History of TAG Heuer in Formula1
Click on the link to read an article

TAG Heuer and Ferrari partnership
TAG Heuer and McLaren partnership
TAG Heuer - A commitment to drivers
The period prior to Formula 1
The 1950's: Mechanical Manual Devices

The 1960's : Electric Keyboard and Timekeeping Printer
The 1970's
The 1980's and 1990's
Automatic car identification timing systems (ACIT)
Time keeping today


Created in 1860 in Saint-Imier, the Heuer Company which became TAG Heuer, has always been the leading Swiss Brand in state-of-the art timekeeping instruments from the famous stopwatches of the late 1800’s, to its first patented dashboard chronograph designed for airccraft and automobiles (Time of trip) in 1911, its first wrist chronograph in 1914, the world’s first 1/100th mechanical stopwatch (Micrograph) in 1916, the first multisports stopwatch (Ringmaster) in 1957, or the world’s first 1/1000th electronic stopwatch (Microtimer) in 1966.

watch_3watch_2watch_1

These technological breakthroughs gave the possibility to measure time in factions of a second in the most demanding sports where 1/1000th of a second makes the difference. This has helped TAG Heuer to develop a unique watchmaking know how in prestigious sports watches and chronographs, with world famous timepieces like the Carrera (1964), the Monaco (1969), the the LCD Chronosplit Manhattan the LED Chronosplit Cavallino (1977) and more recently the 2000 series (1982) and the Kirium Formula 1 (2001). All these timepieces have been inspired by competition requirements in terms of precision and reliability, making them able to withstand temperatures of -40 °C to +60 °C degrees and G-Forces of 1.5 to 3 and extremely intense vibrations, even violent impacts in some cases. Formula 1 driver David Coulthard raced last year with a Monza chronograph (2000) on his wrist epitomises this close relationship between timekeeping and watchmaking.

The various partnerships in Formula One have also had a direct impact on TAG Heuer's product development. Materials such as titanium and rubber, used on the Kirium Ti5 (1998) were not only selected because they were reminiscent of racing car chassis or tires, but because of their cutting edge properties: titanium is 50% lighter, but twice as hard as steel.This unique knowledge, consolidated over 142 years of passionate and nearly obsessive searching for performance and perfection has allowed the Brand to be selected by the most prestigious sporting organisations to keep track of some of the greatest achievements of mankind.

The IOC (International Olympic Committee), the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) and the FIS (International Ski Federation) have commissioned TAG Heuer since the 20's with the first Olympic games (Antwerp 1920, Paris 1924, Amsterdam 1928) until 2002 with FIA Formula One World Championship (since 1992) and World Alpine ski championships (since 1999 in Vail, then 2001 in St-Anton, 2003 in St-Moritz and 2005 in Bormio)

TAG Heuer - F1 Official Timekeeper
TAG Heuer set a record in timekeeping: 16 years devoted to the improvement of Formula One timing technology. 16 years of making every single of the 18 Grand Prix an exciting show that thrills millions of people around the world.

TAG Heuer and Ferrari partnership
In 1971, Enzo Ferrari was looking for the world's leading timekeeping company. He singled out Heuer and hence they became the Official Timekeeper of the Scuderia Ferrari for nearly a decade.

To undertake this challenge, Heuer developed unique and revolutionary timing systems allowing Ferrari to gain the competitive edge training on its private Fiorano track (replicating the most technical curves of the world most famous circuits), setting up better than competition their cars for the races, thus contributing to their victories. During the partnership with TAG Heuer the Scuderia won 3 world titles with Niki Lauda (1975 and 1977) and Jody Scheckter (1979).

Famous Ferrari drivers also developed a close relationship with TAG Heuer. Jacky Ickx, Clay Regazzoni, Mario Andretti, Niki Lauda, and Gilles Villeneuve were among the now legendary drivers who benefited from this collaboration. They proudly wore the famous Carrera chronograph.

Back to Top

TAG Heuer and McLaren partnership
In 1985, when Heuer was acquired by the TAG (Techniques d'Avant-Garde) group, the company entered a new era by forming a partnership with the McLaren Formula One Team. TAG Heuer became the Official Timekeeper and Chronograph of the team. McLaren and TAG Heuer developed a relationship that would lead to 17 years of success. During that period TAG Heuer has been associated to six Constructors World Championships and nine Drivers World Championships with Niki Lauda (1), Alain Prost (3), Ayrton Senna (3) and Mika Hakkinen (2).

