TAG Heuer SLR

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TAG Heuer produced a line of co-branded watches from 2004 through 2010 for the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren sports car.

Overview

TAG Heuer was a sponsor of the McLaren F1 team, which worked with automaker Mercedes-Benz to produce a sports car. The Mercedes SLR McLaren was branded by both companies and existed independently of Mercedes-Benz or its performance subsidiary, Mercedes-AMG. Although the official watch partner of Mercedes-Benz was IWC at that time, TAG Heuer was able to use the company name and logo through this association with the SLR McLaren.

The first product of this collaboration was introduced in 2004 along with the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren sports car. The TAG Heuer SLR Chronograph Calibre 36 was a avant garde design, with a rounded cushion case with integrated lugs, a large crown with the Mercedes-Benz star, and an opening with strakes reminiscent of the car. An unusual element is perpendicular chronograph pushers next to the dial. The regulator dial featured five semi-circles for subdials at 3:00 (40 minute counter), 6:00 (chronograph hours), 9:00 (running seconds), 12:00 (time hours), and central minutes and chronograph seconds hands. The watch used the TAG Heuer Calibre 36, a version of the El Primero. The watch was available for $14,000 only to owners of a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren car.

In 2006, a more conventional looking round watch was released, the TAG Heuer SLR for Mercedes-Benz. Featuring the TAG Heuer Calibre 17, a modified ETA 2894-2, the dial layout was more conventional. The chronograph pushers remained on the side of the dial, now at about 45 degrees, and the crown (marked "SLR") is somewhat smaller. A second crown at 9:00 operates an internal bezel marked 15, 30, and 45. The date is shown in a window at 7:00. The dial features the "Mercedes-Benz" text logo along with the TAG Heuer shield, and SLR is marked on the bezel. 3,500 examples were produced, priced at $4,000.

TAG Heuer SLR for Mercedes-Benz

The 2007 model TAG Heuer SLR for Mercedes-Benz is made from brushed titanium and features a wide date window at 6:00 rather than chronograph hours. The initial limited edition of 3,500 featured "Mercedes-Benz" text on the dial, but a later unlimited version says "SLR" below the TAG Heuer shield, with no Mercedes-Benz branding anywhere.

TAG Heuer SLR Calibre S Laptimer Chronograph
© TAG Heuer

With the partnership between Mercedes-Benz and McLaren dissolving, the 2008 edition of the SLR watch loses all Mercedes-Benz branding. The TAG Heuer SLR Calibre S is larger but looks similar to previous models, complete with the 45-degree pushers and crowns at 3:00 and 9:00. Cal. S is a quartz chronograph movement with accuracy to 1/100 of a second, displayed on two retrograde subdials at 4:30 (1/100) and 7:30 (1/10). The dial reads "SLR Calibre S" and the "SLR" branding is removed from the bezel.

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