When I first moved to Indianapolis in 1973, I lived about a full can of beer’s throw away from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This immense structure was so large that it could have fit 16 Yankee Stadiums inside and then some. The scope, the noise, the smell, and the spectacle were unlike anything I had ever experienced. For current and future first-time attendees of the Indy 500, I’m quite certain their reactions are the same as mine were so long ago.

The Importance of Time

First and foremost, racing is all about speed, and speed is about timing. That’s why at the IMS and at so many other racing venues around the world, having the proper equipment to time these four-wheeled rockets are critical to the race’s success.

In the beginning, like timing in most sporting events of the past, automobile races were hand-timed using stopwatches. At the time, it was the most accurate measuring tool available. Now, of course, computers and hyper-smart software review everything right down to the tiniest 1/1000th of a second—sometimes the margin of victory!

TAG Heuer’s Rich History in Auto Racing

Caseback TAG Heuer Formula 1 x Indy 500

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Indy 500 Caseback

2022 TAG Heuer Formula 1 Indy 500 Watch

Fine timepieces have by no means abandoned auto racing. In fact, many brands continue to associate themselves with the sport. For instance, TAG Heuer extended their partnership with INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this year, making the brand the Official Watch, Timepiece, Chronograph, and Smartwatch of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and the Indianapolis 500. TAG Heuer started its partnership with INDYCAR in 2014 and with the Indianapolis 500 and IMS in 2004.

As part of this ongoing partnership, TAG Heuer has produced a special limited edition of their Formula 1 watch for this year’s Indianapolis 500. The 2022 design (at right) features an exclusive Indy 500 pagoda printed at 6 o’clock and a special engraving on the case back and retails for $2,400. This watch is coveted yearly by collectors and the current edition is limited to only 500 units worldwide.

Formula 1 & Beyond

TAG Heuer also has deep ties to the Formula 1 racing league. Just this past year, the brand celebrated a big victory for its Red Bull Racing team with Max Verstappen winning the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship.

The late Ayrton Senna is known as one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time and two of the special edition racing chronographs below pay tribute to the legendary ambassador and celebrate the partnership between TAG Heuer and the Senna Foundation. This latest limited iteration with the Senna logo at six o’clock is available for $3,550.

Breitling’s Top Time Collection

Breitling, for its part, is mostly known for watches affiliated with the world of aviation. But with three new editions in the “Top Time” series, they have firmly established another serious connection to automobiles and speed. The three watches below are each dedicated to a historic motorcar. The Mustang in green, the Corvette in bold red, and the Cobra in blue celebrate these classic cars in Breitling’s legendary chronograph model fitted with a comfort-first racing strap.

Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-Amg Petronas Formula One™ Team”

IWC’s Auto Racing Association

When you think of the International Watch Company (IWC), what first comes to mind are their famous Pilot’s Watches and their dressy collection of Portuguese chronographs. But for those of you who follow Formula 1, you know that IWC has long been a co-sponsor of the Mercedes AMG racing team and the famed Lewis Hamilton, who is perhaps the greatest driver in the history of the sport.

With everyone “going green” IWC issued this magnificent tribute to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team with a Limited Edition Chronograph.
As the eyes of the motorsport world turn to Florida for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, IWC Schaffhausen and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team unveiled the team’s first-ever official team watch.

Crafted from lightweight and durable grade 5 titanium, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team” features a black dial with printing and luminescence in the team’s signature Petronas green color. This incredibly cool watch with a distinctive dial and strap will make you stand out in any crowd whether watching racing on television or in person at the track.

So, ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! You can enjoy wearing a part of racing history on your wrist with an iconic auto racing timepiece from Reis-Nichols Jewelers. 

In our latest watch blog, Paul White brings us up to speed on the world of auto racing and watches.

Paul is originally from New York City and received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana State University. A frequent contributor to industry publications, Paul is a passionate film buff, home cook, reader, and watch collector. A former sports and news host at Indianapolis’ WIBC, Paul and his wife Carolyn just made the return move home to Indianapolis and are happily settling back into midwestern life after living in Phoenix for the past few years.

May 19, 2022