For the uninitiated, the association between McQueen and Tag Heuer began when he starred in the 1971 movie Le Mans. For McQueen, an amateur racer, it was a labour of love – one which didn’t yield much at the box office, but managed to become a cult hit and a wellspring of anecdotes attesting to McQueen’s passion for cars and driving (McQueen had recently finished racing in the 12 Hours of Sebring, wearing a cast on his foot which he injured in a previous motorcycle race).
This year, Tag Heuer decided to update the iconic watch, draped in Gulf Livery once again, except it now features an in-house automatic movement instead of one that was outsourced to another maker of movements. This time, the Gulf colours don’t dominate the dial design. Instead, they subtly run parallel to the counters on the right side, while also forming the border of the 30-minute counter of the subdial at 3 o’clock. Purists might take issue with the crown being placed at a more conventional 3 o’clock mark instead of the 9 o’clock mark and admittedly, Tag should have retained the watch’s quirks. Also, I do prefer the stripes running down the middle of the dial as they did on the original. But, just like there will never again be another Steve McQueen, I guess they broke the mould with the original watch too. Still, the opalINE sunray dial does give the dial a rich texture, making this one of the best looking sports watches of the year, and a must-have for petrolheads.
Car enthusiasts will also be able to spot an interesting homage here: a 3D number 60 placed at the 12 o’clock mark. The same number which adorned the Porsche Gulf Racing cars of the 60s and 70s. And while we’re on the subject of numbers, this watch’s production isn’t limited to any, thankfully. Because this is a special edition, not a limited one.
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