Hands-On: TAG Heuer Formula One Senna 2020 Edition Automatic
After his recent triumph in the 2020 championship, Lewis Hamilton’s name is the one on most peoples’ lips these days when it comes to Formula One. After all, he is now the most decorated driver to ever get behind the wheel.
His latest win ties him with Schumacher’s 7 World Titles. Hamilton also holds the outright records for the most wins (94), pole positions (97), podium finishes (163), points finishes (227), career points (3,738), and points in a season (413). Pretty impressive stuff. That said, to many people, there’s another great who tragically left us long before his time. That man is the Brazilian racing legend, Ayrton Senna. In certain circles, he is still considered the greatest racing driver to have ever lived, despite only winning 3 Formula One titles to Hamilton’s seven. Cruelly taken from the racing world at the young age of 34, who knows what may have come to pass should he have had a full career, or even the same engines and technological advancements that Hamilton has enjoyed?
Ayrton Senna: brand ambassador
During Senna’s time at the wheel, he forged a longstanding partnership with TAG Heuer, dating back to 1988. For many years, he was one of its top ambassadors. The Swiss brand has honored its partnership with Senna numerous times over the years and now it does so again with the new Formula One Senna Special Edition 2020 automatic chronograph.
This distinguishes the Senna models from the rest of the Formula One family…
The case is constructed from brushed stainless steel and is water-resistant to 200 meters. Surrounding the sapphire crystal is a fixed black ceramic bezel with a tachymeter scale that measures up to 400km/h. This distinguishes the Senna models from the rest of the TAG Heuer Formula One family as it surpasses the 240 km/h measure available on the range’s other watches. However, it’s worth noting that no Formula One racing team has ever actually achieved this speed on the track.
I am a big fan of brands using yellow on their dials. So, the bold yellow detailing on the sunray-brushed anthracite dial is a tick in the plus column for me. Yellow accents are designed to enhance legibility and are found surrounding the date, the chronograph pushers, chronograph sub-dials, strap stitching, and the bezel markings. I love how well the color contrasts nicely with the grey dial and darker sub-dials. Rhodium-coated, lumed indices and hands complete the dial for easy timekeeping in low light conditions — a must for any self-respecting sports watch.
Rev your engines!
I’m one of those people that often refers to a watch’s movement as its engine. That seems to be a point of contention amongst some enthusiasts. I’ve met some who detest the term, but I feel that it’s particularly apt for a Formula One watch. With that in mind, the engine powering the Formula One Senna Special Edition 2020 automatic chronograph is the Caliber 16. This is essentially an ETA 7750, and it provides a relatively standard 42-hour power reserve. A specially engraved steel case back, featuring a motif of Senna’s helmet, covers the movement round the back.
This extension allows on-the-fly adjustment…
The watch is a comfortable wear despite the potentially wrist-hogging size. I feel the strap choice helps it fit snugly on the wrist. While the quartz version comes on a stainless steel bracelet, the automatic version is presented on a black calfskin leather strap embossed with an S-shaped pattern. A folding deployant clasp, a double safety mechanism, and a nifty pilot extension feature complete the strap setup. This extension allows on-the-fly adjustment so that users can wear the watch over the top of a thick driving suit.
Modern and sporty
As a watch enthusiast, I am always looking for the next addition to my collection. At present, it does not feature a chronograph, so I have been considering one for a while now. My tastes certainly seem to lean slightly more modern and sporty than classical. For that reason, the Formula One Senna Special Edition 2020 automatic chronograph is a real possibility.
…it’s tastefully done.
The fact it has my favorite color detailing the dial is just an added bonus. While I am not a fan of Formula One and do not follow the sport with any particular enthusiasm, the Senna branding is subtle enough not to get in the way for me. It’s a nice nod to the legendary driver, but it’s tastefully done. You can read more about the TAG Heuer Formula One Senna Special Edition on the brand’s website here. Prices start from €2,900.