TAG Heuer, a watch brand arguably more synonymous with the sport of automobile racing than any other, marks its 16th year as Official Timekeeper for both the NTT IndyCar Series as well as its signature event, the Indianapolis 500 race, in 2020. As per its tradition, the Swiss watchmaker celebrates another year of the motorsports partnership with a special edition of its stylishly designed and accessibly priced Formula 1 timepiece — this one paying clever visual tribute to the legendary strip of bricks near the finish line of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
One of the oldest auto races in the world and part of the sport’s “Triple Crown,” the Indy 500 is a 500-mile competition held each year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana; this year’s 104th running is on August 23, postponed from its original May 24 date due to the pandemic. The Speedway has been known affectionately as “The Brickyard” since the early 20th century, when its racetrack was made of bricks. Now paved over with asphalt, the track still has a single 1-yard strip of the old brick track exposed near the finish line; victorious drivers “kissing the bricks” has become a longstanding Indy tradition.
The black tricompax dial of the Formula 1 43 mm Indy 500 2020 is distinguished by its asphalt-like pattern and brick-motif red stripe on the right side, a graphic depiction of the famous “Brickyard” remnant and its history. The 43-mm diameter case is made of black DLC-coated steel with a sandblasted finish; its fixed tachymeter-scale bezel is made of black sandblasted ceramic and sports an “Indy 500” logo in red. The hand, numerals and indices are rhodium-plated and coated with white Super-LumiNova.
Behind the screwed down, black-PVD-steel caseback, with its special Indy 500 engraving, beats a Swiss quartz movement, which powers the hours, minutes, small seconds (at 3 o’clock), date (at 4:30), and 1/10-second chronograph. The readouts for the chronograph’s elapsed minutes and hours are at 9 o’clock and 6 o’clock, respectively; the latter subdial features the Indy 500 logo, and also serves as a counter for the 1/10-seconds. Both subdials have a subtle azurage pattern that contrasts with the asphalt texture of the main dial. The watch comes on a perforated black rubber-and-leather strap, with a steel pin buckle.
The Indy 500 logo appears as an engraving on the caseback.
By Mark Bernardo
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