Fifty years ago, Porsche debuted its iconic 911 in Paris. The car, called the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 (because of the 2.7-liter engine), made Porsche a killer on the track. It was so popular that after Porsche produced the first batch of 500 cars, it tripled production to meet demand. In other words: this car was always will earn an avid following among collectors. Lightweight RS 2.7 on sale for $2,425,000 in auction this summer. Owners form clubs to get together and test the limits of their 50-year-old cars on the open road. Now, for the car’s 50th birthday, Tag Heuer is working with Porsche to produce a pair of RS 2.7-inspired watches. And since Tag Heuer has been producing its own Carrera watch since 1963, this new watch and this old car share a name: this is the Tag Heuer Carrera x Porsche RS 2.7.
These timepieces are testament to the eternal greatness of the RS 2.7: taking elements and inspiration from a car made in 1972 somehow creates completely modern timepieces. . This set includes one in blue and white made from steel and another in rose gold with a red accented dial.
The watch doesn’t overdo it with references to the original cars, but selected details are executed with laser precision. Take color options, for example. The dial of the watch is white, isn’t it? Wrong! It is “competitive white”, a specific color that Porsche uses and promotes on these watches. “You can have ‘competitive white’ and you can have ‘ivory white’,” said Nick Biebuyck, heritage director at Tag Heuer. “What [the Porsche team] want is pure competition in white. The same goes for blue: while Porsche drives cars in the Dalmatian and Gulf regions, this model opts for ‘glacial blue’. Even typography was a matter of lengthy discussion between Porsche and Tag. The word “Carrera” is written on the dial and side of the case in the same way that it appears on a car, with the same specific proportions meticulously cared for. (Traditional Carrera watches have the model name “Carrera” printed on its face, but these watches use Porsche’s Carrera logo as a one-off special edition offer.)
With a lot of homage to the RS 2.7, this is a watch with a built-in audience. Car collectors, who bought a car with a starting price of around half a million dollars, may want a limited edition watch to pair with their limited edition car. “But this will only represent a percentage [of buyers],” said Frédéric Arnault, CEO of Tag Heuer. And there’s another cool sales trick going on here: if you can’t own your dream car, what about your dream car watch? Another group of potential customers are those who know and love RS 2.7, but can’t afford to buy it. “[They] will find this story compelling,” said Arnault.
Since jumping into the driver’s seat at Tag in 2020, Arnault has taken the brand in a predictable younger direction: highlights include sandblasting cooperation with Bamford and a $376,000 pieces encrusted with lab-grown diamonds unveiled at this year’s Watches & Wonders.