If there is one name that could best define the connection between cars and watches, it has to be Carrera. Indeed, the name has long been associated with two of the most prominent names of both the car and the watch industry. On one side is the legendary car of Porsche, the 911 Carrera. On the other is the cult watch of TAG Heuer, the Carrera Chronograph. And the two pay tribute to an emblematic race of the 1950s, the Carrera Panamericana. There’s hardly a more natural connection than this, and it was first sealed in 2021, with a partnership between TAG Heuer and Porsche, resulting in the Carrera Porsche Edition. Both brands now come back with a watch that evokes the 1970s and celebrates the 50th anniversary of the car that has made the 911 a true racer… Meet the TAG Heuer Carrera x Porsche RS 2.7.
A Carrera story…
Both Jack Heuer and Ferry Porsche were fascinated by La Carrera Panamericana. A far-away endurance race staged in Mexico, it would end up inspiring the name of Jack Heuer’s chronograph and the top-performing sports cars produced by Ferry and later his son, Butzi Porsche. Carrera, which is the Spanish word for ‘race’ but also for ‘career’, worked perfectly for Heuer and Porsche. Not only does it capture the thrill of a race, but it also references the mileage that both brands have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, with their respective Carreras.
La Carrera Panamericana was Mexico’s answer to the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio or the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The longest race in the world, La Carrera Panamericana traversed Mexico from Ciudad Juárez on the border with the United States to Tuxtla Gutiérrez in the south. The gruelling rally covered over 3,000kms of the Pan-American highway and was held between 1950 and 1954 before being suspended for safety reasons. Attracting international recognition and famous drivers from around the globe, by the third edition in 1952 the race was opened to the category of sports cars, and Porsche sent two 356 GTs to compete.
In the 1954 edition of La Carrera Panamericana, a Porsche 550 Spyder finished third with Hans Herrmann at the wheel. Fitted with a high-performance DOHC, 1,498 cc four-cylinder boxer engine, the model proved its mettle on the tough Mexican highway. In honour of the race and the high-profile exposure obtained by the brand, Ferry Porsche reserved the name ‘Carrera’ for all his top-performing sports cars with the winning DOHC engine. Later on, the name Carrera will become associated with some top-performance versions of the 356 and, of course, the fastest versions of the 911s, including the mythical Carrera RS 2.7L.
Jack Heuer got wind of the race in 1962 while attending the 12 Hours of Sebring. There he met Pedro and Ricardo Rodríguez, two talented Mexican drivers who described the hardships and dangers of the perilous Mexican Carrera Panamericana. In Jack Heuer’s words: “Hearing them talk about La Carrera with Juan Manuel Fangio, an old friend of the brand who won the competition in 1953, I let my imagination run wild. The name itself sounded elegant, dynamic, easy to pronounce in all languages, and charged with emotion. Then I knew that my new chronograph was the perfect tribute to that legend: CARRERA.”
The other side of the story concerns what’s probably the most enduring and most famous sports car ever built, the Porsche 911. Born in 1963, it quickly gained fame thanks to its no-nonsense approach, as a performing yet reliable, compact and user-friendly sports machine. The model spends almost a decade in its classic form, with its legendary flat-6 engine and a mostly road-car approach. In 1972, to be precise on 5 October 1972 (indeed, exactly 50 years ago), Porsche will present in Paris its most extreme 911 to date, the Carrera RS 2.7. Still based on the emblematic design and conception, this car was meant for performance on tracks and roads, being the first truly motorsport oriented of the 9-11.
Back in the day, the 911 Carrera RS 2.7, which was the last evolution of the 1st-generation 911 (codename 901), was the fastest and most powerful 911 available to the public. Light, fast, chiselled by the wind, its name immediately evoked motorsport, RS standing for Rennsport, or racing in German. It was the first road car to be equipped with a spoiler both front and back – the latter being known as the ducktail – and the conception was that of a road car that could be raced… In short, one of the very first “trackday” cars in history. Equipped with a larger engine – 2.7-litre instead of 2.4-litre on the classic 911s – and with almost all elements of comfort removed, it remained nevertheless a very capable machine that found success on and off tracks… and in sales room too, with prices easily reaching now over half a million euros.
The Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 was produced in no fewer than 27 different colours, some of them evocative of the 1970s era. Two of the most emblematic ones, red and blue over white, have been selected by TAG Heuer for the creation of a watch to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the car.
The TAG Heuer Carrera x Porsche RS 2.7
What you’re looking at now is the fourth step in the Porsche x TAG Heuer partnership. First in line was a sporty, racing-oriented and modern watch based on the 44mm Carrera Sport Chronograph, with an external ceramic bezel and an asphalte-like textured dial. The steel model will then be derived in a black-coated version followed by a connected model. Now, and since this new step in the collaboration is paying tribute to an emblematic past car, TAG Heuer presents a watch with a more classic, slightly retro feel, based on the Carrera Chronograph 42mm.
Sleek and unmistakably Carrera in its look and feel, the new Carrera x Porsche RS 2.7 retains the same overall proportions and mechanics, but adds a strong dosage of Porsche branding and colour codes. The case retains the classic design of the collection, with its thin, polished and sloped bezel (without scale), the faceted lugs that have been a hallmark of the collection since 1962 and its overall clean design. The case is 42mm in diameter and features classic pump pushers, comes with a comfortable 100m water-resistance and sapphire crystals on both sides.
The most noticeable element of the case is found on the flank, at the 9 o’clock position. And just like the sides of the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 that were adorned with a bold Carrera logo in contrasting bright colours, the same can be seen on the side of this TAG Heuer Carrera. It certainly isn’t the most discreet element of the watch but it surely makes a legitimate connection.
There are two editions released by TAG. First is a stainless steel model, with bright blue contrasting elements – a colour that can be found on the side of the case, on the top pusher, on the crown but also on the white opaline dial, with hands, tracks and subcounters relying on this blue tone to accentuate the important information. This model is delivered with both a stainless steel bracelet and a textile NATO strap, the latter using the same colours and logos as the watch. It is limited to 500 pieces.
The second version is even more exclusive, being a 250-piece limited edition, and more luxurious, with its 18k pink gold. Here, the contrasting accents and the Porsche-related elements are more discreet. For instance, the lateral logo is simply engraved into the gold surface, without the use of colour. Contrasting accents are, however, largely found on the dial with the white base accentuated by bright red elements on the hands, markers and tracks. In the same vein, red is used for the alligator strap and the white and red textile strap.
The TAG Heuer Carrera x Porsche RS 2.7 is powered by the in-house, automatic Calibre Heuer 02. An integrated, modern movement, it relies on a column-wheel and a vertical clutch. This movement is also powerful, with a comfortable power reserve of 80 hours when fully wound. Talking about energy, the open caseback reveals a unique oscillating weight that has been shaped like a Porsche steering wheel.
Availability & Price
The TAG Heuer Carrera x Porsche RS 2.7 collection is now available from official boutiques, online from the brand’s website and from selected retailers. The steel version (reference CBN2016.EB0275) is limited to 500 Pieces and priced at EUR 7,000 or USD 7,400. The gold edition (reference CBN2045.FC8316) is limited to 250 pieces and priced at EUR 22,300 or USD 23,500.
For more details or to place an order, please visit www.tagheuer.com.