What do TAG Heuer and Formula One have in common? Great energy, dynamic movements and a need for speed is the answer. The heavens above must have noticed these shared traits as the world’s most watched motorsport race coincided with TAG Heuer’s latest initiative, Heuer Globetrotter. In the bustling island nation of Singapore, it was no ordinary display of timepieces as nine other boutiques around the globe simultaneously opened their doors to showcase 400 timepieces from the private stash of local collectors and – for the first time ever – the hallowed enclave of the La Chaux-de-Fonds manufacture’s TAG Heuer 360 Museum.
A museum unlike any other, time seems to stand still as vitrines designed to resemble the sub-dials of a wristwatch chart the entire history of TAG Heuer with 300 rare pieces from its founding in 1860 to the present. TAG Heuer ambassador Patrick Dempsey joins in the chorus of praise for this extraordinary space as well “I highly recommend it to anyone with even the slightest interest in watches. You get to dive into the company’s history and tag along the journey of its growth as each generation moves technology and innovation forward. The message I got from the museum was, to understand where you’re going, you need to know where you’ve come from.”
With the emergence of Heuer Globetrotter initiative, it’s clear that TAG Heuer holds this message dear to heart as well. At its Wisma Atria boutique in Singapore, a bevy of vintage Heuer watches from its museum and select pieces loaned from local collectors themed around Formula One sat behind display cases, clearly signalling immense pride in its heritage. Racing into town to flag off the two-week exhibition, Dempsey relished in the moment – openly admiring the timepieces, especially the centrepiece 1970 Heuer Carrera in 18K gold presented by Jack Heuer to each Ferrari driver with their name engraved on the caseback.
Dempsey is no stranger to the heart-pounding action of racing down the track at breakneck speed, completing the 24 Hours of Le Mans thrice with his very own Dempsey Racing team. Despite his need for speed – a quality commonly associated with progressing forward – Dempsey is, in fact, someone who looks to the past for inspiration. “I like the romance behind vintage pieces. When you strap on a watch or strap yourself into an automobile built in the past, I feel like I’m going back in time to simpler days. It’s a nice break from the fast-paced world that we live in today,” muses the actor. “You can actually feel the weight of its history and heritage. In the past, most things were created by hand and you notice it in the quality. The craftsmanship makes it special and, today, you can see people seeking out handmade pieces because they want this sense of great quality and heritage.”
The actor and race car driver’s quest for quality and heritage eventually brought him to the doors of TAG Heuer. “As a child, I knew the Heuer logo from the little matchbox cars, with no clue that it was a watch company. I had no idea what Heuer even meant, but I’ve always associated the name with sports. Working with them has been a great honour and the relationship is very close, almost like a family. To have them as a sponsor of my race team is a great achievement for me personally. Getting to know Jack Heuer, the company, exploring the manufacture and witnessing the watchmakers’ focus and effort in assembling a watch every day were remarkable.”
Humbled by the experience, he shares: “Joining the TAG Heuer family, I get to walk in the same footsteps as some of their biggest legends, from Steve McQueen to Muhammad Ali. And as I’m creating a legacy for myself, it’s a great honour to have them supporting me as I embark on this journey.”