Back to Top

TAG Heuer - A commitment to drivers
During the last two decades of involvement in Formula 1, TAG Heuer has had its name associated to the most extraordinary generation of drivers. The brand has thus had the privilege of working alongside Alain Prost (World Champion in 1985, 1986 and 1989), Ayrton Senna (World Champion in 1988, 1990 and 1991), Gerhard Berger from 1990 to 1992, Michael Schumacher in 1993 and 1994, Mika Häkkinen from 1993 to 2001.

watchman_1

It was with Ayrton Senna that TAG Heuer established the closest ties. This special relationship began in 1988 when Ayrton Senna signed an agreement with TAG McLaren and won his first World Championship title. For six years Senna was closely associated with TAG Heuer. During his spectacular career, he was relentless in his quest for perfection. Hunting pole positions became his obsession, a goal he reached on no less than 65 occasions. Strapped firmly to his wrist throughout his exploits, a TAG

Heuer chronograph was always there to record the achievement with great precision. Senna made the famous TAG Heuer claim "Don't crack under pressure", his own motto.

In 2004, TAG Heuer maintains close ties with West McLaren Mercedes team's drivers : David Coulthard (since 1996) and Kimi Raikkonen (since 2002)
TAG Heuer becomes official time keeper to team West McLaren Mercedes

Back to Top

The period prior to Formula 1
From its creation in 1860, Heuer rapidly acquired an excellent reputation in creating sports watches and timekeeping systems intended for world-class sport competitions. In 1911, Heuer developed its first dashboard chronograph for engine-powered vehicles with its dedicated "Time of Trip" patent. In 1916, the company launched the "Micrograph", the first mechanical sports chronometer able to measure times to within 1/100th of a second, at a period when precision had so far reached only 1/5th of a second. Such innovations in timekeeping precision gave competition a whole new dimension.

Back to Top

The 1950's: Mechanical Manual Devices

watchman_2 Manual chronometers
In 1950, at the first Formula 1 World Championship, Heuer was already present : several teams used the Heuer manual chronometers, able to measure times to the nearest 1/10th of a second. The timekeepers were generally the wives or friends of the drivers. They stood on the edge of the track and recorded the times by hand when the cars crossed the finish line.

Timekeeping boards
Consistently in the avant-garde, in the late 1950's Heuer developed a timekeeping board, made of three mechanical hand-operated chronometers controlled by a bracket. The first indicated the time of the previous lap, the second measured the time of the lap in progress, and the third, reset to zero, awaited its turn to measure the following lap. Pressing the bracket simultaneously triggered all three chronometers at each lap.

Back to Top

The 1960's : Electric Keyboard and Timekeeping Printer
In the 1960's, with the development of electronics, a single timing operator could measure the times of all vehicles by pressing a "Morse" key each time a car crossed the line. Each time the key was pressed, the time was recorded and printed on a Heuer printer. These times then had to be identified and calculated by several people:
A timekeeper : to press the key each time a car passed the line.
A "barker" : responsible for announcing in order the numbers of the cars crossing the line.
A second timekeeper : in charge of matching the times recorded by the printer with the order of numbers given by the "barker".
Calculators : responsible for establishing the details of the races, with rankings, lap times, etc

Back to Top

The 1970's
watchman_3 The Heuer - Ferrari partnership
In 1971, Enzo Ferrari was looking for a leading timekeeping company to equip his private track of Fiorano (Maranello / Italy). He chose Heuer and, for the next decade or so, the Swiss watch company was to serve as Official Timekeeper for the Scuderia Ferrari. It was responsible for installing 45 photocells around the test track, so that Ferrari engineers could monitor the performances of each car on the track.


The "Le Mans" Heuer Centigraph
The Heuer Centigraph, developed in co-operation with the Ferrari racing team, was an electronic timing device composed of a mechanical printer and keyboards equipped with 5 manual push buttons. With the Centigraph, 20 cars can be timed simultaneously. This type of installation was used for timing F1 and endurance races (Monza 1000 km, Vallelunga 6 hours, Sebring 12 hours or the Le Mans 24 Hours races).

Back to Top

The 1980's and 1990's
This period was used for the development of increasingly advanced technologies which initially served the purpose of recognising the times of the cars passing a given point (transponders), but which were not yet accurate enough to be used as official timing measurements. The first monitors, which were indispensable to a correct understanding and analysis of the lap performances of vehicles, appeared among the teams, media, partners and officials during the 1983 Grand Prix season.

