read this, TAG Heuer? Well, thank you, and you’re welcome! I’m sure you will make many people happy if you decide to go through with this plan. I suggest you make 2,022 watches. And I also suggest you already start thinking about championship watches for the next couple of years — I sure hope I haven’t jinxed anything by writing this — because it seems that our Max is on a proper winning streak.
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