1970s: Conquering motorsport with Ferrari

Episode 5 March 22, 2023 00:06:33
1970s: Conquering motorsport with Ferrari
A Matter of Time
1970s: Conquering motorsport with Ferrari

Mar 22 2023 | 00:06:33


Hosted By

TAG Heuer

Show Notes

Season 1: The TAG Heuer Carrera |

This time, we explore how the relationship between Heuer and motorsport was forged in the 1970s. A surprising deal with Ferrari placed Heuer at the center of the racing world and catapulted the gold 1158 CHN Carrera into a symbol of success. 


Image: Heuer Carrera, Reference 1158 CHN


Show notes:

0:45 Tough time for Ferrari calls for better timekeeping 

2:07 Heuer Centigraph: standard timekeeper for motorsport   

2:25 Jack Heuer makes contact with Ferrari 

3:22 Ferrari deal variations 

4:08 1158 CHN Carrera: a gift for the Ferrari drivers    

5:13 Heuer solidifies long-lasting relationship with motorsport

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:02 Welcome to a matter of Time, a podcast by Tag Ho. I'm your host, Nicholas Bebe, heritage director of Tagore with a lifelong passion for fine Swiss watchmaking. In this season. We've been discussing the Carrera in its 60th anniversary year, starting with the origins of the name with the great Carrera Pan Americana Road race, taking you through the very first launches in 1963, beyond into the world of complications with the data career in the late 1960s and the launch, the first automatic crown craft movement. Today we're gonna talk about this indelible link between the name Carrera and the World of Motorsport. That was really forged in the 1970s. Let's transport ourselves to Marinello in Italy in the early 1970s. Speaker 1 00:00:53 We're a Ferrari's headquarters in Moderna, the world famous sports car manufacturer and producer of some of the most incredible competition machinery has been going through a tricky period having last won the Formula One World Championship in 1964 with John Certs. The team has gone through a drought in the upper echelons of motorsport. Something has to change Enzo Ferrari, it'll commando at the helm of the company lives and breeds Motorsport. He famously said he only makes road cars so that he can go racing. So for him to not be at the front of the Formula one World Championship is great frustration, bringing in new technical direction. The form of Mara f Gary, a new principal with Lu de Monem, a new drivers with Clara so and Nicki. Louder it's time for a fresh start. But of course when you're producing cutting edge machinery for the hottest competition in the world, you need some way of comparing your performance. Ferrari is broken ground on a new test track of foyer Aren it, but they need a way of comparing the performance of the cars and the drivers. At this time. The Hoya name is synonymous with precision timekeeping. Having launched the Miro timer, the first device to time into one 1000 for second in 1966, the technology had already evolved into the center graph, a precision timekeeping device specifically for motorsport. Speaker 1 00:02:25 In early 1971, a manager at the company had spotted Clay Richardson having lunch with an executive at Laine in St. <inaudible>. Jack Hoy did some digging around and found that the team principal of Skiier Ferrari was an old skiing friend of his from the university club and was able to make contact and found out that they were indeed looking for precision timey equipment to install at their test track and to tour around the world. For the races. Francois pr, who would head the technical development of the electronic timekeeping division, was a fluent Italian speaker, made his way down to Marinello to understand the needs with the knowledge of what the SCO area required exactly for timekeeping, Jack and Francois were able to put together a proposal, and in April, 1971, they would take the company car through the Alps across the border in into Italy to have at that fateful meeting with Enzo first, Jack and Francois meet with another member of the Ferrari team to discuss the ins and outs of the contract. The initial proposal is to provide the Lamar Centegra cutting edge timing equipment, hardware to Ferrari at a cost of 35,000 Swiss Francs. Enzo pointblank refuses to pay anything, so it's agreed that Hoya will provide the Lamar Cent graph together with an operator. In exchange for having the logo prominently displayed on the cars and on the driver's overalls, Speaker 1 00:03:45 It seems that everything is in order. So Jack goes to meet with Enzo. Upon entering his office, the boss has changed his mind. He tells Jack, the drivers are too expensive. Hoya need to contribute something towards their paycheck. So in the end, Jack agrees to pay them 25,000 Swiss francs in addition to giving the time of equipment for free, but getting the logo in place. Speaker 1 00:04:11 Jack decides at the last moment to make one further tweak to the agreement each the drivers needs to come to the Hoyer factory in Bien to be personally presented with a gold chronograph. The reference 1158 Chm Carrera all is in order. Jack and Enzo go for a jovial lunch at the Cavalo restaurant within the factory. The strong and long lasting relationship between hoy of Formula One is born. It continues to this day with us working with Red Bull Racing, and of course the Osmo Club to, but it's this nucleus that really formed this indelible link in so many people's minds. But how does this all relate to the Carrera? Well, we've mentioned it briefly already, but it's this solid gold reference 1158 that would've become synonymous with the most successful racing drivers of the period initially conceived in 1970 to commemorate Hoya's listing on the Swiss Stock Exchange. It was seen as by far the most prestigious watch that the company was manufacturing significantly more expensive than the pieces produced in stainless steel. It was really only worn by the most committed people to the Maisel. Speaker 1 00:05:16 So when Jack started giving these pieces to Clay Ridges owner and Nicki Lauder, Maro, Enzo Luca, anyone walking through the paddock would see Ferrari. Now finally competitive again with their new reference three 12 race car were custodians of this sacred watch. Before you knew it, everyone wanted one, and Jack would forge his strong relationships. Through the endurance racing and other Formula one drivers spread the watches throughout the paddock. Mario Andretti, Mike Hillwood, Ronnie Peterson, we're all great fans of the watch, and we can see so many incredible period images of these drivers wearing these pieces. So it's clear now the Carrera, it's one of the most successful watches of the era. It's connected to the glamorous world of Formula One. It's drawn into the world of motorsport, into the world of technology, into the world of timekeeping, and becomes a totem for all of these moments. But the 1970s wouldn't be so kind to the Swiss watchmaking industry. The course crisis would arrive, Hoya would be pushed to the very edge, but it would be the savings of Tag Hore in 1986 that we're giving new birth to the brand. Thank you for listening. Today's episode of a Matter of Time. Please don't forget to like and subscribe wherever you get your podcast and do leave a review. We always love to see your comments.

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