TAG Heuer's technological contribution to Formula 1 is one of the factors that has contributed to transforming the TV broadcast of each Grand Prix into a full-fledged international show. While it used to be difficult to follow a race, despite the efforts of sports commentators, television viewers can now experience the race in real time and in all its details thanks to the many types of information displayed on screen. Without this information, which is now also available on the Internet, it would have become impossible to follow and understand the competitions.

Back to Top

Automatic Car Identification Timing systems (ACIT)
In the mid 1970's, Heuer developed an entirely automatic system which could record the times of all cars, even when several crossed the finish line at the same time.

The idea was to equip each car with mini-transmitters (transponders) which were detected by a receiver(antenna) placed on the finish line. Each car transmitted on a different frequency and could thus be identified, and their times be calculated.

In 1976, Heuer presented this unique ACIT system to the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) in Belgium (Nivelles F1 Grand Prix). The way was thus paved for future applications and the development of these mini-transmitters, which have become the famous transponders now used.

In the late 1970's,the development of computer technology permitted Formula 1 race statistics to be established more quickly and reliably.

watchman_4

In Formula 1 motor-racing circles, everyone agreed that Heuer had equipped Ferrari with the finest existing technology. In 1978 in Long Beach (California), Grand Prix organisers appointed 20 local timekeepers for the practice sessions. The result was a nightmare: none of them reached the same result.

Since each team also did its own timekeeping, there were numerous differences between their respective calculations and the official times. The heads of the racing teams therefore decided to appeal to a single benchmark: the reputation of Jean Campiche, timekeeper for the Scuderia Ferrari, and the reliability of the Heuer technology, convinced everybody that the Ferrari statistics were the most accurate and most reliable. The Heuer system became the only reference in racing.

Back to Top

Time keeping today
Time is the main technological challenge facing TAG Heuer, since the performances of the cars, the drivers and the racing teams are measured all at once to the nearest 1/1000th of a second. TAG Heuer's innovative spirit has evolved constantly in this field since 1992, the date when the company was first appointed Official Timekeeper of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship. To eliminate any risk of error, TAG Heuer uses two independent timekeeping systems.

A main double system backed up by a security
watchman_5The main system is made of 2 seperate systems (a main and double) which are working independently. The system is made up of 18 antennas setup around the track: three points to measure times and corresponding speeds (finish line, intermediate 1, intermediate 2, with 2 antennas on each point to calculate speed), a strategic point for top speed (with 2 antennas placed at 30 meters distance) and along the pit-lane (checking speeds and measuring times spent in the pits). These antennas receive signals transmitted by the mini-transmitters (transponders) placed in each car and set to different frequencies, which enables the identification of all cars and recording of their times each time they pass the antenna.

For even greater security, this main system has as a back-up a secondary system linked to a double infra-red photocell placed on the finish line. It records the passage of each competitor at each lap. These data are then transmitted to the Timing Tower located above the start/finish line.




Collecting Data
Apart from the secondary system managed from the timing tower, the information stemming from all sources via antennas is processed by the mobile Timing Centre. Inside this timekeeping unit, a number of computers perform "live" calculations of split times, lap times, lap number, speeds and time differences. More than 20 engineers are active in this area.

Data Transmission
All the data are instantly transmitted by the timing centre to more than 150 monitors interspersed around the site and duly analysed by drivers, officials, media, guests and teams.

Moreover, results and analyses are printed and distributed to teams and available in the press room.

watchman_6

There are also complete and attractive graphics proposed to world-wide TV viewers to help them understanding the evolution of live practice and race sessions, thanks to the numerous television channels which broadcast live, delayed races or news coverage of the Grands Prix, with the TAG Heuer timing logo appearing on screens.

bomb_searchingControlling Pit Stops and Pit Lane Speed
For safety reasons, speed is limited on the pit lanes to 80 km/h during the race and 60 km/h during the practice sessions. Antennae are set up to control speed in the pit lane (pit entrance, pitlane and pit exit). There is also an electronic device to detect possible anticipated start. These systems help marshals to check any possible penalty times imposed on drivers (jump-start, excessive speed in pit-lanes...).







Back to Top

© One Inch Entertainment Pvt Ltd. About Us Contact Us Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy