It may be more than 20 years since Ayrton Senna’s fatal accident on the track but his feats remain a cause for celebration and – with these two new releases from TAG Heuer – commemoration.
It’s 26 years since brilliant Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna tragically died at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix but the legend of the dashing champion lives on.
During his racing career and beyond, Senna and his estate have maintained an association with TAG Heuer that has resulted in a number of special edition timepieces. Part of the brand’s popular Formula 1 collection, this year’s TAG Heuer Formula 1 Senna Special Edition 2020 comprises two variations – an automatic and a quartz chronograph. The famous Swiss brand describes both pieces as celebrating Senna’s dedication to “overcoming limits”.
This theme is most obviously reflected in a tachymeter scale on the sleek black ceramic bezel that measures up to 400 km/h, a speed F1 teams are approaching on the track with every passing year. Senna’s top speed during his career, by the way, was recorded at 340km/h.
The main automatic chronograph model features a 44 mm case, a sunray-brushed anthracite dial with blingy black azurage minute, hour and permanent second counters, Super-LumiNova coated indexes and hands, and a black calfskin strap with black lining and ‘Senna yellow’ stitching. Highlights of yellow on the dial, around the date window, around the bezel and on the top pusher and crown, complement the strap, and are repeated on the quartz model. An ‘S’ is embossed on the strap to evoke the stainless-steel bracelet Senna favoured on his TAG Heuer, while the caseback is engraved with the Senna logo.
The piece runs on the automatic Calibre 16, powering the minute counter at 3 o’clock, the hour counter at 6 and the permanent second indicator at 9. The Calibre 16 is, of course, one of the most successful and reliable chronograph movements in the history of the complication. It offers around 42 hours of power reserve.
The 2020 Senna special edition quartz variation comes in a slightly smaller 43mm case with sunray-brushed anthracite dial and luminous black counters in the appropriately motor racing-inspired 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. Like the automatic, the fixed bezel is rendered in an ultra-resistant black ceramic and the stainless steel screw-down caseback bears the special Senna engraving.
The quartz model is presented on a stainless-steel bracelet with iconic double-S links, which many wearers prefer for both comfort and look. Both timepieces are water resistant to 200m.
Senna’s daring on the track remains a source of fascination for fans of motorsport more than two decades after his passing, back when Formula 1 was not as safe and formulaic as it is today. It’s for that reason TAG Heuer still releases special edition watches honouring his legacy. The only conclusion: people love buying ’em. Go to: tagheuer.com