Yesterday, I met with Max Verstappen during the introduction of the TAG Heuer Formula One Max Verstappen Special Edition. Well, the official name of the watch is TAG Heuer Formula One Max Verstappen Youngest Grand Prix Winner Special Edition, but let’s shorten it a bit for my own sake.
The cool thing about Max Verstappen is, that he is very down to Earth. It could be his middle name. At first I thought it might be his age, but that can’t be it. It is something he just is. A friendly fellow, as he was standing at a table yesterday, with a drink in his hand, easy to approach and talk to. There is not the smallest bit of ‘show’ in him. Something I love. Pure, a little bit raw even.
So, TAG Heuer threw a party in Amsterdam, together with Customized Media. I have to say, that I didn’t even saw the watch there to be honest. A prototype was on the wrist of Verstappen himself, but there were none on display or to show. It was about the party mainly. Which is fine and something else for a change! Well organized, and visited by a lot of guests. It also became quite clear how a guy like Max Verstappen (and I guess this goes for all Formula One racing drivers) are being lived by their sponsors. That’s part of the business and deals of course and when you’re 18 like Verstappen, it isn’t that strange that you receive that bit of extra attention.
Besides some Dutch celebs, press and other special guests, TAG Heuer also invited former F1 drivers Robert Doornbos, Guido van der Garde and Jan Lammers. I’ve met Jan Lammers in the past at another event, and also he was easy to approach and very nice. Interested in watches as well (he once won the Le Mans 24 and received the special Rolex Daytona for that). Robert Doornbos took the part as host of the show and introduced Verstappen on stage.
Most questions that Robert fired at Max were about the race of last Sunday, in Spa (Belgium). Max ended up 11th after a horrible start where he crashed with Ferrari (Kimi Räikkönen) in the first curve. Räikkönen was pushed aside by Vettel (Ferrari) as well, and on his turned, collided with Max. The Red Bull car lost its front wing, so a necessary additional pit-stop to have it replaced put him back a lot of positions. Max Verstappen was criticized for his way of driving and defending against Kimi Räikkönen later on, but as he said later on, it was Ferrari that messed up his P2 start in the first corner, so he wasn’t giving up his position too easy to Ferrari. I understand, but I am Dutch, so I am biased. Max Verstappen let the guests know in Amsterdam that he enjoyed the presence of so many Dutch fans in Spa, including the orange smoke bombs.
Doornbos also asked about the watch and about Verstappen’s relationship with time. His answer was: “Time is everything for me. I have to make sure to do the race in the shortest time possible”. It shows how he is. About his watch, he was almost as short sentenced. The watch was designed for Max Verstappen and his fans, which explains the orange. According to Verstappen it is a limited edition, but he wasn’t sure (yet) how many of these would be for sale. The press release doesn’t enclose this either, and talks about a special edition rather than a limited edition. Whatevs. It is a neat watch and Verstappen fans will enjoy it for sure.
It was a great party, very well hosted. But let’s talk about the watch for a bit longer than they did yesterday evening. The TAG Heuer Formula One Max Verstappen Special Edition is actually based on an existing TAG Heuer Formula 1 watch, but with a different – and more Dutch – color scheme. As you can see on the image below, the 43mm stainless steel watch has a blue aluminium bezel and a lot of orange accents. On an orange (calf) leather racing strap of course. A nice detail is that the first 18 seconds (markers on the dial) are in orange, and it stops exactly where the tachymeter scale bezel says ‘180’. The ’18’ of ‘180’ is also in orange, to underline the young age of Verstappen. The age on which he won his first Grand Prix in Spain, being the youngest Grand Prix winner of all time.
On the caseback, there is a special engraving. It says ““TAG Heuer Formula One Max Verstappen Youngest Grand Prix Winner Special Edition”. The movement is a quartz chronograph movement and made by Ronda. This is probably a bit of a let-down for many watch enthusiasts, as they prefer a mechanical watch. However, to keep the price sane, TAG Heuer probably decided to go for a quartz watch. You can debate about this for ages. There are pros and cons, but the biggest pro is that this watch is hopefully now within reach of the Max Verstappen fans.
This TAG Heuer Formula One Max Verstappen Special Edition will be available starting November, for €1350 Euro. Make sure to #dontcrackunderpressure while waiting! You can pre-order it here.
All images by TAG Heuer / Customized Media.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more