‘Don’t Crack Under Pressure’ resounds loud and clear in the strikingly beautiful TAG Heuer Formula 1 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Special Edition 2020
I am always in a bit of conundrum whenever I have to review a TAG Heuer Formula 1 watch. Take their latest offering for instance, the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Special Edition 2020.
It’s got everything a one watch person would need: Swiss watchmaking heritage, hours/minutes/seconds hands, a date function, a chronograph along with a tachymetre scale, a fixed bezel that’s now iconic of the architectural language of this range, and partnership with one of the leading sports car makers in the world (Aston Martin).
On the flip side, there’s that quartz movement.
No matter where you fit on the scale — from a true watch enthusiast to a watch snob to someone just collecting to show off without any real love for horology or even some of the salesmen at dealers — people generally look down upon quartz movements. These movements aren’t really considered the creme de la creme of watchmaking.
The Value Proposition
This said, the watch we are reviewing today, the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Special Edition, retails for 3250AUD.
Now when we have all the features mentioned earlier for just over three thousand Australian dollars in one watch, it’s just impossible to look down upon this offering from TAG Heuer.
It is here the brand and this watch score, and they score big.
It’s value proposition to the max.
True you could have a Cartier Tank Solo in medium for similar amount of money, but besides the legacy (which is questionable given the true legacy belongs to their Tank Louis Cartier model in gold retailing for over 10 grand), it doesn’t offer much: where’s the chronograph for instance? Tachymetre? Sports use? 200m water resistance?
TAG Heuer knows its market well, and this latest offering is going to sit well with its intended buyers.
The good thing is that this is very good looking beater. For new watch enthusiasts, a beater is an unofficial term used to indicate a watch that can take a beating of daily, everyday wear without complaining. This special edition, is built to do just that, but given its striking blue coloured dial, you don’t have to look tacky (it’s got a tachymetre, but is not tacky, get it? Get it? Bad pun, but it’s there now) while going on about your daily work.
For the second time in the history of its partnership with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, TAG Heuer has released this special edition timepiece — so not a limited numbered run which is good considering you don’t have to rush in to buy this but can take your time — that commemorates its on-going alliance with the four-time consecutive F1 drivers’ and constructors’ champion. This partnership first lay seeds in 2016 and has now paved way for this new, striking chronograph that features the similar rich blue and striking red and yellow colours found on the new Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 car that was revealed on February 19th, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.
The new watch features a renewed sleek design and one can see the similarities between the two clearly:
- The blue of the car is found on the watch’s dial and aluminium fixed bezel;
- The chronograph seconds hand is coated in eye-catching Red Bull yellow;
- Touches of Red Bull red are prominently placed on the tachymeter scale;
- An azurage pattern on the chronograph counters and a date window at 4 o’clock on the dial enhance the daring and sporty aesthetic of this model;
- Conceived in close collaboration with the F1 team, the 43mm special edition chronograph is youthful, sporty and easy to read in all conditions.
The TAG Heuer Formula 1 collection was first launched in 1987. Over the years it has deepened its roots within the motorsports world and like the sport has evolved into a stylish collection featuring bold designs that demand attention and advanced technical features that are inspired by the extreme performance of the Formula 1 teams.
Just like the cars are tested to wither any conditions, TAG Heuer’s formula 1 range goes through over 60 quality control tests to produce watches that are highly shock resistant and water resistant to 200 meters.
The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Special Edition (reference: CAZ101AB.BA0842) features the aforementioned Quartz movement that is Swiss made with a battery life of approximately 24 months and comprises of an EOL (battery End-Of-Life) indication, stop-second function & fast date correction setting. It features a chronograph with sub-dials showing minutes and 1/10th seconds, alongside a central chronograph seconds hand and a date at 4’o clock.
The movement is housed inside a 43mm diameter steel fine-brushed case that is on the large side but in turn aides legibility.
The dial is blue, sun-ray brushed with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing colours covered by a sapphire crystal that is flat aiding in the watch appearing less bulky.
The use of uniformity of red in the markers inside the sub-dials, the the bold tachymetre text on the bezel, the lower half of the TAG Heuer logo at 12’o clock and the Formula 1 text at 5’o clock is commendable. Amongst these reds, blues, the yellow lacquered central hand simply delights and adds to the legibility of the dial.
The black concentric-circled sub-dials further add to the interplay of textures and colours on this dial.
The outer minute marker ring in white further aides the readability of the dial by complimenting the white Super-LumiNova® inlaid hour and minute hands and contrasts well with the rhodium-plated indexes.
The aluminium blue tachymeter fixed bezel blends exceptionally well with the blue of the dial and lends to the watch a great sporty look.
The watch is presented on a robust, fine-brushed stainless-steel bracelet with a folding clasp and offering a double safety feature and driving extension to fit the watch over a racing suit.
On the back the watch features a steel screw-down case that is engraved with the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team logo over a chequered pattern.
There is also a fair bit of different textural surface play on the side of this watch. The screw-down crown at 3 o’clock is polished — syncing with the polished edges of the tachymetre — while the push buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock are fine-brushed. This inter-lay of textures adds to the refinement of the watch case as does the similarity of the brushed lugs with the bracelet that merge effortlessly.
The 2020 TAG Heuer Formula 1 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Special Edition is a good looking sports watch release. It’s got a good blend of colours and a nice partnership between a racing team and a watch brand. It has the added advantage of a chronograph and a date function. The steel & quartz combination makes it a more affordable watch and the non-limited edition part makes it widely accessible.
The size of 43mm does come off as bit big especially for anyone under 16.5cm wrist size which is a bit of a bummer but bigger watches are widely accepted these days so should not be a deterrent.
The high water resistance — 200m —makes this a great watch for those that are deep into the world of playing sports.
If you are someone who doesn’t look down upon quartz watches, this is a fantastic watch to either add to a collection or even buy to be your only watch.
It’s striking, it’s cool, and it’s packed with extra features. It also gives you the opportunity to take home a slice of two icons in their respective fields of watchmaking and motorsports: TAG Heuer & Aston Martin.
If you want to just browse the the technical details of this watch, we have a shorter tech specs review under our ‘Sneak Peek’ section here for easy reference. To check out our cool infographic review, head here.
To find out more about Tag Heuer Formula 1 watches, head to their website here.